Dick Moore, 1930s child star who appeared in movies like “Our Gang”, “Oliver Twist” and other major Hollywood productions of that era, famously known as the person to give Shirley Temple her first movie kiss, has died at the age of 89.
Though he wasn’t as famous as Mickey Rooney or Shirley Temple, Dick “Dickie” Moore appeared in dozens of movies in the 1930s and in the following decade, most of them being premier Hollywood productions such as Blonde Venus (1932), Heaven Can Wait (1943) and The Squaw Man (1931).
Dickie Moore was a member of “Our Gang” – also known as “Little Rascals” – gang from 1932 to 1933. He played alongside Stymie Beard, Spanky McFarland and other famous “Gang” stars in various shorts, such as “Mush and Milk”, “Free Wheeling”, and “Hook and Ladder”. But the actor was not limited only to Hal Roach’s comedies like Stymie and the rest of the gang.
The saucer-eyed actor played Marlene Dietrich’s son in the 1932 movie “Blonde Venus”, whom he recalled as friendly and heartfelt, but admittedly made him uncomfortable in the scene where she gave him a bath.
In that same year, Moore played in “Million Dollar Legs” and the year after he got the main role in the famous “Oliver Twist” Hollywood production.
In 1942, Dickie Moore gave Shirley Temple her first kiss on the big screen in “Miss Annie Rooney.” The year also marked the end of his child star career. His first role as a grown-up was in the 1947 film noir masterpiece “Out of the Past”, in which he played alongside Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum.
The actor is also known for writing a book in 1984 about the child star of Hollywood, which he called “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: But Don’t Have Sex or Take the Car.” In this book, the actor mixed personal memories with interviews and conversations of his colleagues and screen rivals. Many of his reminiscences were deeply personal and painful.
From the book we find out that many of the Hollywood studios which collaborated with Dickie Moore, or any other child star for that matter, tended to lie about his age in order to attract more investors. The actor wrote that back then it was a common marketing strategy.
A staff member at Dick Moore & Associates, Helaine Feldman, confirmed that the actor died this Monday. The actor was born in 1925, September 12, in Los Angeles, and died Monday at the age of 89, just a few days after another member of “Our Gang” died, Jean Darling.
Photo Credits wikipedia