Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘The Little Rascals’: Mickey Rooney Lost Out on a Role in the Classic Series

‘The Little Rascals’: Mickey Rooney Lost Out on a Role in the Classic Series

Looking back at the history of The Little Rascals, a person can see how many different child actors tried to join. People who are familiar with the series of short films know about Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, Stymie, Buckwheat, and many other child actors in there.

Yet what if you found out one really big star didn’t make it?

As it turns out, that person was Mickey Rooney. He did try out and wanted to become one of The Little Rascals but didn’t make it, according to MeTV. “I remember the kid,” Hal Roach, the mastermind behind the series, recalled of Rooney in the Leonard Maltin book The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang. “I just didn’t think he’d fit into the gang.”

Mickey Rooney Went On To Film Stardom Beyond The Little Rascals Tryout

While Rooney did not make it here, his career would go forward and he gained success. Of course, Rooney teamed up with Judy Garland for a number of Andy Hardy films. He even starred in his own television series for a period of time. Later in his life, Rooney starred with dancer Ann Miller on Broadway in Sugar Babies.

But it would have been interesting to see Rooney with the gang. In his roles, he appeared to have quite a range of emotions that he could tap into from moment to moment.

While we are talking about people who didn’t make the cut, there is another child actor who was passed over. This one might really surprise you because her career as a child actor was great.

Would you believe that Shirley Temple did not get to join The Little Rascals? It’s true! Temple, who made movies in her youth while dancing and singing her way through them, was not good enough for Roach. Her movies were box-office hits and established her as a major star, even though she was a child. To think that Temple could have been the one to play Darla’s role is quite interesting.

For a number of years, The Little Rascals have been a staple in the land of reruns. Some television stations have shown them in the mornings, others in the afternoon. This group also was known as Our Gang, too. The fact that these humorous short films remain popular to this day is a testament to Roach.

Some of the shorts will seem dated to people who watch them. Yet they still bring people laughter and joy when watching their antics. They probably will have a place on TV forever.