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Harry Spearman Bonner (December 16, 1921 – September 22, 2006)[1] professionally known as Harry Spear was an American child actor, notable for appearing in the Our Gang short subjects series from 1927 to 1929. He was a native of Los Angeles, California.

Harry Spear
Our Gang - A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen.jpg
Born
Harry Sherman Bonner

(1921-12-16)December 16, 1921
DiedSeptember 22, 2006(2006-09-22) (aged 84)
OccupationChild actor
Years active1927–1929
Spouse(s)Thelma Spear (?-2006)

Our GangEdit

Before joining the wildly popular Our Gang series, Spear made appearances in several Buck Jones westerns. Spear made his first appearance in the Our Gang series at the age of five in the film Chicken Feed. He was a popular member of the gang during the late silent era (1927–1929), often donning an oversized bowler hat. At the dawn of the sound era, newcomer Jackie Cooper took over the role as the leader/tough guy in the gang, replacing Spear. Spear's final Our Gang film would be Bouncing Babies.[2] After departing the series, Spear briefly entered vaudeville, entertaining audiences with a dancing and monologue routine.[2] By the mid-1940s, though, he left the entertainment industry and severed ties with his former Our Gang alumni.

Lost RascalEdit

Spear's whereabouts after the 1940s remained a mystery for over half a century. However, several diligent Our Gang fans attempted to track down Spear in 1995. Residing in San Diego, California at the time, Spear (who went by his legal name of Harry Bonner) continually denied being the "Harry Spear" of Our Gang fame for unknown reasons, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.[3][unreliable source?] From U.S. Naval records, it was found that Harry Spear served as a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War.

DeathEdit

Spear died of kidney cancer on September 22, 2006 in San Diego, California. He was 84 years of age.

PersonalEdit

Spear was managed by his grandmother Bertha Spear, who was also his legal guardian.[2] Some name confusion existed for a while because of a different actor named Harry Spear, who appeared in some bit roles in several movies in the 1960s.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Harry S. Bonner, Social Security Death Index, SSN 557-26-4992
  2. ^ a b c Maltin, Leonard and Bann, Richard W. (1977, rev. 1992). The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang, p. 253–254. New York: Crown Publishing/Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-517-58325-9
  3. ^ The Strange Tale of Harry Spear

External linksEdit