Shirley Jean Rickert
Shirley Jean Rickert
|Died||February 6, 2009 82) (aged|
At 18 months of age, Rickert won a local baby beauty contest, which emboldened her mother to move the family to Hollywood. She made her screen debut at the age of four in the short How's My Baby (1930), soon followed by her Our Gang debut, Helping Grandma in 1931. Rickert's most notable appearances were in the films Love Business and Bargain Day, in which her spit-curls were the centerpiece of her precocious performance.
After Rickert left the Our Gang series, she had a brief movie career, including starring roles as Tomboy Teri Taylor alongside Mickey Rooney in eight Mickey McGuire comedies, followed by a string of jobs including driving trucks for the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. She later worked in burlesque as an exotic dancer, billed as Gilda and Her Crowning Glory (after her long blonde hair), retiring from burlesque in 1959.
People are so amazed to hear I went from movies into burlesque. Well, I'll tell you, I prefer burlesque because it's not so immoral as the movie business.
In the mid-1970s, she became a traveling saleswoman for industrial hardware, surprising potential clients with her starring roles in Our Gang. Later, she performed in local theater productions, helped to maintain a Web fansite, and made occasional public appearances. She also sold her crafts at a local shop with her daughter's family.
In Shirley's later years in life she became an elementary school teacher at Nanuet Elementary (Nanuet, NY). She taught the 5th Grade. Shirley shared her love for acting with her many students over the years, including them in trips to Lincoln Center as well as many class plays. To her students she was known as Mrs. Cross. She was every bit as sweet as she was in Our Gang. Mrs. Cross left a lasting impression on all her knew her. And if you are wondering, she did let her students know about her fame ;)
- Shirley Jean Rickert. "An Interview With ..." (Interview). Interviewed by Mike Fitzgerald. Western Clippings. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Shirley Jean Rickert". The Telegraph. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Shirley Jean Rickert, 82, 'Our Gang' Star, Dies". The New York Times. The Associated Press. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- Mosby, Aline (23 July 1955). "Children's 'New' TV Favorite Is 1930 Antique Movie Series". Madera Tribune. UP. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- McLellan, Dennis (12 February 2009). "Shirley Jean Rickert dies at 82; child star of 'Our Gang' comedies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- Shirley Jean Rickert on IMDb
- Shirley Jean Rickert at AllMovie
- Shirley Jean Rickert at Find a Grave
- Shirley Jean Rickert's home page
- Rickerts with childhood photo of herself in Little Rascals
- "Farewell to Gilda and Her Crowning Glory..." The Horny Time Traveler (blog). 14 February 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2017.