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|Also Known As:||Scott Hastings Beckett,Scott Beckett,Scotty Becket||Died:||May 10, 1968|
|Born:||October 4, 1929||Cause of Death:||presumed suicide|
|Birth Place:||Oakland, California, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor|
albatros1 ( 2007-09-27 )
Source: Wikipedia The Internet Encyclopedia
Scott Hastings Beckett (October 4, 1929 – May 10, 1968), better known as Scotty Beckett was an American child actor. He is best remembered for his parts in the Our Gang and Rocky Jones, Space Ranger series. Born in Oakland, California, Beckett got his start in show business at age 3 when a casting director heard him singing by chance. Beckett was in a hospital visiting his father who was recovering from an illness, and was entertaining him by singing songs. A studio casting director who happened to be nearby noticed the child, and told his proud parents he had movie potential. Scotty auditioned, and landed a part in Gallant Lady (1933). the same year, his father passed away Beckett appeared as a regular in the Our Gang short subjects series from 1934 to 1935. In the gang, Beckett played George "Spanky" McFarland's best friend and partner in mischief. His trademark look was a crooked black baseball cap and an oversized black sweater, exposing one shoulder. His role was taken over by Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer in 1935, and Beckett left the series for features after that year. He became a prolific and well-regarded child and young adult actor from the late 1930s to the early 1950s, sharing the screen with some of the biggest stars of the day. In 1939, he returned to Our Gang as Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer's nerdy cousin Wilbur for two episodes. His most notable feature role was playing Al Jolson as a teenager in The Jolson Story (1946), with Jolson's voice being provided by fellow child actor, Rudy Wissler. Beckett is also fondly remembered by baby boomers as copilot "Winky" on the 1954 TV space opera Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. Winky was to be one of his last roles; the character was dropped when Beckett was jailed on weapons charges. He made only a few subsequent TV and film appearances, some as uncredited bit parts, before leaving show business forever. Beckett's later years were plagued by a series of profound problems and self-destructive behavior: bad checks, failed marriages, violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, crippling auto accidents and suicide attempts. He drifted from job to dead-end job and had frequent run-ins with the police, one of which involved an extended shoot-out. On May 8, 1968, Beckett checked into a Hollywood nursing home for injuries caused by a beating (possibly related to a drug deal that went bad). He was found dead in his room two days later. Sleeping pills and a note were found near his body, but an autopsy ruled the cause of death "inconclusive". He was 38.
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