Frankie Darro

Active - 1923 - 1964  |   Born - Dec 22, 1917   |   Died - Dec 25, 1976   |   Genres - Western, Drama, Comedy, Crime, Action

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The son of circus performers, the diminutive Frankie Darro began appearing in films as a juvenile player in 1924; he co-starred with western star Tom Tyler in several silent oaters at FBO in the mid-1920s, and was cast in leading roles in Little Mickey Grogan (1927) and The Circus Kid (1928). During the 1930s, Darro showed up in innumerable bit and supporting roles, often playing juvenile delinquents; he carried over this particular characterization into his voiceover stint as Lampwick in the 1940 animated Disney feature Pinocchio. He was given star billing at such minor-league studios as Ambassador and Monogram, co-starring with black comedian Mantan Moreland at the latter studio in an enjoyable series of action programmers, often cast as a jockey because of his stature. In the late 1940s, Darro was a frequent stunt double for such pint-sized actors as Leo Gorcey. Frankie Darro was compelled to accept bit roles into the 1960s; he was also featured in several Red Skelton Shows of the period, often dressed as an old woman for a peculiar comic effect.

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