Character: Turkey Egg
Birthday: May 21, 1921
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Date of Death: January 6, 2016
Place of Death: Santa Cruz, California
First Short: Shivering Shakespeare
Last Short: Birthday Blues
Number of Shorts: 7
History: Born in Ottawa, Canada in 1921, Douglas Greer moved to Glendale, California in 1924. He began working in the movies at age seven after winning a freckle contest. His freckles subsequently led to him landing the role of a character named "Turkey Egg" in the Our Gang. Greer recalls he received the name from “Our Gang” director Robert F. McGowan because they reminded him of the speckled eggs that turkeys lay.
One of Greer's first days of work was in a crowd scene in one of the first talking pictures, "Sunny Side Up." By 1929, he was a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Besides working in "Our Gang Comedies," he also worked with Mickey Rooney in the "Mickey McGuire" comedies and Westerns with John Wayne. As a teenager, he worked with Jackie Cooper in "When a Feller Needs a Friend' at MGM as well as in several other kid pictures, making around $5.50 a day, which during the Depression that was a lot of money.
Greer worked alongside young stars like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, usually in roles that went uncredited. He remembers, "We didn't know the difference between all us kids on the set, who was a star or not, but Mickey Rooney to me is the greatest actor that ever lived."
After working for twelve years in the movie industry around many movie stars and acquiring around sixty screen credits, he returned to school where he found himself behind his other classmates. He recalls, "I was failing in school, but thanks to my homeroom teacher, Mrs. Dollar, at Burbank High School, I was able to graduate at age 21. I’ll never be able to thank her enough for meeting with me every morning at 7:00am before classes to tutor me and help me to finally graduate in 1941. It was while attending high school that I studied aircraft sheet metal. This skill would help me later in life when I started my own company"
Greer went on to work for Lockheed Aircraft Company in Burbank, California. During World War II, he joined the 10th Mountain Division, Ski Troops in 1943. He had already learned to ski in the mountains of California and one of the first members of the ski troops at Camp Hale, Colorado. After finishing training, he was transferred to inactive duty to go back to Lockheed for a specific job, just before his outfit was to head overseas to the Italian Alps. He later discovered that every officer in our company had been either killed or wounded in the first three days of battle.
After his job at Lockheed was finished, Greer was called back to service on June 8th, 1944 with the "1267 Combat Engineers" and visited England, France, Luxemburg and Germany. After the war, was over he traveled to Marseille, France and traveled to the Panama Canal on his way to the Philippines. Malaria cut short his military service and he was was Honorably Discharged on March 31, 1946.
Greer recalls: "Back in the states I met my future wife, Doris. She was standing by a bookstore reading a magazine when my great dane put a paw on her leg and ripped her nylon stockings. I asked for her number so I could buy her a new pair and the rest is history. We were married in 1949 and together for a little more than 40 years until she passed away. We had a daughter, Diane, and later four grandchildren. I now have two great grandchildren as well."
Greer later founded his own company, American Northern, Inc., a laboratory furniture and supply company, specializing in fume hoods, biological safety cabinets and exhaust systems, placing systems in places such as UCLA and Cal Tech. It was at Northridge Hospital that his equipment helped stop a tuberculosis outbreak.
In 1978, he designed and built a three-story home in Lake Tahoe and lived there with his family for several years, enjoying fishing and skiing. An accomplished magician, he became a lifetime member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California.
At 78, Greer suffered a near death malady. He reported: "My pancreas burst, 99% fatal. Somehow, I survived. During the many months of recuperating I often wondered, why? Having never read the Bible, I now had time during my recuperation. I only knew of the stories from the preachers in the churches I attended growing up. I wondered if the stories by them were enhanced to make them more exciting. This wonderment became a curiosity, which became research, which became an obsession. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I found it to be the most fascinating reading I had ever read, so many different faiths, so many different beliefs, so many different customs and so many different peoples, all wanting the same thing, a “deity”. This single event in my life helped propel me to compile and publish two books, “Religions of Man” and Women, Their Lives and Loves in the Scriptures." My advice for living a long, healthy life, "Go to bed an hour earlier every night, then get up and walk for an hour every morning."
Even at 90 years, Douglas Greer was still active and residing in Santa Cruz, California. He passed away in January 2016 at the age of 94. He was preceded in death by his wife, Doris Greer, his daughter Diane and his companion of twenty years, Beverly Paine. He was survived by his granddaughter Christen Miller, grandson Scott McCall, granddaughter Misty Moran and several great grandchildren.
List of Shorts
- Shivering Shakespeare
- School's Out
- Little Daddy
- Bargain Day
- Spanky (short)
- Free Wheeling
- Birthday Blues
- Song Of Love (1929)
- Roaring Ranches (1929)
- Rain or Shine (1929)
- So This is Heaven (1929)
- Sunnyside Up (1929)
- The Arizona Kid (1930)
- Tom Sawyer (1930)
- The Third Alarm (1930)
- The Big Trail (1931)
- Forbidden Adventure (1931)
- Huckleberry Finn (1931)
- When A Feller Needs A Friend (1932)
- No Cannons Roar (1933)
- Windy (1934)
- I'll Fix It (1934)
- Kid Millions (1934)
- Sweet Adeline (1934)
- Portrait of Laura Vail (1934)
- Back Field (1934)
- The Mighty Barnum (1934)
- A Tale Of Two Cities (1934)