Jean Darling


This filmography was made in collaboration with Matthew Lydick.


birth name: Dorothy Jean LaVake
soon changed to: Dorothy Jean Darling
professional name: Jean Darling
born Aug. 23, 1922, in Santa Monica, CA
died Sep. 4, 2015, in Rödermark, Germany, of cancer


Special note: Jean's name was legally changed shortly after her parents' separation, which happened when she was five months old. Her mother was originally Dorothy Darling Hamilton, and changed her own name to Dorothy Hamilton Darling.

Also of note: In her memoirs, Jean briefly mentions being broke at some point in her life, and making ends meet by getting a 9-to-5 job at a florist's shop. She also mentions going blind for two years, during which she gave singing lessons, along with her accompanist, John Code. Exactly when either of these things happened is currently a mystery.


1923


1924


1926


1927

57. Bring Home The Turkey (small part)
Jan. 16, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-15 - Our Gang series
Filmed Sep. 29 to Oct. 15, 1926. ©Jan. 14, 1927.
Are Brunettes Safe? (extra)
Feb. 6, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. B-16 - Charley Chase series
Filmed Oct. 25 to Nov. 4, 1926. ©Jan. 14, 1927. Jean claimed to have been in two or three Chase comedies, but this is the only one I've been able to verify with the payroll ledgers.
55. Seeing The World (extra)
Feb. 13, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-13 - Our Gang series
Filmed Oct. 29 to Nov. 15, 1926. European footage shot July and Aug. 1926. ©Jan. 14, 1927.
58. Ten Years Old (extra)
Mar. 13, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-16 - Our Gang series
Filmed Nov. 24 to Dec. 14, 1926. ©Feb. 14, 1927.
60. Tired Business Men (supporting role: Bossy)
May 22, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-18 - Our Gang series
Also listed for May 15, 1927, and May 21, 1927. Filmed Jan. 18 to Feb. 3, 1927. ©Apr. 11, 1927.
61. Baby Brother (small part)
June 26, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-19 - Our Gang series
Filmed Feb. 17 to Mar. 14, 1927. ©May 18, 1927.
63. Olympic Games (unconfirmed small part)
Sep. 11, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-21 - Our Gang series
Also listed for Sep. 10, 1927. Filmed Apr. 22 to May 6, 1927. ©July 8, 1927.
67. Yale Vs. Harvard (small part)
Sep. 24, 1927 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-1 - Our Gang series
Filmed June 13 to 24, 1927. ©Aug. 17, 1927.
68. The Old Wallop (supporting role)
Oct. 22, 1927 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-2 - Our Gang series
Filmed Aug. 8 to 20, 1927. ©Oct. 22, 1927.
62. Chicken Feed (supporting role)
Nov. 6, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-20 - Our Gang series
Filmed Mar. 28 to Apr. 15, 1927. ©June 9, 1927.
69. Heebee Jeebees (supporting role)
Nov. 19, 1927 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-3 - Our Gang series
Also listed for Nov. 29, 1927. Filmed Aug. 29 to Sep. 13, and Sep. 30, 1927. ©Nov. 1, 1927.
70. Dog Heaven (supporting role)
Dec. 17, 1927 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-4 - Our Gang series
Filmed Sep. 15 to Oct. 13, 1927, with retakes Nov. 1, 1927. ©Nov. 26, 1929.

