Scotty Beckett

Active - 1934 - 1957  |   Born - Oct 4, 1929   |   Died - May 8, 1968   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance

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Biography by AllMovie

When Scotty Beckett was three years old, his father was hospitalized in Los Angeles. During a visit, Beckett entertained his convalescing dad by singing several songs. A Hollywood casting director overheard the boy and suggested to his parents that Beckett had movie potential. The wide-eyed, tousle-haired youngster made his screen debut opposite Ann Harding and Clive Brook in 1933's Gallant Lady. In 1934, he was signed by Hal Roach for the Our Gang series; in the 13 two-reelers produced between 1934 and 1935, Beckett appeared as the best pal and severest critic of rotund Gang star Spanky McFarland. This stint led to such choice feature-film assignments as Anthony Adverse (1936) (in which Beckett played the out-of-wedlock son of Fredric March and Olivia De Havilland), Marie Antoinette (1938) (as the Dauphin) and My Favorite Wife (1940) (as one of the two kids of Cary Grant and his long-lost wife Irene Dunne). In 1939, Beckett briefly returned to the Our Gang fold, playing "Alfalfa" Switzer's brainy Cousin Wilbur in a brace of one-reelers. Beckett was frequently called upon for "the leading man as a child" roles, playing youthful versions of Louis Hayward in My Son, My Son (1940), Don Ameche in Heaven Can Wait (1943), and Jon Hall in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1940). As he matured, Beckett was often cast as obnoxious younger brothers, notably in the 1943 Broadway play Slightly Married and the 1948 Jane Powell vehicle A Date with Judy (playing the sibling of none other than Elizabeth Taylor). On radio, Beckett played Junior Riley in the popular William Bendix sitcom The Life of Riley, and on television he was seen as Cadet Winky in the early sci-fi series Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. Scotty Beckett's last film was 1956's Three For Jamie Dawn.

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