This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (December 2015)
Jay R. Smith
August 29, 1915
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||October 5, 2002 (aged 87) (body discovered)|
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
|Cause of death||Homicide by Stabbing|
|Other names||"Freckles", "Pinky", "Specs"|
|Occupation||Child actor, comedian|
Jay R. Smith (August 29, 1915 – October 5, 2002) born as J.R. Smith, was an American child actor and comedian who had a brief career appearing in 17 of the Our Gang film short series during the silent Pathé era between 1925 and 1931, where he was variously billed as "Freckles", "Pinky" and "Specs". This series was syndicated to television as "The Little Rascals".
Smith's first film in the Our Gang series was Boys Will Be Joys in 1925. He replaced Mickey Daniels as the freckle-faced kid and continued until the silent era ended. He also appeared as himself in 45 Minutes From Hollywood (1926).
Bowing to pressure from the studio, Smith appeared in the sixth Our Gang talkie titled Moan and Groan, Inc. (1929). He was dissatisfied with his performance in the film and feared he would not have a successful career in talkies. He quit acting in 1929.
Donald R. Smith
September 17 1924
Kern County, California, USA
|Other names||Beezer, Don|
|Known for||Our Gang (4 episodes)|
Donnie Smith was the younger brother of actor and fellow Our Gang cast member Jay R. Smith. He was born as Donald R. Smith on September 17, 1924 and appeared in four films in the series including Fair and Muddy as 'the kid at the Orphanage' (uncredited), Boxing Gloves as 'Donnie', Little Mother as 'Beezer' and Cat, Dog & Co. as 'Don'.
Smith was married to Mabel Florine Case, and they remained married until her death on February 1, 2002. After leaving acting, Smith, a native of Los Angeles, California, served in the US Army during World War II, before going into the retail paint business and moving to Kailua, Hawaii.
After retiring from the retail paint business in the early 1990s, Smith moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. In October 2002, then aged 87, he was reported missing by his daughter. After an extensive search, his body was found on October 5, 2002, in the desert near Las Vegas. He had been a victim of multiple stabbings. Charles Wayne Crombie (known also as "Wayne"), aged 52, a homeless man whom Smith reportedly befriended, was eventually convicted of the crimes as well as pawning belonging's of Mr. Smith including a television and VCR, fraudulently using his Visa debit card, and stealing his motor vehicle, he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison, which he was serving at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center where he died on July 17, 2014, in which was described only in press reports as a "chronic illness", aged 64.
- "Slaying victim was 'Our Gang' actor – Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Las Vegas Sun Newspaper. 22 October 2002. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
- Klepper, Robert K. (2015). Silent Films, 1877–1996: A Critical Guide to 646 Movies. McFarland. p. 501. ISBN 978-1-4766-0484-8. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
- "Donnie "Beezer" Smith".
- "Man convicted of killing former Little Rascal dies". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 18 July 2014. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014.
- "Homeless man charged in death of actor Smith".