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Johnny M. Downs

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Johnny Downs and Frank Coghlan

Biography

Character: Johnny Downs and Tuffy
Birthday: October 10, 1913
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York
Date of Death: June 6, 1994
Place of Death: Coronado, California
First Short: Circus Fever
Last Short: Chicken Feed
Number of Shorts: 23
History: John Morey Downs is the son of Morey H. Downs, a Navy Lieutenant, who was later stationed in San Diego, California. After he became interested in acting, his mother made the rounds of Hollywood, later getting him work at Hal Roach Studios alongside Charley Chase and in the Our Gang series where he subsequently replaced Andy Samuel as the local tough.
Johnny worked regularly through the series and after he departed the series, he worked with Mary Kornman and Scooter Lowry a few times in stage shows, including an Our Gang personal appearance tour. He landed on Broadway and returned to Hollywood for a cameo in Laurel and Hardy's "Babes In Toyland" as Little Boy Blue alongside fellow former Rascal Jean Darling playing Curly Locks and several other younger Little Rascals playing schoolchildren. He mainly starred in lightweight musicals with few non-singing roles. Still looking like the All-American boy, he left California to return to New York City, starring in one hit show, Are You With It? and working in vaudeville, summer stock and television work while supporting his wife and four kids. He even starred in a short lived series of two-reelers for Columbia in the 1940's.
In the early Fifties, he enjoyed a brief movie comeback in a few films, learning how to ride a horse from Mary Kornman for a ride in the movie, "Column South." He remained friends with Mary since their Our Gang years, and like several of his co-stars, Johnny was also bothered by an imposter who presented himself as Johnny Downs to several reporters and TV hosts.
After his film career, Johnny found work in real estate and as a television host in Southern California. On TV, he worked frequently with former Our Gang member Jackie Lynn Taylor. In the 1970s he guest starred on Taylor's local TV show in California, "The Little Rascals Family Theater." He continued staying in touch with fellow Rascals and with fans until his death in 1994.

List of Shorts

Other Projects


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