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'Little Rascals' Actor Dickie Moore Dies At 89

Dickie Moore, the prolific child actor who made his screen debut in a silent film opposite John Barrymore, has died at age 89.
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Dickie Moore, the prolific child actor who made his screen debut in a silent film opposite John Barrymore, has died at age 89.

John Richard Moore Jr., who starred in the Our Gang shorts of the 1930s that later became TV's The Little Rascals, has died just days short of his 90th birthday. Moore's busy career as a child actor included scores of films; in one, he shared a kiss with Shirley Temple.

That kiss came in 1942's Miss Annie Rooney, in which Moore and Temple played teenagers in love. By then, Moore was 16 and a Hollywood veteran, having acted in more than 50 films.

Moore's career dates back to the silent era, when as a toddler, he played a young version of John Barrymore's character in the 1927 film The Beloved Rogue. He was part of the Our Gang crew for one year, from 1932-33. He also appeared in the 1933 film Man's Castle, with Spencer Tracy.

After he quit making movies, Moore worked for Actors Equity before starting his own public relations firm, Dick Moore Associates. He is survived by his wife, Jane Powell, a musical actress, and a son, Kevin. His sister is legendary Hollywood publicist Pat Kingsley.

In all, Moore acted in more than 100 films, according to his obituary. The highlights include starring in Oliver Twist, and appearances in Sergeant York and 1943's Heaven Can Wait. He also acted in The Bride Wore Red with Joan Crawford.

Moore's final film was the 1952 adaptation of the Carson McCullers novel The Member of the Wedding.

As the TCM network says in its biography of Moore, his "long, successful and turmoil-free life stood in stark contrast to the countless stories of child actors whose lives crumbled into disarray after their stars had dimmed."

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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