While today he is one of the better known of the Our Gang kids, Eugene Gordon “Porky” Lee (1933-2005) had one of the least eventful careers of any of them. One encounters no tales of strife with the other kids, and he didn’t fall prey to the “Little Rascals Curse.”
Born in Fort Worth, Texas Lee was hired in 1935 at the tender age of 18 months to play Spanky’s little brother, at a time when Spanky was aging out of his original toddler persona. Stoutish and cute, he resembled the younger Spanky. The timing was such that he was a member of the ensemble during the phase which would get the most lasting fame, thanks to copious later television airplay (the bunch that also included Alfalfa, Darla, and Buckwheat). By 1939, Porky, though only five years old, was getting too big for the series, at least too big to play the toddler, and he was let go. The Our Gang movies were his only film credits. In his adult life, he was a teacher. He kept the fact that he had been a child star a secret for most of his life.
For more on Our Gang, please check out my 100th anniversary podcast episode here.