By Emma O’Connor (Time, 11/12/2012)
Our Gang, the short-film series better known as The Little Rascals, starred dozens of child actors who skated through the hilarious antics of growing up in the Great Depression era. While their adventures were wholly fictional, they often underscored the difficulty of being young then, and most installments of the series concluded with a happy ending. The actual life story of one of the series’ young stars, though, was markedly more tragic. Norman Chaney, a Baltimore native who played the portly character aptly nicknamed Chubby from 1929 to 1931, died at only 21 years old and lay buried with an unmarked gravestone — until now. On Saturday, a small ceremony commemorated the unveiling of Chaney’s headstone, which comes 76 years after his death, the Baltimore Sun reports.
A group of fans convened at Baltimore Cemetery over the weekend to pay their respects to the child star, who passed away in 1936 after complications from surgery to treat a glandular ailment. Detroit-based rock musician Mikal C.G., an Our Gang enthusiast who led the Saturday service, had spearheaded an online campaign to raise money to purchase tombstones for Chaney and his mother, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“There’s people out there, lots of them all over the world, who remember him very well,” Bob Satterfield, a California high school activities director who helped with the fundraiser, told the Daily Mail in May. “We’re just trying to make this correct, so people can pay homage and leave flowers and gifts.”
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