"Rascal Pinky" is Slain
October 28, 2002
by Fred T. Beeman
Jay R. Smith, known as "Pinky" during a 4-year run in the Hal Roach Studios "Our Gang/Little Rascals" films of the 1920s, was found near Apex, Nevada (25 miles north of Las Vegas) on October 5th, the apparent victim of foul play. As this is being written, police have in custody a homeless man, whom Jay had taken in and employed as a household handyman. Murder charges are pending against this person. (Jay's wife Florine had passed away of natural causes, just three months ago.)
Smith was 87, having been born on August 29, 1915. His last "non-archived" screen appearance was in 1929's "Moan & Groan, Inc.," with Jackie Cooper. And even though Smith's film career ended in 1929, friends and family members would affectionately call him "Pinky," for the remainder of his life.
Our condolences and prayers are with "Pinky's" family, friends, and fans.
"A Minor Consideration" is concerned about the tragedies that have befallen cast members of the "OurGang/Little Rascals" shorts. We note the following, also in memoriam:
Darwood Kenneth Smith, who played "Waldo" (and was billed as "Darwood Kaye"), was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking down a sidewalk in California on May 15, 2002.
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer was shot to death (at age 31) on January 21, 1959, during an argument with a business partner.
Kendall "Breezy Bisbane" McComas, was a career electrical engineer for the US Navy, until "policies and procedures" forced him into retirement. He couldn't cope with that, and took his own life just 14 days before he would have turned 65, on October 15, 1981.