December 13, 2020
"The Little Rascals" franchise won the hearts of many for its portrayal of children and their adventures, but one of the stars popularly known as "Chubbsy Ubsy" died too soon.
Norman Chaney was a famous child star known for his appearances in Hal Roach's "Our Gang" franchise, also known as "The Little Rascals." He played 'Chubby' in the short films and was a massive hit from the 20s until his death.
The actor was born Norman Myers Chaney on October 18, 1914, in Baltimore, Maryland, and he also took his final breath there at the tender age of 21. Here's more about the life and death of the child star.
In 1929, Chaney made his film debut in "Our Gang" as Chubby and the former star, Joe Cobb's replacement. He starred in a total of 19 comedies and became a fan-favorite for his witty lines and adorable chubby cheeks.
[Chaney] and his mother were buried in unmarked graves at Baltimore Cemetery.
However, his time as the self-proclaimed Chubsy-Ubsy was cut short, mostly due to increased body weight and height. His parents also took him back to Baltimore for school when Hal Roach Studios didn't renew Chaney's contract in 1931.
On May 29, 1936, Chaney died at 21 after undergoing surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The New York Times announced his death and the actor's obituary revealed he died in his grandparents' home at West Lombard Street.
The actor and his mother were buried in unmarked graves at Baltimore Cemetery. They didn't have headstones until 2012, thanks to the generosity of the singer Mikal C.G. who launched a campaign for donations and raised about $3,500.
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