1928

65. Playin' Hookey (small part)
Jan. 1, 1928 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-24 - Our Gang series
Filmed June 27 to 29, and Aug. 1 to 6, 1927. ©Feb. 6, 1928.
72. Rainy Days (supporting role)
Feb. 11, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-6 - Our Gang series
Filmed Nov. 4 to Dec. 28, 1927. ©Feb. 11, 1928, and Sep. 4, 1929.
74. Barnum & Ringling, Inc. (featured role: Jean)
Apr. 7, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-8 - Our Gang series
Filmed Dec. 21, 1927, to Jan. 9, 1928. ©Apr. 7, 1928. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
75. Fair And Muddy (supporting role)
May 5, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-9 - Our Gang series
Filmed Jan. 16 to Feb. 8, 1928. ©May 5, 1928.
76. Crazy House (featured role: Jean)
June 2, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-10 - Our Gang series
Filmed Feb. 10 to 24, 1928. ©May 16, 1928.
77. Growing Pains (small part)
Sep. 22, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-11 - Our Gang series
Filmed Feb. 27 to Mar. 15, 1928. ©Sep. 22, 1928.
78. The Ol' Gray Hoss (supporting role)
Oct. 20, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-12 - Our Gang series
Filmed May 7 to 26, 1928, with retakes Aug. 16, 1928. ©Oct. 20, 1928. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
79. School Begins (supporting role: Jean)
Nov. 17, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-13 - Our Gang series
Premiered Sep. 16, 1928. Filmed June 7 to 28, 1928. ©Nov. 17, 1928. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
80. The Spanking Age (supporting role)
Dec. 15, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-14 - Our Gang series
Filmed July 2 to 14, 1928. ©Dec. 15, 1928. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.

1929

82. Noisy Noises (small part)
Feb. 9, 1929 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-16 - Our Gang series
Filmed Oct. 29 to Nov. 10, 1928. ©Mar. 5, 1929. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
83. The Holy Terror (supporting role)
Mar. 9, 1929 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-17 - Our Gang series
Filmed Nov. 19 to 28, 1928. ©July 11, 1929.
84. Wiggle Your Ears (featured role: Jean)
Apr. 6, 1929 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-18 - Our Gang series
Filmed Dec. 4 to 12, 1928. ©Mar. 5, 1929. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
85. Fast Freight (supporting role)
May 4, 1929 - Roach/MGM - silent - 2 reels - prod. G-19 - Our Gang series
Filmed Dec. 10 to 27, and Dec. 29, 1928. ©Apr. 1, 1929.
89. Small Talk (supporting role: Jean)
May 18, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 3 reels - prod. G-23 - Our Gang series
Also listed for Apr. 18, 1929. Filmed Mar. 25 to Apr. 6, 1929. ©July 30, 1929.
86. Little Mother (small part)
June 1, 1929 - Roach/MGM - silent - 2 reels - prod. G-20 - Our Gang series
Filmed Feb. 4 to 13, 1929. ©June 3, 1929.
90. Railroadin' (supporting role)
June 15, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-24 - Our Gang series
Filmed Apr. 17 to 25, 1929. ©Dec. 9, 1929.
92. Lazy Days (small part: Jean)
Aug. 24, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-26 - Our Gang series
Also listed for Aug. 15, 1929, and Oct. 24, 1929. Filmed June 10 to 20, 1929. ©Aug. 26, 1929.
91. Boxing Gloves (supporting role: Jean)
Sep. 9, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-25 - Our Gang series
Filmed May 13 to 25, 1929. ©Sep. 9, 1929.
87. Cat, Dog & Co. (supporting role)
Sep. 14, 1929 - Roach/MGM - silent - 2 reels - prod. G-21 - Our Gang series
Filmed Feb. 20 to Mar. 2, 1929. ©Sep. 3, 1929. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
93. Bouncing Babies (small part)
Oct. 12, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-27 - Our Gang series
Filmed July 5 to 15, 1929. ©Sep. 23, 1929.
88. Saturday's Lesson (supporting role)
Nov. 9, 1929 - Roach/MGM - silent - 2 reels - prod. G-22 - Our Gang series
Filmed Mar. 5 to 11, 1929. ©Sep. 9, 1929. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.

1930

Screen Snapshots Series 9, No. 22 (appearance)
July 1930 - Columbia - 1 reel - Screen Snapshots series
unspecified title (archival)
circa 1931 - Roach - Jean Darling trailer
This was a 4-minute compilation of film clips from Jean's Our Gang days used for her vaudeville act.

1931


1932


1933

Only Yesterday (unconfirmed role)
Nov. 1, 1933 - Universal - 11 reels - feature
©Nov. 7, 1933. Starring Margaret Sullavan & John Boles.

