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PASSINGS: Jack Hanlon dies at 96; former child star

The precocious, freckle-faced boy had roles in two 'Our Gang' films, among others. He left the screen at age 16.

December 18, 2012

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Jack Hanlon, 96, a former child actor who had roles in the 1926 silent film "The General" and in two 1927 "Our Gang" comedies, died Thursday at an assisted living center in Las Vegas, family members said.

"He was in good physical shape until two months ago," said a niece, Wendy Putnam Park. "He liked being independent and watching old movies on TV. He basically died of old age."

Hanlon was born Feb. 15, 1916, and grew up in Culver City. After a small role with Buster Keaton in "The General," the precocious, freckle-faced youth played mischievous kids in two of Hal Roach's "Our Gang/Little Rascals" films: "The Glorious Fourth" and "Olympic Games."

Hanlon also played an orphan in the 1929 drama "The Shakedown" and got an on-screen kiss from Greta Garbo in the 1930 film "Romance."

He appeared in eight more "talkies," including "Big Money" with Clark Gable, in the 1930s before calling it a career at the age of 16.

After leaving Hollywood, Hanlon served in the Army and worked as a mover for Allied Van Lines. He had lived in Las Vegas for 18 years.

-- Los Angeles Times wire reports

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