FRANKIE DARRO

Frankie Darro was born in Chicago in 1917. His parents were circus aerialists and young Frankie started in 1924 as a 7 year-old child actor, and was immediately in much demand. After 13 movies, he was paired with Tom Tyler in "Let's Go Gallagher", and they were soon a regular team, appearing in 23 movies over the next 4 years. In his first appearances with Tyler, he was simply one of Tyler's "Pals", but over time, as his popularity rose, his billing became "Tom Tyler and Frankie Darro & His Pals", and finally he received single billing under Tyler's credit. Unlike most child stars of the time, his career was not derailed by his entering adolescence (likely because of his small size even as an adult and perennial youthful appearance). Darro was an expert horseman, and he had to do his own stunts in most of his western roles, simply because there were no stunt doubles his size! One of his best roles was in the leading role in William Wellman's ultra-depressing Wild Boys Of The Road in 1933, a movie that dealt with the growing real-life problem in The Great Depression of homeless kids roaming loose in America. The movie is well directed and well worth checking out. After he was full grown (his adult height was 5' 3"), Darro continued to play minor roles (often portraying the leading man as a teen in the opening of the movie), over the next 12 years. He served in World War II, and then returned to movies, appearing in a total of 173 movies, last acting in 1975, the year before he passed away at the age of 59.
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