Tommy Bond

Active - 1933 - 1951  |   Born - Sep 16, 1927   |   Died - Sep 24, 2005   |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Tommy Bond was five years old when he began posing for magazine ads in his native Dallas. Discovered by a talent scout for Hal Roach Studios in 1933, Bond and his grandmother headed to Hollywood where he was immediately put to work in Roach's Our Gang films. After playing a cherubic, tousle-headed kid named Tommy for two seasons, he left the Our Gang series to freelance at other studios, building up a reputation as one of Hollywood's most reliable movie brats. He was brought back into the Our Gang fold in 1937; this time around, he was cast as scowling neighborhood bully Butch, one of the series' most memorable and sharply-defined characters. He continued to play Butch in 1940, by which time Roach had sold Our Gang to MGM. During this period, he also bedeviled such adult comedians as Andy Clyde, Charley Chase, Laurel & Hardy, and Walter Catlett. Despite the nastiness of his movie characters, Bond was well known as one of the nicest and most well-adjusted juvenile actors in the business. His best friend was his onscreen "worst enemy," Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer; in fact, whenever Switzer began misbehaving or cutting up on the set, it was usually Bond who calmed him down. Long after their Our Gang days, Bond and Switzer co-starred in PRC's Gas House Kids films, a ripoff of Monogram's Bowery Boys. Though most of his 1940s roles were bit parts, Bond landed a meaty supporting role as cub reporter Jimmy Olsen in Columbia's Superman serials. Graduating from Los Angeles College in 1951, Bond left acting to work as a property master at L.A. TV station KTTV, a job that later expanded to all the TV outlets owned by KTTV's parent company Metromedia. Long married to a former Miss California, Bond retired in 1990. Still as nice and unassuming as ever, Tommy Bond has become a welcome addition to many a film and nostalgia convention, and has made innumerable personal appearances in connection with his 1993 autobiography, You're Darn Right It's Butch!

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