Billy Laughlin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Billy Laughlin
Froggy laughlin 1941.jpg
Born William Robert Laughlin
(1932-07-05)July 5, 1932
San Gabriel, California
Died August 31, 1948(1948-08-31) (aged 16)
La Puente, California
Cause of death
Truck Accident
Occupation Child Actor
Years active 1940 -1944

William Robert "Billy" Laughlin (July 5, 1932 - August 31, 1948) was an American child actor. He is best known for playing the character Froggy in the Our Gang short films in its final stretch, from 1940 to 1944.

Early life[edit]

Laughlin was born in San Gabriel, California. According to Our Gang Films actor Robert Blake,[1] Billy 'Froggy' Laughlin was a dearly loved, sweet, gentle soul. His mother and father showered him and his brother with love and affection.

Career[edit]

Laughlin rose to fame at the age of eight when he appeared in his first Our Gang film, The New Pupil. His character was known for his strange, guttural voice, which was reminiscent of a frog's croak. Laughlin's last Our Gang short film was the last film of the series in 1944 called Dancing Romeo. Contrary to popular belief, Laughlin did the voice himself without dubbing (in the 1994 film, the character's voice was dubbed by E.G. Daily).

When Our Gang stopped production in 1944, Laughlin appeared in Monogram's Johnny Doesn't Live Here Any More, then voluntarily moved away from show business and enjoyed relatively peaceful teenage years.

Death[edit]

Laughlin died on August 31, 1948 after a truck hit him while he was delivering newspapers and riding a motor scooter near his home in La Puente, California. He died in a nearby hospital six hours later. A 16-year-old friend who was operating the scooter survived with minor injuries.[2][3][4] The youths were riding a Cushman Motor Scooter given to Laughlin by his parents two weeks prior to the accident.[5] Laughlin lived the shortest life of the actors who appeared in the Our Gang films, dying at age 16.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blake, Robert (2012). Tale of a Rascal: What I Did for Love. Black Rainbow Publications. p. 178. ISBN 0615591949. 
  2. ^ (09-02-1948)."Youth Dies From Injuries". La Puente Valley Journal.
  3. ^ (10-05-1948). Certificate of Death No. 12160, William Laughlin, District 1951, County of Los Angeles, State of California.
  4. ^ (09-02-1948)."Crash Kills Youth of 16". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Blake, Robert (2012). Tale of a Rascal: What I Did for Love. Black Rainbow Publications. p. 178. ISBN 0615591949. 

External links[edit]