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Encyclopedia > Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas

Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas in the 1935 Our Gang comedy Teacher's Beau.
Born March 12, 1931(1931-03-12)
Los Angeles, California
Died October 10, 1980 (aged 49)
Los Angeles, California

Billie Thomas (originally William Thomas, Jr.) (March 12, 1931October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series' end in 1944. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. Image File history File links Buckwheat-thomas. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... A poster for the 1931 Our Gang comedy Love Business featuring depictions of (from left to right): Pete the Pup, Jackie Cooper, and Norman Chubby Chaney. ... is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: , State County Settled 1781 Incorporated April 4, 1850 Government  - Type Mayor-Council  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa  - City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo  - Governing body City Council Area  - City  498. ... is the 283rd day of the year (284th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 283rd day of the year (284th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... The name The Little Rascals refers primarily to the television package of producer Hal Roachs Our Gang theatrical short film comedies, specifically those made between 1929 and 1938. ... Short subject is an American film industry term that historically has referred to any film in the format of two reels, or approximately 20 minutes running time, or less. ...


Although the character he played was often the subject of controversy in later years for containing elements of the "pickaninny" stereotype, Thomas always defended his work in the series, pointing out that Buckwheat and the rest of the black Our Gang kids were treated as equals with the white kids in the series. The 1980s Little Rascals animated series adapted from the Our Gang comedies addressed the problem by changing Buckwheat into a clever inventor who is always building ingenious machines for the gang. For the impact structure in Western Australia, see Piccaninny crater. ... A poster for the 1931 Our Gang comedy Love Business featuring depictions of (from left to right): Pete the Pup, Jackie Cooper, and Norman Chubby Chaney. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Little Rascals was a 1982-1984 Saturday morning cartoon series produced jointly by Hanna-Barbera Productions and King World, and broadcast on ABC. Based upon the classic Our Gang comedy short films, it was part of a 90-minute package program, The Pac-Man/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show...


After Our Gang was discontinued in 1944, Thomas played some small parts in other films, but soon left show business altogether. As an adult, he worked as a film lab technician with the Technicolor corporation. Logo celebrating Technicolors 90th Anniversary Technicolor is the trademark for a series of color film processes pioneered by Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation (a subsidiary of Technicolor, Inc. ...


Thomas died of a heart attack on October 10 1980, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 49. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI or MI), more commonly known as a heart attack, is a disease state that occurs when the blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted. ... is the 283rd day of the year (284th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Three years after Thomas's death, his character was parodied by Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live in a sketch that had Buckwheat as the target of an assassination. His assassin, "John David Stutts" (also played by Murphy), was in turn later assassinated in a scene that parallels Lee Harvey Oswald's murder by Jack Ruby. It was meant to be a parody on the extensive and overindulgent media coverage of the recent John Lennon assassination and the attempt on Ronald Reagan's life. In particular, the exessive amount of attention given to the assassin. The real Buckwheat's son, William Thomas, Jr., strongly protested Murphy's sketch. (Murphy's exaggerated portrayal of Buckwheat had the child actor supposedly retaining his tangled, unkempt hair and inarticulate speech even into adulthood.) Murphy performed other parody skits as well, including a murder attempt by Alfalfa and an advertisement for a record, Buh-Weet Sings, the latter containing the opening line which later became an SNL classic: "Hi, Ah'm Buh-Weet. Amembah me?" ("Hi, I'm Buckwheat. Remember me?") Edward Eddie Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. ... This article is about the American television series. ... Lee Harvey Oswald (October 18, 1939 – November 24, 1963) was, according to two United States government investigations, the assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. ... Jack Leon Ruby (1911 – January 3, 1967) was born Jacob Rubenstein, and changed his name to Jack Leon Ruby in December 1947. ... John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980), (born John Winston Lennon, known as John Ono Lennon) was an iconic English 20th century rock and roll songwriter and singer, best known as the founding member of The Beatles. ... Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981 – 1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967 – 1975). ... Carl Dean Alfalfa Switzer (August 7, 1927 – January 21, 1959) was an American child actor, professional dog breeder and expert hunting guide, most notable for appearing in the Our Gang short subjects series as Alfalfa, one of the series most popular and best-remembered characters. ...


In 1990, the ABC newsmagazine 20/20 aired a segment purporting to be an interview with Buckwheat, now a downtrodden minimum wage grocery bagger in Arizona. However, the interview was actually with a man named Bill English, who had made a career of claiming to be the adult Buckwheat. By the next week, 20/20 had learned of their error (George "Spanky" McFarland personally contacted the media following the broadcast), that the true Buckwheat had been dead for 10 years, and admitted their mistake on-air. Fallout from this incident included the resignation of a 20/20 producer, and a negligence lawsuit filed by the son of William Thomas.[1] The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... A newsmagazine, sometimes called news magazine, is a usually weekly magazine featuring articles on current events. ... This article is about the television show. ... The minimum wage is the minimum rate a worker can legally be paid (usually per hour) as opposed to wages that are determined by the forces of supply and demand in a free market. ... Official language(s) English Spoken language(s) English 74. ... George Robert Phillips McFarland (October 2, 1928 – June 30, 1993) was an American actor most famous for his childhood role as Spanky in the depression era childrens comedy movie series Our Gang, also known as the Little Rascals. ...


External links

  1. ^ "'20/20' Producer Resigns Over Buckwheat Interview." Los Angeles Times. Oct. 12 1990. Part F. Page 25.

 
 

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