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|Tommy Bond in 2001.|
|Birthday/Birthplace||Thomas Ross Bond
(1926-09-16)September 16, 1926
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Deceased||September 24, 2005(2005-09-24)
Northridge, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||heart disease|
Tommy Bond (September 16, 1926 – September 24, 2005) was an American actor, best known for his work as a child performer in the comedies of The Gang (Little Rascals), and for being the first actor to play Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s partner.
Tommy Bond’s Biography
Beginnings and The Gang
His full name was Thomas Ross Bond , and he was born in Dallas, Texas.
Bond began his career in 1931, when he was five years old, when a talent scout at Hal Roach Studios discovered him as he was leaving a Dallas movie theater with his mother. Finally, Bond’s grandmother took him to Los Angeles, where he was hired by Hal Roach, who was looking for new talents for his popular comedies from La Pandilla.
Bond began working on the series in the fall of 1931, at the same time that the studio hired another member of the series, George “Spanky” McFarland. Bond acted in La Pandilla for two years, usually as a supporting actor. His speaking roles increased in 1934, highlighting at that time what he did in Mike Fright. At the end of 1934, Bond left the series and returned to public school, although he continued to play small roles periodically in different Hollywood productions.
Bond also worked as a voice actor, highlighting his participation in several of the cartoon episodes of the Tex Avery series Merrie Melodies, distributed by Warner Bros. Of these performances, his best record was as “Owl Jolson” in the short of Tex Avery from 1936 I Love to Singa.
Bond returned to La Pandilla in 1936, when he hired Roach to play “Butch,” the neighborhood bully. Bond’s first short as Butch was Glove Taps. In addition to making the archetype of the bully, the Butch character also regularly competed with the docile Alfalfa (Carl Switzer) for the affection of his girlfriend Darla (Darla Hood). While working in La Pandilla, Bond acted in several films unrelated to it, including some of Charley Chase and El gordo y el flaco.
Like Butch, Bond remained in La Pandilla for three years, and remained in the series when it was transferred to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938. His last short film from The Gang, Bubbling Troubles, premiered in 1940. Thereafter He continued to perform in other MGM productions. In total, Tommy Bond performed in 27 short films by La Pandilla, in 13 of them as “Tommy”, and in 14 as “Butch”.
After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, Bond returned to acting, performing in several films of the East Side Kids and Gas House Kids with his previous rival on the screen Carl Switzer. In the late 1940s, Bond became the first actor to play reporter Jimmy Olsen in two serials based on the hero Superman, Superman (1948) and Atom Man vs. Superman (1950). It was also Joey Pepper in several installments of the series Five Little Peppers.
In 1951, Bond graduated after completing his studies at the college and stopped acting, although he continued in the world of entertainment in directing and television production, working with media professionals such as Norman Lear, George Schlatter, and Many others. Between the 1950s and 1970s he worked for the stations Channel 11 and KTTV. Later he entered the KFSN chain, based in Fresno (California) where he remained until 1991. Bond was also director of the Rowan & amp; Martin’s Laugh-In.
Bond retired from television in 1991. In his last years he lived in the area of Fresno and Madera (California), and was spokesman for various materials related to La Pandilla. In 1994, and with the help of Fresno (California) historian Ron Genini, Bond published his autobiography, Darn Right It’s Butch: Memories of Our Gang /The Little Rascals. Bond’s son, Thomas R. Bond II “Butch, Jr.”, also a producer, worked with his father on the family production company, the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. Tommy Bond was also host of “The Rascals,” a documentary about the life and times of the Little Rascals.
Throughout his career, Bond starred in more than 73 films, was a founding member of the Actors Guild, and worked with various Hollywood stars from 1933 to 1951, including James Stewart, Eleanor Powell, Ray Bolger, Frank Morgan, and Eddie Cantor, among many others.
More Facts about Tommy Bond
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