Character: Jerry Tucker
Birthday: November 1, 1925
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois
Date of Death: November 23, 2016
Place of Death: Stony Brook, New York
First Short: Shiver My Timbers
Last Short: Three Men In A Tub
Number of Shorts: 18
History: Jerome H. Schatz (later Tucker) got into acting on sort of a lark. At a Chicago boxing match, one of the boxers failed to show up and before a crowd of hundreds, five-year-old Jerry recited the poem "Gunga Din" from memory. An executive from Paramount Pictures was in attendance and he signed Jerry up to a contract. After several movies, he was signed on to Hal Roach studios for the Our Gang shorts. In between movie roles, he was working on the shorts as usually the mean rich kid or one of the kids added to a scene.
After his contracts ran out, Jerry moved to New York City and worked in daytime dramas on the radio, enlisting in the Navy during World War Two. During his service, his old movies as a child actor were run on-board ship, but no one ever connected Jerry to them. He never told his wife about his film career until they were married and his own kids never learned until they were teenagers.
After the war, Jerry worked for RCA Global Communications for twenty-five years with only a handful of people knowing about his acting career. As more and more people found out about it, he began having slide shows about his past and gradually found his way into the Rascal circuit, going into tours with George McFarland to reconnect with fans. In his later years he was a grandfather with fond memories of life as a child star and a collection of photos with big stars of yesteryear. In 2000, he appeared on "Mysteries and Scandals" on the E Network and described his experiences with Carl Switzer as a trouble-maker on the set.
In his later years, Tucker was profiled by Long Island's daily Newsday periodical as a former Our Gang star on February 21,2013, "Reflections of a Little Rascal." Rather than be upset at losing his anonymity, he seemed to embrace his newfound fame in the news and often spoke of his time as one of the few Jewish Rascals, along with Jackie Cooper, but was most proud of his time in the military. Prior to this moment, he had lived in Copiague, New York for decades.
Sadly, he passed away on November 23, 2016 at the Veterans home in Stony Brook, New York, where he had lived for several months. He was 91.
List of Shorts
- Shiver My Timbers
- Bedtime Worries
- Wild Poses
- Washee Ironee
- Mama's Little Pirate
- Shrimps For A Day
- Anniversary Trouble
- Beginner's Luck
- Teacher's Beau
- Sprucin' Up
- Little Sinner
- Our Gang Follies Of 1936
- The Pinch Singer
- Two Too Young
- General Spanky
- Glove Taps
- Three Men In A Tub
- Babes In Toyland (1934) (uncredited) - with Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, Henry Brandon, Scott Beckett, George Billings, Billy Bletcher, Thomas Bupp, Jean Darling, Johnny Downs, Marianne Edwards, Cullen Johnson, Payne Johnson, Richard Jones, Gus Leonard, Sam Lufkin, and Jackie Lynn Taylor
- Penrod and Sam (1937) - with Matthew Beard, George Billings, and Philip Hurlic
- Penrod and His Twin Brother (1938) - with Philip Hurlic
- Penrod's Double Trouble (1938) - with Philip Hurlic