Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bobby Hutchins - "Wheezer" from the Our Gang Serial

On May 17, 1945, Bobby Hutchins died. He was a child actor who was a regular in the Our Gang short subjects series from 1926 to 1933. A native of Tacoma, Washington, he was given the nickname of Wheezer after running around the studios on his first day so much that he began to wheeze. Bobby Hutchins was born on March 29, 1925 in Washington state. Hutchins appeared in 58 Our Gang films during his six years in the series. For much of his run, "Wheezer" was portrayed as the perennial tag-along little brother, put off by the older children but always anxious to be part of the action.

Hutchins's tenure in Our Gang took him through both the silent and early sound periods of the series. He appears as the main character of several of the films, including Bouncing Babies, Pups is Pups, Big Ears and Dogs is Dogs. He left the series at the end of 1933 after appearing in Mush and Milk; his only film work outside of Our Gang includes a handful of appearances in three outside features in 1932 and 1933. After the Our Gang series, Wheezer and his family moved back to Tacoma, where he entered public school. He joined the U.S. Army in 1943 after graduating high school, served in World War II, and in 1945 enrolled to become an air cadet. On May 17, 1945, he was killed in a mid-air collision, during a training exercise at Merced Army Air Field in Merced, California. Hutchins is buried at the Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Tacoma, Washington.

http://www.michaelthomasbarry.com/, Author of "Fade to Black: Graveside Memories of Hollywood Greats, 1927-1950"

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