1934

Jane Eyre (supporting role: Jane Eyre as a child)
Aug. 15, 1934 - Monogram - 7 reels - feature
©July 14, 1934. Starring Virginia Bruce & Colin Clive.
Babes In Toyland (small part: Curly Locks)
Nov. 30, 1934 - Roach/MGM - 9 reels - prod. F-5 - Laurel & Hardy feature
Also listed for Dec. 14, 1934. Filmed Aug. 6 to 16, and Sep. 24 to Oct. 17, 1934. ©Nov. 28, 1934. US reissue title: March Of The Wooden Soldiers. Jean was among the cast members singing "Never Mind, Bo Peep." She also remembered singing a chorus of "I Can't Do The Sum," a song that didn't wind up in the release print.

1935


1936

Gold Diggers Of 1937 (small part: one of the singing girls)
prem. Dec. 26, 1936 - Warner Bros. - 12 reels - feature.
Released Dec. 28, 1936. ©Dec. 31, 1936. Starring Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Victor Moore and Glenda Farrell.
Jean stated in her memoirs that she did two of these Gold Diggers films, but she only goes into detail with this one.

1937


1938


1939


1940


1941

There's Nothing Like The Smile Of The Irish (supporting role)
1941 - Soundies - 3 min. - Soundie Musical Movie
Starring Lanny Ross. Jean appears in the final shot.

1942


1943


1944


1945


1946


1947


1948

Fashions On Parade episode (guest appearance)
May 7, 1948 - DuMont 30 min. - TV episode
This episode was broadcast locally several months before the series started airing over the DuMont network.
The Fourth Mrs. Phillips (lead role)
Aug. 8, 1948 - WPTZ - TV program
This was a stage comedy that was no doubt being broadcast on live television. WPTZ in Philadelphia was an NBC affiliate, so this may have been a network broadcast.

1949


1950


1951


1952

All Star Summer Revue episode (appearance)
Aug. 30, 1952 - NBC - 60 min. - TV episode
Jean appears with Bert Wheeler and sings "Serenade To A Lemonade." A kinescope survives of this sketch, running 8 to 9 minutes.

1953

The I Don't Care Girl (small part: Lilyan Tashman)
prem. Jan. 14, 1953 - 20th Century-Fox - 78 min. - feature
©Jan. 5, 1953. Released Jan. 20, 1931. Starring Mitzi Gaynor, David Wayne & Oscar Levant. Filmed in Technicolor.
The Comeback Story episode (featured subject)
Nov. 27, 1953 - ABC - 30 min. - TV episode
This was a documentary series that focused each week on people who had overcome adversity. One source states that Jean's life was dramatized on this series, which perhaps means that we shouldn't assume that she was in it.

1954


1955

American Inventory episode: The 13 Million (appearance)
Jan. 2, 1955 - Sloan/NBC 30 min. - TV episode
Clubhouse Gang (appearance)
May 14, 1955 - WPIX 11 - TV episode
This program featured Little Rascals films. The date of this episode is according to tvparty.com. This seems to contradict The Record (Hackensack, NJ) of May 21st, which interviewed Jean, and she confided that, not having a TV, she had not seen Clubhouse Gang, but that she was scheduled to soon guest on the show.

1956


1959

Tonight Starring Jack Paar episode (appearance)
Apr. 22, 1959 - NBC - 105 min. - TV episode
Take A Good Look episode (appearance)
Oct. 22, 1959 - Mansfield-Arnell/ABC - 30 min. - TV episode
Hosted by Ernie Kovacs. Jean appeared along with Farina Hoskins, Jay R. Smith, Jack Davis, Sherwood Bailey and Johnny Downs.

1960


1964


1967


1971


1972


1974


1975


1977


1978


1979


1980


1981


1982


1983


1984

Our Gang: Inside The Clubhouse (archival)
May 8, 1984 - Lang/Camellia City Telecasters - 93 mins. - TV documentary
Includes footage from "Boxing Gloves."

1985


1986


1987


1988


1989


1990


1991


1994


1995


1998

Hal Roach: The Lot Of Fun (archival)
June 27, 1998 - Film Preservation Associates/Kino Lorber - 133 min. - video documentary
Released on "Slapstick Encyclopedia Vol. 6."

