full name: Elmer Camden Lowry
childhood nickname: Skippy
professional nickname: Scooter
born Dec. 19, 1919, in New York, NY
died Apr./May 1989, in FL
Special note: As pointed out by "collibosher" at littlerascals.proboards.com, Scooter's draft records reveal his middle name, which was
given to him in honor of a paternal uncle who died at the age of 10. His official date of death was May 1, 1989, but this was the date that the police
discovered his body. The death certificate, which was acquired by Zaddock Jarvis as part of his long quest to learn the whereabouts of this Our Gang kid,
doesn't mention cause of death.
Also of note: According to Scooter's mother, in an article in The Times-Tribune of Scranton on July 14, 1931, Scooter was born and raised
in Freeport, Long Island, where the family currently resided.
- According to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer of August 11, 1932, Scooter started acting at the age of 4. He was also able to sing and
dance from a young age.
- According to an article by Dolly Dalrymple in The Birmingham News of January 10, 1930, Scooter got started in vaudeville at the age of five.
- The article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer mentions a dance contest promoted by Gus Edwards, and that Scooter won first prize, which was a
thousand dollars, "two tickets to Hollywood and a year's contract with Hal Roach's studio." One source later reported that Roach himself was
present at the contest and took Scooter to Hollywood. The Yonkers Herald of Feb. 18, 1930, states that his act consisted of "toddling out between
numbers, during numbers, or at any time he chose, to do whatever he felt like doing, usually some funny little dance." Judging by his payroll information,
the contract probably went into effect on February 1st, with a starting salary of $50 a week. His childhood nickname was Skippy, but the folks at the studio
renamed him Scooter because he was "always scooting about." On May 10th, his salary was increased to $60 a week.
- 51. Thundering Fleas (supporting role: Skooter)
- July 4, 1926 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-9 - Our Gang series
- Also listed for July 28, 1926. Filmed Mar. 8 to 25, 1926. ©May 26, 1926.
- 52. Shivering Spooks (supporting role: Skooter)
- Aug. 8, 1926 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-10 - Our Gang series
- Premiered July 4, 1926. Filmed Apr. 7 to 28, 1926. ©July 26, 1926.
- 53. The Fourth Alarm! (supporting role)
- Sep. 12, 1926 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-11 - Our Gang series
- Filmed May 24 to June 14, 1926. ©Sep. 17, 1926.
- 54. War Feathers (supporting role)
- Nov. 21, 1926 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-12 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Aug. 5 to Sep. 4, 1926. ©Dec. 13, 1926.
- 56. Telling Whoppers (supporting role: Skooter)
- Dec. 19, 1926 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-14 - Our Gang series
- Also listed for Dec. 29, 1926. Filmed Sep. 10 to 18, 1926. ©Nov. 11, 1926.
- 45 Minutes From Hollywood (appearance)
- Dec. 26, 1926 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. H-3 - Glenn Tryon series
- Also featuring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Theda Bara and Our Gang. Filmed Oct. 27 to Nov. 8, 1925, with added scenes
Nov. 16, 1925, and retakes Mar. 27, and Apr. 5 and 6, 1926. ©Dec. 13, 1926. A clip from "Thundering Fleas"
is briefly seen in this film.
- With the completion of "Olympic Games" on May 6th, Scooter was given three weeks' pay and departed from the Our Gang series after little more
than a year. Asked about this years later, Jean Darling said, "I was told Scooter left because he was rather disruptive. That's all I know."
- By October 8th, Scooter was joined by his sister Lila in an act with Mary Kornman called Acting Out. This is according to The Lincoln Star of
October 8th. The Wichita Beacon of October 16th bills them as Hal Roach's Little Rascals: Mary Kornman, Scooter Lowery (sic) and
Sister Lila, and refers to their act as Crashing Into Vaudeville.
- 57. Bring Home The Turkey (supporting role)
- Jan. 16, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-15 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Sep. 29 to Oct. 15, 1926. ©Jan. 14, 1927.
- 55. Seeing The World (supporting role)
- 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 (supporting role)
- Mar. 13, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-16 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Nov. 24 to Dec. 14, 1926. ©Feb. 14, 1927.
- 59. Love My Dog (supporting role)
- Apr. 10, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-17 - Our Gang series
- Also listed for Apr. 17, 1927. Filmed Dec. 21, 1926, to Jan. 4, 1927. ©Apr. 11, 1927.
- 60. Tired Business Men (supporting role: Scooter)
- 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 (supporting role)
- 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 (presumed 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. Scooter appears in costume in at least one publicity photo
for this film, but seems to have been left out of the finished product.
- 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.
- Around the early part of this year, Scooter and Mary were teamed up with Johnny Downs in a new vaudeville act which would tour the Keith-Albee circuit.
The Motion Picture News from Feb. 18th of this year reports that Mary and Johnny were currently vacationing in New York, and would be shortly returning
to vaudeville on an upcoming tour. The act was called In And Out Of The Movies and was written by Herman Timberg. It was on the road by March 30th.
- Chinatown Charlie (supporting role: Oswald&41;
- Apr. 15, 1928 - Burr/First National - 7 reels - Johnny Hines feature
- ©Mar. 22, 1928.
- The vaudeville tour continued into this year, with a visit to Hal Roach's hometown of Elmira, NY, in January.
- The act broke up in August at the earliest.
- By October 10th, Scooter was teamed up with Joe Cobb in a vaudeville act called Two Kids Kidding. A letter dated November 18th to a local theater
manager in Indianapolis points out their availability the week of January 25th of the following year, and that they were currently "doing exceptionally
well in the South."
- Scooter's act with Joe Cobb continued until January 14th of this year, at the earliest.
- By February 18th, Scooter had started a solo act. A letter from March 25th reveals a bit of detail on Scooter from this time period. The handwriting is messy
enough that I can't be sure of the sender or the receiver. However, the sender is clearly trying to interest the receiver in booking Scooter's vaudeville
act. It mentions that he had done an act with Joe Cobb, but that he had recently been given a "single" act, that is, he went solo, and it was this
"single" act that the sender was trumpeting, as it had been "doing very big." This solo act continued at least until December 14th.
- The September 30th issue of the Los Angeles Evening Express reported that Scooter was among several juvenile stars who took dance instruction from
- By January 31st of this year, Scooter had teamed up in a vaudeville act with Peggy Eames called Doin' Tough. Joining them, with his name in
smaller print, was a kid named Jim "Rube" Wager, who was passed off as the freckle-faced former member of Our Gang and served as a sort of master
of ceremonies. An article from The Times-Tribune of Scranton on July 14th identified their act as All In Fun. As part of the act, Scooter
tap-danced, and the three of them explained what it was like to be on a movie set. This act lasted at least until September 20th.
- According to Maltin & Bann, Scooter toured the RKO-Orpheum circuit during this period as part of an Our Gang act which also included Jean Darling, Harry
Spear and Peggy Eames, but I've yet to come across anything to corroborate this. Jean Darling refuted it in any case.
- By February 20th of this year, Scooter was back to singing and dancing in his own solo act, though it retained the previous year's title of
All In Fun.
- On August 11th, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article called "Scooter's Now Stage Vet." The writer gets some details
embarrassingly wrong (stating that Scooter made 37 Our Gang films and starred in 23 of them, and that he was currently 16 years old), so a grain of salt
would be appropriate with this information. Scooter was booked to open an engagement at Keith's 105th Street Theater on Saturday the 13th. It states that
"Scooter has been acting since he was 4 years old, but is most proud of having trouped in vaudeville for the last five years. He probably knows more towns and
their theaters than a traveling salesman. His mother always travels with him, while his manager, once a school teacher in Ohio, acts as his tutor." It also
states that "his voice records well," and that he would be playing in several talkies during the fall. These apparently never materialized. He planned to
continue to be a "song-and-dance man" when he grew up, and was currently rehearsing a song called "I'm No Longer A Boy."
- The Shamokin News-Dispatch of September 27th referred to his act as Doin' Tuff.
- The Ridgewood Herald of October 13th described Scooter as headlining a five-act vaudeville program.
- On January 8th of this year, the Roach studio announced that their 20th anniversary party would be attended by several former Our Gang stars, including
- A Roach studio press release of July 11th, regarding the whereabouts of former Our Gang kids, states that Scooter was currently playing in vaudeville. It also
states that he had not done any films since leaving the series, though we do know that he made "Chinatown Charlie" in 1927/28. Both Roach press
releases refer to him as "Skooter," consistent with the spelling used in Beanie Walker's titles.
- As of April 4th, Scooter was still heading a five-act variety stage show, as per The Reading Times.
- The Brooklyn Citizen of April 7th of this year reported that Scooter had been added to the cast of Gus Edwards' current show.
- According to Movie Mirror from June of this year, Scooter was currently attending a Long Island high school. This is odd, though, since the 1940 census
states that he never got past the 7th grade.
- According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of November 12th of this year, Scooter was hit by a truck while trying to cross the street, resulting in relatively
- Scooter made it into the news for an unfortunate reason this year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Mar. 9th reported that he was involved in an automobile
accident that badly injured the two people in the other car.
- According to the 1940 census, Scooter had not worked in the last year and four months, which would place his last employment probably around early-to-mid
1939. His occupation was listed as "professional actor in the theatrical industry." (This information was sleuthed out by Jim Jarvis for the Lord Heath
- Around this time, Scooter and his sister Lila contested their father's will, stating that he was mentally ill and defrauded by whoever it was that wound up
being the beneficiary. They figured he ought to have been worth about a hundred thousand dollars at the time of his death. (This info comes from
"collibosher" at thelittlerascals.net.)
- Since Scooter's draft records exist, it can be assumed that he served in the military at some point. Given his age at the outbreak of WWII, it's
difficult not to assume that he served during the war.
- A short article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of April 19th of this year reveals that Scooter was, at the time, married to somebody named Shirley. He
was convicted of disorderly conduct after telephoning the police and telling them that his wife was trying to kill herself. Turned out she wasn't.
