Former ‘Little Rascals’ star was Deaf
“Darla” in the “Little Rascals” film
Written by Bug
If anyone remembers Alfalfa, Porky, Spanky, Darla and Pete the Pup from the “Little Rascals” films, did you know that former child actress Mollie Mae Gottschalck Barron as “Darla” was Deaf? She played in the “Little Rascals” films for a year while other actress Minnie Ruth as “Darla” was on sick leave. When Minnie returned to the “Little Rascals”, Mollie and she tried to play the two together as twin sister. Later Mollie became ill with chicken pox and she lost her hearing and her acting career came to an end. She suffered a broken heart courtesy of Alfalfa. She returned to Mobile, Alabama. She went to Alabama School for the Blind and Deaf in Talladega.
Mollie as “Darla” who played in the two “Little Rascals” films, including “The Haunting Ghost”, and several short films during mid 1920′s died last month on April 2, 2008. Her age was 87. Mrs. Barron, a native of Brooklyn, New York, and a former resident of Mobile, was residing in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Mollie was active in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. She loved attending and teaching at the Deaf ministry at First Baptist Church. She was active in the Woman’s Missionary Union. Her husband became one of the first Deaf men to be elected a dacon at First Baptist Church.
As a 5 year old child, she was well known in the character ” Darla” in Her favorite memory was playing Alfalfa’s girlfriend and having him sing to her in that special way of his. She said Alfalfa’s cowlick was held in place with a lot of wax so it wouldn’t droop.
Mollie and her Deaf husband T.H. Barron were married for 55 years. In 1998, her husband and daughter Ethelyn Hayes died.
Survivors include one son, Don Frederick Barron of Pascagoula, Miss; and six grandchildren. Her burial is in Mobile Memorial Gardens in Movile, Alabama.
See Mollie as “Darla” in the film from 4:14-4:16 and 4:23 to 4:32 (after 4:32, not sure if it is her)
See Mollie as “Darla” in the film