Billie Thomas

Born Mar 12, 1931

William "Billie" Thomas, Jr. 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.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Billie Thomas.


1931 Birth Born on March 12, 1931.
1934 3 Years Old Billie Thomas first appeared in the 1934 Our Gang shorts For Pete's Sake! … Read More
Despite the change in the Buckwheat character's gender, Billie Thomas's androgynous costuming was not changed until his appearance in the 1936 film Pay as You Exit. … Read More
1938 7 Years Old Thomas remained in Our Gang when the series changed production from Hal Roach Studios to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938. … Read More
1940 9 Years Old By 1940, Thomas had grown out of his speech impediment, and with Lee having been replaced by Robert Blake, Thomas's Buckwheat character was written as an archetypal black youth.


1943 12 Years Old He was twelve years old when the final Our Gang film, Dancing Romeo, was completed in November 1943.


1954 23 Years Old After Our Gang was discontinued, Thomas enlisted in the US Army in 1954, and was released from active military service in 1956 decorated with a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.


1980 49 Years Old Thomas died of a heart attack in his Los Angeles apartment on October 10, 1980, 46 years to the day after his mother brought him to audition at the Hal Roach Studios. … Read More


1980 50 Years Old After returning to civilian life, Thomas faced a dilemma shared by many of his co-stars from Our Gang. Though offered many film and stage roles, he had no desire to return to Hollywood as an actor. “After the Army, I wasn't really interested in the hassle of performing," he explained shortly before his death in 1980. "Even the big stars had to chase around and audition; it seemed like a rat race to me, with no security." … Read More
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