2001


2002


2003


2004


2005

Die größten TV-Hits aller Zeiten - Die 25 beliebtesten Kinderserien (appearance)
Feb. 26, 2005 - I&U/RTL - 120 min. - TV special
Made in Germany.

2007


2008

Nova episode (appearance as guest of honor)
July 12, 2008 - Nederlandse Omroepstichting - 30 min. - TV episode
Made in the Netherlands.

2009

The Story Of Hal Roach And Our Gang (appearance)
Jan. 2, 2009 - b1 Media-Genius - 29 min. - video documentary
Included as a bonus feature on disc 8 of The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection.
Presto! Sons Of The Desert 16th International Convention 2008 (appearance)
Feb. 4, 2009 - McIntyre - 35 min. - video documentary
Made in the UK.
De rode loper episode (guest appearance)
Aug. 13, 2009 - TV series
Made in Belgium.
Jean's Golden Memories: An Interview With Jean Darling (appearance)
Sep. 1, 2009 - Riva - 37 min. - video interview
Made in the Netherlands. Jean received a "special thanks" in the credits.
Jane Eyre As A Child: An Interview With Jean Darling (appearance)
Sep. 1, 2009 - Riva - 18 min. - video interview
Made in the Netherlands. Jean received a "special thanks" in the credits.

2011

Dizzy Spells: Sons Of The Desert 9th European Convention 2009 (appearance)
Mar. 1, 2011 - McIntyre - 13 min. - video documentary
Made in the UK.
Laurel & Hardy: Die komische Liebesgeschichte von 'Dick & Doof' (appearance)
Dec. 28, 2011 - Exit - 92 min. - TV movie documetary
Made in Germany. UK and US title: Laurel & Hardy: Their Lives And Magic. Jean was also credited under "additional crew" for providing archival material.

2013

The Butler's Tale (featured role: Lady Cavendish - also contributing writer)
Nov. 6, 2013 - Riva - 15 min. - short

2014

Hollywoods Spaßfabrik - Als die Bilder Lachen lernten (archival)
May 29, 2014 - Exit Film-und Fernsehproduktion-ZDF/ARTE - 90 min. - TV documentary
Also released in English as Hal Roach - The Lot Of Fun: Where The Movies Learned To Laugh. Includes footage from "Barnum & Ringling, Inc.," "Fast Freight," "Cat, Dog & Co." and "Saturday's Lesson."

2015


Jean Darling's payroll history

The following is a list of most of Jean's history at the Roach studio, with the amounts she was making from week to week. The dates given are Saturdays, the last day of each week at the studio. The only exceptions would be Saturdays that were also holidays, in which case the Friday date is used for those weeks.

After this, it would be about two weeks before Jean returned to the studio.

After this, it would be over a month before Jean worked at the studio again.

The payroll ledger for 1927 has gone missing, which makes some of the details for these dates unavailable. There are, however, datebooks and payroll summaries that have survived, and these verify most of the information about Jean's salary that would be found in the ledger. The main exception is that, during the interim between films, it isn't clear which production the player's salary is being charged to. A bigger problem, though, is that Jean was still a day player in the early part of the year, so no information whatsoever is available prior to the week ending Apr. 23rd. However, we do know that she was absent from the studio for the last three weeks of 1926, and that while still a day player, she appeared in Tired Business Men, Baby Brother and Chicken Feed from late January to mid-April 1927.

As distribution was shifting from Pathé to MGM, the Kid Co. transitioned into the Gang Co. During the weeks ending July 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th, the studio was closed. The datebooks indicate that Jean wasn't paid during this stretch, but the payroll summaries indicate that she was.

With the start of 1928, we can return to the payroll ledgers for a more accurate picture of Jean's history.

The studio was closed during the spring, resulting in Jean not being paid for five weeks.

For the weeks ending Jan. 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th, the studio was closed and Jean didn't receive her salary. When she returned, she had received a raise.


See anything that needs changing? Contact me at BtheW@aol.com.


© Robert Demoss.


The Lucky Corner Homepage