In 1984, "The Films of the Bowery Boys" by David Hayes and myself was published by Citadel Press. This website is designed to amend and add information that has come to light since that book's publication. This includes obituaries of Bowery Boys / Eastside Kids /Dead End Kids players who have departed since the book's publication, filmography additions, amended solo credits and various other data of interest. -- Brent Walker

BERNARD PUNSLY (1923-2004)

I've just found out (on January 22, 2004) that Dr. Bernard Punsly, the last of the original Dead End Kids, has passed away in Torrance, California, where he long had a medical practice. Here is an obituary.


BENNY BARTLETT (1924-1999)

Benny Bartlett reportedly passed away on December 26, 1999, in Redding, California. Bartlett, "Butch" of the Bowery Boys, had retired from the screen to work in the insurance business in Santa Barbara, California. He was known as Floyd "Bud" Bartlett during his later years.


BILLY BENEDICT (1917-1999)

On Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1999, the actor best known as Whitey to Bowery Boys fans (and Skinny to Eastside Kids aficionados) succumbed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood of complications after heart surgery. He was 82, and had remained very busy up until recently in commercials. His film appearances are estimated at over 150 (and likely WELL over 150), and he was also very busy in television for many decades. First appearing as a Little Tough Guy at Universal, Benedict was also familiar to fans of feature films as the quintissential newsboy and messenger boy "type" in films ranging from ROAD TO UTOPIA with Hope and Crosby to Ed Wood's BRIDE OF THE MONSTER.


HUNTZ HALL (1919-1999)

Huntz Hall passed away in his North Hollywood home of heart failure on Saturday, January 30, 1999, after five weeks in the hospital. Huntz had stayed busy with film, television and dinner theater work in recent years. After years of fighting alcoholism, Huntz kicked it in 1982. His second wife Lee passed away four years ago, after which many said that he became more reclusive. However, he lived to see his son Gary become Reverend and preside at All Saints Church in Pasadena, and his grandson become a screenwriter. With his passing, only Dr. Bernard Punsly survives of the original six Dead End Kids. Fortunately, Huntz will stay alive forever on screen as the irrepressible Sach (and Glimpy, Dippy, Pig, Goofy, Crabface, etc.)


MENDIE KOENIG LIVES!

David and I stand by the accuracy of 99% of the data in our book. However, there was one glaring error for which we were eternally embarrassed when the true facts came to light shortly after publication. On page 217, we reported that Mende (Mendie) Koenig, who played one of the gang in the last three Eastside Kids entries (in 1945), was deceased. Regrettably, this information was considerably erroneous, as we found out upon receiving a witty letter from Mr. Koenig himself on Tarzana Elementary School stationery greatly protesting the exaggerated reports of his death. In fact, Mendie was still alive and was none other than the principal of the above-mentioned educational institution in Tarzana, California. Unfortunately, since Citadel had printed 10,000 copies of the book (a print run that has apparently finally been exhausted), we were not able to get a correction made. However, let this serve as our humble apology for our premature literary burial of this fine actor and even more skilled educator.


OBITUARIES

Though Mendie Koenig lives, several key players did leave us since 1984. These include:

DAVID GORCEY

Leo's younger brother, who appeared in more Eastside Kids, Little Tough Guys and Bowery Boys films than anyone except Huntz Hall, died on October 23, 1984, in Van Nuys, California, at age 63, after a 10 day diabetic coma. He had been heading a halfway house for alcoholics and drug abusers since the Bowery Boys series ended in 1958.

GABRIEL DELL

Dell became the fourth of the original six Dead End Kids to pass away on July 3, 1988 (at age 68) in North Hollywood of leukemia. He had been very busy in theater and television up until his death, and he and Huntz had appeared together on "Robert Klein Time" not long before his death.

ERNIE "SUNSHINE SAMMY" MORRISON

Sunshine Sammy died of cancer in Lynwood in July 1989. He was the original Our Gang kid, long before playing Scruno in the Eastside Kids.

DAVID DURAND

Durand, who appeared in a couple Dead End Kids films and was a six-time Eastside Kid, died on July 25, 1998, in Bridgeview, Illinois, at age 77. He had been a child actor in silent films, including Our Gang comedies.

JAN GRIPPO

Grippo, agent of Gorcey and Hall and original producer of the Bowery Boys, passed away in March 1988 at age 81 in Los Angeles. Grippo also had a sideline as a magician.


MR. BLACKWELL UNROBED

Infamous fashion designer Mr. Blackwell, of the "Worst Dressed" lists, has long and loudly boasted of being a former Dead End Kid. While working on the book, we were unable to ascertain whether this claim was true or not. The only Blackwell in any series film was Carlyle Blackwell Jr., a strapping, waspish leading man (son of the silent film star of the same name) who appeared in the Eastside Kids entry DOCKS OF NEW YORK (1945). He was immediately discounted due to his completely dissimilar physical profile, and we made no attempt to speculate about the accuracy of Blackwell's claims in the book.

When Blackwell's sensationalized autobiography was published in the mid-90's, it was revealed that his real name was Richard Selzer. As such, he had appeared in a later road show version of the play "Dead End," and on film appeared as one of the background street kids (not a Dead End Kid/Little Tough Guy) in LITTLE TOUGH GUY (1938), the first release of the Universal sub-series. His character had only brief, background screen-time in this film, putting his claims to being a real Dead End Kid (i.e. working in tandem with any one of the six "original" kids) into the most nebulous of categories.


FILMOGRAPHY ADDITIONS

THE FOLLOWING FILM DID NOT APPEAR IN OUR ORIGINAL FILMOGRAPHY:

SWINGTIME IN THE MOVIES (Vitaphone 1938) Director & Screenplay, Crane Wilbur; Original Music by M.K. Jerome and Jack Scholl; Cinematography by Wilfrid M. Cline; Costume Design by Milo Anderson; Edited by Everett Dodd; Sound by Stanley Jones; Color Consultant, Natalie Kalmus; Art Director, Charles Novi; Dance Director, William O'Donnell. Cast: Mr. Nitvitch, Fritz Feld; Joan Mason, Katherine Kane; Rick Arden, John Carroll; Sammy, Charley Foy; The Texas Tornado, Jerry Colonna; Head Waitress, Irene Franklin; Part Unknown, Helen Lynd; Thelmselves, Four of the Dead End Kids, Gabriel Dell, Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Billy Halop; Themselves, Humphrey Bogart, George Brent, John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, Rosemary Lane, Pat O'Brien, Marie Wilson. Two reels, Technicolor. An unknown replaces a temperamental actress on director Feld's film shoot. Shows various Warners actors eating at the commisary in quick shots. The Dead End Kids are seen goofing around at the table and being disciplined by Bogart. This was the only Technicolor film and only short subject featuring the Dead End Kids, Eastside Kids, Little Tough Guys or Bowery Boys.

THE SMITHS TAKE A TRIP (Vitaphone 1939) Largely promotional film for upcoming releases, including ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (also BROTHER RAT, DEVIL'S ISLAND, DAWN PATROL, THE SISTERS, etc.) includes behind the scenes footage of stars on the backlot of Warner Brothers, including the Dead End Kids driving a convertible Model T on the lot and jumping out when the car turns a corner.

THE FOLLOWING ARE ADDITIONS TO CAST AND CREW:

Dead End Kids (Warner Bros.)

ON DRESS PARADE (1939): Manueuvers Commander, John Hamilton. Leo Gorcey's character's real first name is given as "Shirley." Little Tough Guys (Universal) CALL A MESSENGER (1939): Harris Berger and Hally Chester, listed as "Messengers" in our cast list, play their usual Little Tough Guy characters of Murph and Sailor, respectively. Real names are given for the kids characters in the film. They are: Jimmy Hogan, Billy Halop; Ratholemew "Pig" Smith, Huntz Hall; J. "Yap" Crawley, David Gorcey; P. "Trouble" Kearns, Billy Benedict; R. "Sailor" Walters, Harris Berger; B. "Murph" Murphy, Hally Chester.

GIVE US WINGS (1940): Fish Fry Novelty Band Drummer, Spike Jones.

Eastside Kids (Monogram)

THAT GANG OF MINE (1940): Unbilled--Jockey Jimmy Sullivan, Bill Cartledge.

SMART ALECKS (1942): Release year incorrectly given as 1941, should be 1942.

'NEATH BROOKLYN BRIDGE (1942): The source of the film's use of an elderly, wheelchair-bound invalid to blink out key plot elements with his eyes using Morse Code was lifted from the delightful 1933 Fox feature ME AND MY GAL starring Spencer Tracy, with H.B. Walthall in the role of the "blinker."

CLANCY STREET BOYS (1943): Rick Vallin misspelled "Rick Valin" in cast list.

Bowery Boys (Monogram/Allied Artists)

MR. HEX (1946): Rita Lynn plays Maisie, not Margie; Knox Manning plays Ringside Announcer; in synopsis, Bobby, not Whitey, explodes flashbulb in Eagle-Eye's eyes.

