Played By: Darla Jean Hood (King - her family name in Bear Facts)
Born: November 4, 1931 (ages 4-9)
Relatives: Johnny (father), Mother (unnamed), Wilma (step-mother), Junior (brother), Amelia (cousin)
First Short: Our Gang Follies Of 1936
Last Short: Wedding Worries
One of the most instantaneously recognized Rascals, cute and adorable Darla Hood is first introduced in Our Gang Follies Of 1936, a singing revue which Spanky throws for the other kids to earn spending money. Darla apparently loves to sing. She performs the song, "I'll Never Say Never Again." In her first appearances, she has blonde locks, harkening back to Mary Kornman and Jean Darling; but she later goes back to familiar dark hair for which she is best known.
Darla's character is the daughter of James B. Hood, the local dentist, who is also revealed to be the owner of a circus (Bear Facts, in which his last name is stated to be 'King') and seems well-to-do, but not as rich as the family of Waldo. He refers to his wife as "Mother," and later remarries after Darla's mother has passed on (Wedding Worries), and he is often very exasperated by Darla's friends, especially when they stay the night (Night 'N' Gales). Interestingly enough, in Night 'N' Gales, her father's name is Arthur Hood, while in Feed 'Em And Weep, his name is John Hood. Darla also has a younger brother Junior seen in that short.
Darla is a young, gifted singer, appearing in several of Spanky's shows and once nearly on the radio if not for Alfalfa Switzer. Alfalfa considers Darla his girlfriend, and she very much enjoys the attention, but when the gang is taking his attention and he neglects her, she is not reluctant to use Waldo or even Butch to make Alfalfa jealous.
- "Have you been eating onions?!" - Darla to Alfalfa in Pay As You Exit
- "Have some cookies, boys." - Darla
- "There's Alfalfa!" - Darla
- "This is the most romantic thing I ever heard of!" - Darla in Duel Personalities
- "Don't forget to bury them, Spanky." - Darla in Duel Personalities
- According to the US Census Bureau, there were no girls born with the name of Darla in Oklahoma in 1931, though there were girls born with the name Dorla. It may be possible that her birth name might be Dorla. However, the actress's own mother contends that she very nearly named her "Dorla," but decided to name her the misspelled version of the name.
- In the song "Purple Stain" by the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, Darla is referenced in the lyrics: "'Cause we all live in Hollywood, with Dracula and Darla Hood"
- Darla's name inspired the 1990s underrated alternative band
- Darla’s mother seemed to have passed away or gotten in a divorced sometimes after Feed 'Em And Weep cause Darla’s father is seen getting married in Wedding Worries. Darla is also one of the few main characters to have a stepparent. Mickey Gubitosi, Wheezer and possibly Spanky and Porky are the others.
- See also: Darla As Seen In Other Media.