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Subject: ARCHIVE: May 21, 2002 ~Former child actor Joe Cobb, the juvenile original "fat kid" in Hal Roach's "Our Gang" film series, continued to appear in 86 film shorts, between 1923-29, dies after long life outside the Hollywood spotlight, dies at 85. ...
American child actor, most notable for appearing as the original "fat boy" in the Our Gang comedies from 1922 to 1929. Some sources such as the first edition (1977)
of Our Gang: The Life and Times of the Little Rascals documented him as being born in 1916 or 1917; however the Oklahoma birth index indicates he was born in 1916.
Early life and career ...
Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma on November 7, 1916, Cobb auditioned for producer Hal Roach's Our Gang comedy series at the age of five in 1921.
He first worked with the gang in 1922, appearing in The Champeen (released Jan. 1923) and The Big Show (released in Feb. 1923). ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEqalk_7Odc
Cobb appeared in the Our Gang series' last silent film, Saturday's Lesson, and its first talking short, Small Talk, both in 1929.
Although Small Talk was released June 15, 1929, Saturday's Lesson was released November 9, 1929.
His penultimate episode as a regular cast member was Boxing Gloves in 1929 when he was 12. Joining him in that film (a remake of The Champeen)
is 'Chubby' (15-year-old Norman Chaney), Cobb's successor as the 'fat kid', and Jackie Cooper in his film debut.
Cobb's final 'Our Gang' appearance is in the Lazy Days episode (released Aug. 4, 1929). In all he appeared in 86 Our Gang episodes during the seven years
from 1922 to 1929. He also made three cameo appearances during the 1930s, in Fish Hooky (1933), Pay as You Exit (1936), and Reunion in Rhythm (1937).
After his acting career ended in the early 1940s, Joe Cobb became an assembler for North American Aviation, a division of Rockwell International
in Downey, California. Cobb, seen here helps build North American B-25 bombers for the United Nations, He retired in 1981 at age 65. ...
...In 1986, decades after his last film role, he appeared in Classic Comedy Teams,
a 1986 documentary that looked at the Our Gang actors and other screen comedians.
Cobb died of natural causes on May 21, 2002 in Santa Ana, California, and was buried
in the Wee Kirk O' The Heather section of Glendale Forest Lawn in California. ...