Jay R. Smith
|Jay R. Smith|
August 29, 1915
Los Angeles, California
|Died||October 5, 2002
Las Vegas, Nevada, U,S.
Cause of death
|Murdered; stabbed to death|
|Other names||Freckles "Pinky"|
Jay R. Smith (August 29, 1915 – October 5, 2002) was an American former child actor who replaced Mickey Daniels as the "freckle-faced kid" of the Our Gang series in 1925. He continued appearing in the shorts until 1929.
His first film in Our Gang was Boys Will Be Joys in 1925. He was considered the skinny kid in the series and somewhat of a nerd. He replaced Mickey Daniels as the freckle-faced kid in 1926 and continued until the silent era ended. At the point he began preparation to leave the series, as he felt he would be unable to make the transition to sound. After persuasion from the studio, J.R. appeared in the sixth Our Gang talkie episode Moan and Groan, Inc.; he felt his performance was unsuccessful, and left immediately after. He stopped his acting career in 1929 and enjoyed a peaceful retirement. He was a native of Hawaii and stayed there and in Las Vegas, Nevada, until his death.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Smith left acting as a teenager, eventually going into the retail paint business and moving to Kailua, Hawaii. Those who knew him reported that he was a friendly and affable man off-screen.
Smith would manage for some time to live a long and healthy life. He retired in the early 1990s, moving to Las Vegas, Nevada and living there until he was reported missing in early October 2002. After extensive searching, his body was found stabbed to death on October 5, 2002 in the desert near Las Vegas. Charles "Wayne" Crombie, a homeless man whom Smith had reportedly befriended, was later convicted of the murder and sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison.