The Religious Affiliation of Actor
best known as "Waldo" of "The Little Rascals"
Darwood Kaye was a child actor who left acting after converting to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and becoming a lifelong Seventh-day Adventist missionary and pastor.
Darwood Kaye was best known as "Waldo," one of the stars of the "Little Rascals" film serials and TV series. He first played the part of "Waldo" in the "Our Gang" short comedy film Hearts Are Thumps in (1937). Kaye went on to play "Waldo" in over 20 "Our Gang" short films, which were immensely popular with movie audiences in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Kaye appeared before new audiences when "The Little Rascals" TV series (made from the film shorts) appeared on television. "Our Gang" and "Little Rascals" remain one of the most widely recognized film series in the world, although few people know the names of individual actors such as Kaye.
Kaye had only a handful of minor acting roles aside from "Waldo."
As a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, Darwood Kaye was known as "Ken Smith," although his acting career was in no way a secret. The actor's birth name was Darwood Kenneth Smith. He had some credits as "Darwood Smith," but was usually credited using his stage name, "Darwood Kaye." He was born on 8 September 1929 in Fort Collins, Colorado. He died on 15 May 2002 in Riverside, California after being struck by a hit-and-run driver.
From: "Darwood Kaye: Biography" on IMDb.com website (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0443283/bio; viewed 4 October 2005):
Darwood retired from acting in his teens. He became a Seventh-day Adventist minister. As such he spent 17 years in Thailand. At the time of his death he was part time pastor at La Sierra University Seventh-day Adventist Church in Riverside.
When he was a teen, he became a Christian and ended his acting career.
Served as pastor (using name "Ken Smith") at churches in St. Helena in Northern California, Santa Maria and several communities in Southern California.
His son Dan Smith is the senior Pastor of the La Sierra University Seventh-day Adventist Church.
From: Fred T. Beeman, "In Memoriam: Darwood Kenneth Smith", 17 May 2002, on "A Minor Consideration" website (site dedicated to child actors) (http://www.minorcon.org/darwood.html; viewed 4 October 2005):
Darwood Kenneth Smith, better known as "Waldo" in the "Our Gang" and "Little Rascals" features of the 1930s and 40s, was killed Wednesday (May 15) when he was struck by a small tan truck (according to witnesses) while walking on a Riverside, California sidewalk. He was 72. The driver then fled the scene and is being sought by the Riverside police.
Before pursuing a lifelong career as a pastor in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, "Darwood Kaye" portrayed the well-dressed and bespectacled "rich kid" in 22 of the Hal Roach comedies, from 1937-40. The Waldo character would frequently vie with rival suitor Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer for the attentions of the always-flirtatious Darla Hood. But at age 15, upon becoming a Christian, Darwood Kaye abruptly left show business after an appearance in the 1946 film, "My Reputation".
Pastor Darwood K. Smith, born September 8, 1929 in Ft. Collins, Colorado, is survived by his wife, Jean. Like their father, his four sons are also pastors.
We extend our most heartfelt sympathies to Pastor Smith's family and his many friends.
"Announcement of Pastor David Smith" on "Upper Room Fellowship" website, 2004 (http://www.urf.org/pastor.html; viewed 4 October 2005):
Upper Room Fellowship of Seventh-day Adventists is extremely pleased and excited to announce its new full-time senior pastor. Pastor Dave, as he prefers to be called, officially begins June 1, 2004...
Pastor Dave joins us with a long history of ministry in Asian settings. His childhood was spent in mission service in Thailand; he and his three brothers, all Adventist pastors, enjoy yearly adventures to Bangkok for evangelism and various construction projects...He... is anticipating helping to dedicate a new campus church built in honor of his father, Pastor Ken Smith, who died in 2002...
Here's a tidbit: Pastor Dave's father, Ken, was a childhood actor with the "Our Gang" comedy series, now seen around the world as "The Little Rascals."
Webpage created 4 October 2005. Last modified 4 October 2005.
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