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Billy Laughlin

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Cause of death  Truck Accident
Role  child actor
Name  Billy Laughlin
Years active  1940 -1944
Occupation  Child actor

Billy Laughlin smiling while wearing eyeglasses and checkered polo

Full Name  William Robert Laughlin
Born  July 5, 1932 (1932-07-05) San Gabriel, California
Died  August 31, 1948, La Puente, California, United States
Movies  Family Troubles, Dancing Romeo, Tale of a Dog, Unexpected Riches, Radio Bugs, Don't Lie, Calling All Kids
Similar People  Norman Chaney, Eugene Gordon Lee, Joe Cobb, Harold Switzer, Edward L Cahn


William Robert "Billy" Laughlin (July 5, 1932 – August 31, 1948) was an American child actor. He is best known for playing the character Froggy in the Our Gang short films in its final stretch, from 1940 to 1944.


Billy Laughlin wearing eyeglasses and a polo shirt

Early life

On the bottom left is Billy Laughlin wearing eyeglasses while on the right is Zac Fox

Laughlin was born on July 5, 1932 in San Gabriel, California, to Robert Vine Laughlin (August 28, 1901 - September 30, 1972) and Charlotte C. Cruikshank (March 11, 1903 - June 4, 1992). According to Our Gang Films actor Robert Blake, Billy 'Froggy' Laughlin was a dearly loved, sweet, gentle soul. His mother and father showered his brother and him with love and affection.


Billy Laughlin with sad face while wearing eyeglasses

Laughlin rose to fame at the age of eight when he appeared in his first Our Gang film, The New Pupil, in 1940. His character was known for his strange, guttural voice, which was reminiscent of a frog's croak. Laughlin's last Our Gang short film was the last film of the series in 1944 called Dancing Romeo. Contrary to popular belief, Laughlin did the voice himself without dubbing (in the 1994 film, the character's voice was dubbed by E.G. Daily).

Billy Laughlin in 1941 while his hand on his chin and wearing a polo shirt

When Our Gang stopped production in 1944, Laughlin appeared in Monogram's Johnny Doesn't Live Here Any More, then voluntarily moved away from show business and enjoyed relatively peaceful teenage years.


Laughlin died at a hospital on August 31, 1948 after a speeding truck struck the Cushman Motor Scooter on which he was delivering newspapers near his home in La Puente, California. The 16-year-old friend who was operating the scooter, John Wilbrand, made a U-turn in front of the truck, but survived with minor injuries. The scooter was given to Laughlin by his parents two weeks prior to the accident. Only 16, Laughlin died younger than any of the other actors who appeared in the Our Gang films. Laughlin is interred in a grave at the Rose Hills Memorial Park Cemetery in Whittier, California next to his parents.


Billy Laughlin Wikipedia