NEWS HOUNDS (1947): Cop at Raid: Eddie Dunn; Mischievous Boy: Teddy Infuhr?.

ANGELS' ALLEY (1948): Moose, Dewey Robinson; D.A. John Willis, John Eldredge; Mr. Watson, William Ruhl; Garage Henchman, Meyer Grace; p. 97, quote at end of movie should read "This is the last picture I do with you!"

JINX MONEY (1948): Publisher ran incorrect caption on p. 98 (caption was for another photo). Actual photo used pictures Slip, Chuck, Sach, Butch and Whitey with unidentified actor as bank guard. Also, cast list mistakenly lists "Whitey" as "White."

FIGHTING FOOLS (1949): Fight Announcer (Johnny Higgins vs. Joey Prince), Jimmy Lennon Sr.

ANGLES IN DISGUISE (1949): First name of charater "Hodges" (as played by Don Harvey) is "Ralph."

BLONDE DYNAMITE (1950): Cop, Eddie Dunn.

TRIPLE TROUBLE (1950): In cast list on p. 109, Sach's prison number should be 23321, not 23323 (his joke is "I only got two pairs" to Gorcey's comment that he has a full house--23322).

NO HOLDS BARRED (1952): Nick Stewart should be spelled Nick Stuart.

JALOPY (1953): Race track incorrectly identified as Ascot Park in Gardena--most likely Culver City Speedway.

DIG THAT URANIUM (1956): Running time omitted: 61 min. It should be added that Richard Powers, the actor playing henchman "Frank Loomis," is a pseudonym for Tom Keene (originally George Duryea), best known for his lead role in King Vidor's OUR DAILY BREAD (1934).

FIGHTING TROUBLE (1956): Mrs. Kelly's first name is "Kate"; John Bleifer, billed as "Bates" in credits, is called by "Joe" in the film, which turns out to be an alias for his real name, "Otto Brock."

HOT SHOTS (1956): Unbilled appearances--B.L. Taylor, Emory Parnell; Woman at Party, Bess Flowers.

The "Almost" Dead End Kids film (Columbia)

Though mentioned in the "Forerunners, Imitators and Offspring" chapter of our book, the following film deserves further elaboration for featuring four Dead End Kids in its cast:

JUNIOR ARMY (Columbia, released April 22, 1943) Directed by Lew Landers; Produced by Colbert Clark; Screenplay by Paul Gangelin; Story by Albert Bein; Photographed by Charles Schoenbaum; Edited by Mel Thorsen; Art Director, Lionel Banks; Associate, Arthur Royce; Interior Decorator, George Montgomery; Music Director, M.W. Stoloff. Cast: Freddie Hewlett, Freddie Bartholomew; Jimmie Fletcher, Billy Halop; Jockey (billed as Cowboy), Bobby Jordan; Bushy Thomas, Huntz Hall; Gang Member (unbilled), Bernard Punsly; Major Carter, Boyd Davis; Cadel Captain Rogers, William Blees; Cadet Sergeant Sable, Richard Noyes; Uncle Jeff Ferguson, Joseph Crehan; Saginaw Jake, Don Beddoe; Cadet Pell; Charles Lind; Cadet Baker, Billy Lechner; Cadet Wilbur, Peter Lawford; Horner, Robert O. Davis. Running Time: approximately 60 minutes. Bartholomew is a shell shocked war orphan living on his uncle's ranch who befriends Halop, one of a group of homeless urchins camping on the property. To avoid the sheriff, Halop agrees to join Freddie in enrolling in a military school. Though he bonds to Freddie (who flourishes at the academy), Billy takes a dislike to the rules and the stuffy cadets at the academy and is ultimately expelled. However, when he finds his old gang in cahoots with murderous saboteurs, Billy's true courage is tested. The premise is a reworking on ON DRESS PARADE, with Halop now in the Leo Gorcey role instead of that of the model cadet. The other Dead End Kids only appear and the beginning and the end, though Punsly--unbilled in the titles and unnamed as a character--disappears after the beginning. Otherwise, it is a Bartholomew/Halop vehicle. What is interesting is that Huntz Hall is not only the leader of the gang, he is probably the most dispicable leader in any Dead End Kids/Eastside Kids/Little Tough Guys/Bowery Boys film! Though the early scenes bear similarities to several of the Universal films, the film ultimately bears no similarity. I should also add that the opinion expressed on p. 224 that this film is "better than any of the films they made at Universal and of the Monogram Eastside Kids films made up through 1942" was solely the opinion of David Hayes. I, Brent Walker, did not agree--and still do not agree--with this assessment.


