Friday, February 13, 2009

"Our Gang's" Shirley Jean Rickert (1926-2009)

Local newspapers report today that onetime child actress and latter-day burlesque performer Shirley Jean Rickert (second from left in the photo from http://www.cyranos.ch/) passed away in Saratoga Springs, New York, one week ago, aged 82. Rickert performed in Hal Roach's Our Gang comedies during 1931 while supporting Mickey Rooney in Mickey McGuire shorts. She carried on in movies as a background dancer in MGM musicals ranging from Best Foot Forward (1943) to Singin' In The Rain (1952) before hitting the road as Gilda in the Gilda and Her Crowning Glory burlesque act for most of the 1950s. The "Crowning Glory" was a long mane of blond hair. In more mundane work as a hardware salesperson, she found that showing photos from her Our Gang days was a great way to get in the door.There probably aren't more than ten Our Gang performers left alive now, Jackie Cooper probably most famously and Mickey "Robert Blake" Gubitosi perhaps most infamously. But to counter the stereotype of urban legend, Rickert was another one who lived a long life, and apparently one no more troubled than ordinary folks'.

Rickert in maturity, as "Gilda the Golden Girl"
(photo from www.streetswing.com)

4 comments:

hobbyfan said...

T-U's headline lead on page 1 said she was living in Clifton Park at the time of her passing. She wasn't as well known as Darla, Spanky, et al, and for that reason there might not be a Our Gang marathon in her honor on TCM.

Samuel Wilson said...

I doubt greatly that TCM would ever do a marathon of short subjects in anyone's honor, I regret to say.

beedubelhue said...

R.I.P. Shirley Jean.Gee,you sure were swell.

crhymethinc said...

Even the He Man Women Hater's Club couldn't say no to "Gilda".