- In an article this year written by Mel Heimer, the author chanced upon Scooter waiting tables at a Long Island restaurant called Roy's. Scooter told him
that, after leaving vaudeville, he had "become a salesman in a clothing store, an assistant movie-house manager, a skating rink attendant, a cabbie
and on and on." He added "Just a little while ago I was an attendant in the violent ward at Central Islip State hospital. Then, a waiter in Roy's
for a few weeks." He was planning to go back to Hollywood the following week and try to get back into show business. The author speculated that, at the
time of publication, he had already left for the West Coast. The lack of any information after this date, other than his death certificate and that of his
mother's, strongly suggests that Scooter wound up working regular jobs again before long.
- Our last brush with Scooter prior to his own death is the presence of his name on his mother's death certificate as the informant. Her death took place
on Decenber 7th of this year.
- Our Gang: Inside The Clubhouse (archival)
- May 8, 1984 - Lang/Camellia City Telecasters - 93 mins. - TV documentary
- Includes footage from "Thundering Fleas."
- The Our Gang Story (archival)
- 1994 - Film Shows/GoodTimes - 120 min. - video documentary
- Includes footage from "Shivering Spooks."
- E! True Hollywood Story episode: Curse Of The Little Rascals (archival)
- Nov. 24, 2002 - E! Entertainment Television - 60 min. - TV documentary
Scooter Lowry's payroll history
The following is a list of Scooter's history at the Roach studio, with the amounts he 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.
Scooter is exclusively referred to as Elmer Lowry in the payroll documents.
- Feb. 6, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K9 (Thundering Fleas)
- Feb. 13, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K9
During the above two weeks, the kids' salaries were charged to K8, except for Scooter's, whose salary was charged to the next production,
presumably because he wasn't working with them yet.
- Feb. 20, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K8 (Uncle Tom's Uncle)
This was the final week in which the kids' salaries were charged to K8, and oddly, Scooter's salary is charged to that production as well.
It's not clear if this was merely a clerical error, but the film had finished shooting by this time.
- Feb. 27, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K9
- Mar. 6, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K9
- Mar. 13, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K9
- Mar. 20, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K9
- Mar. 27, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K9
- Apr. 3, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K9
- Apr 10, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K10 (Shivering Spooks)
- Apr. 17, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K10
- Apr. 24, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K10
- May 1, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K10
- May 8, 1926 - 50.00 charged to prod. K10
- May 15, 1926 - 70.00 charged to prod. K10
- May 22, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K10
This amount is according to the payroll ledger. However, the payroll summary and the studio datebook give the amount as $70. This continued to be the
case until the studio reopened after its closure in July.
- May 29, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K11 (The Fourth Alarm!)
- June 5, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K11
- June 12, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K11
- June 19, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K11
- June 26, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K11
- July 3, 1926 - 90.00 - 60.00 charged to prod. K11 (War Feathers), 30.00 vacation pay
For four weeks during July, the studio was closed for summer vacation, during which Scooter did not receive any pay, though he did get the extra $30
the week before the hiatus.
- Aug. 7, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K12
- Aug. 14, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K12
- Aug. 21, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K12
- Aug. 28, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K12
- Sep. 4, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K12
- Sep. 11, 1926 - 60.00 - 36.00 charged to prod. K13 (Seeing The World), 24.00 charged to prod. K14 (Telling
- Sep. 18, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K14
- Sep. 25, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K14
- Oct. 2, 1926 - 60.00 - 20.00 charged to prod. K14, 40.00 charged to prod. K15 (Bring Home The Turkey)
- Oct. 9, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K15
- Oct. 16, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K15
- Oct. 23, 1926 - 60.00 - 50.00 charged to prod. K15, 10.00 charged to prod. K13
- Oct. 30, 1926 - 60.00 - 40.00 charged to prod. K13, 20.00 charged to prod. K15
- Nov. 6, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K13
- Nov. 13, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K13
- Nov. 20, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K13
- Nov. 27, 1926 - 60.00 - 20.00 charged to prod. K13, 40.00 charged to prod. K16 (Ten Years Old)
- Dec. 4, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K16
- Dec. 11, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K16
- Dec. 18, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K16
- Dec. 25, 1926 - 60.00 charged to prod. K17 (Love My Dog)
- Jan. 1, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K17
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 Scooter'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.
- Jan. 8, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K17
- Jan. 15, 1927 - 60.00
- Jan. 22, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K18 (Tired Business Men)
- Jan. 29, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K18
- Feb. 5, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K18
- Feb. 12, 1927 - 60.00
- Feb. 19, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K19 (Baby Brother)
- Feb. 26, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K19
- Mar. 5, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K19
- Mar. 12, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K19
- Mar. 19, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K19
- Mar. 26, 1927 - 60.00
- Apr. 2, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K20 (Chicken Feed)
- Apr. 9, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K20
- Apr. 16, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K20
- Apr. 23, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K21 (Olympic Games)
- Apr. 30, 1927 - 60.00 charged to prod. K21
- May 7, 1927 - 180.00 charged to prod. K21
This was Scooter's final paycheck, but the amount would suggest that his contract wasn't to expire until May 21st.
See anything that needs changing? Contact me at BtheW@aol.com.