SOLO CAREER FILMOGRAPHIES

ADDITIONAL FILMS NOT IN BOOK, AND CHARACTER ROLES NOT IDENTIFIED IN BOOK


LEO GORCEY

Not listed in book:

  • HEADIN' EAST (Columbia 1937) starring Buck Jones (Leo plays a boxing boy at a youth athletic club run by Shemp Howard--he has one line of dialog, punches Shemp and joins in with the other Dead End Kids-esque boys to rout the crooks in the finale).
  • BELOVED BRAT (Warner Bros. 1938) starring Bonita Granville (Brief Bit Role).
  • PRIVATE DETECTIVE (WB 1939) starring Jane Wyman (Newsboy).
  • HULLABALOO (MGM 1940) (Bellboy).
Listed in book but no character role:
  • PORTIA ON TRIAL (Republic 1937) (Joe Darrow).
  • DOWN IN SAN DIEGO (MGM 1942) (as Snap Collins).
HUNTZ HALL

Not listed in book:

  • THE SKY'S THE LIMIT (1975) (Hitchhiker).
  • THE RATINGS GAME (TV 1984) (Benny Bentson).
  • CYCLONE (USA/Italy 1987) (Long John).
  • AUNTIE LEE'S MEAT PIES (1993) (Farmer).
GABRIEL DELL

Not listed in book:

  • FLUGEN TIL DANMARK (1955) Jackie Coogan production shot in Denmark.
  • ESCAPE FROM TERROR (Produced in 1957; released 1960) (Col. Tovchenko) Jackie Coogan production (may be same film as FLUGEN TIL DANMARK).
Listed in book but no character role:
  • EARTHQUAKE (1974) (Sal).
  • 300 YEAR WEEKEND (1977) (Wynter).
BILLY HALOP

Not listed in book:

  • BOYS NIGHT OUT (MGM 1962) (Elevator Operator).
  • WHEELERS AND DEALERS (MGM 1963) (Process Server).
  • MOVE OVER DARLING (20th 1963) (Billed as Seaman, but not present in film per Bowery Boys fan Rob).
  • THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER (MGM 1963) (Milkman).
Listed in book but no character role:
  • AIR STRIKE (1955) (Lt. Cdr. Orville Swanson).
  • A GLOBAL AFFAIR (1964) (Cab Driver).
BOBBY JORDAN

Not listed in book:

  • SNAKES ALIVE (Vitaphone 1931) Penrod and Sam short (Sam).
  • BATTER UP (Vitaphone 1931) Penrod and Sam short (Sam).
  • HEDDA HOPPER'S HOLLYWOOD (Par 1942) (Guest at Jane Wither's Birthday Party). One reel.
  • THE BEGINNING OR THE END (MGM 1947) (Radio Operator Receiving News of Hiroshima).
  • THE FAT MAN (Universal 1951) (Bell Captain).
  • SECRETS OF OUTLAW FLATS (Allied Artists 1953) (Sandy Smith).
DAVID GORCEY

Not listed in book:

  • ONE GOOD DEED (Vitaphone 1931) Penrod and Sam short (Sam).
  • DETECTIVES (Vitaphone 1932) Penrod and Sam short (Sam).
  • HIS HONOR, PENROD (Vitaphone 1932) Penrod and Sam short (Sam).
  • HOT DOG (Vitaphone 1932) Penrod and Sam short (Sam).
  • PENROD'S BULL PEN (Vitaphone 1932) Penrod and Sam short (Sam).
  • SHE SHOULDA SAID NO/WILD WEED (1949) (Ricky).
Listed in book but no character role:
  • PRAIRIE MOON (1938) (Slick).
STANLEY CLEMENTS

Not listed in book:

  • YOU'RE A LUCKY FELLOW MR. SMITH (Univ. 1943) (Squirt).
  • COVER GIRL (Col. 1944) (Bit).
  • AIR STRIKE (Lippert 1955) (G.H. Alexander).
  • LAST OF THE DESPERADOS (AFRC 1955) (Bert McGuire).
  • NEVER CON A KILLER (TV 1977) (Trainer).
Listed in book but no character role:
  • DOWN IN SAN DIEGO (1942) (as Louie Schwartz).
  • WINNER TAKE ALL (1948) (Tommy).
  • CANON CITY (1949) (The other inmates refer to him by his credited name of "New", but his girlfriend calls him Billy).
  • RED LIGHT (1950) (Carlson Hotel Bellhop).
  • THE ROCKET MAN (1954) (Bob).
  • ROBBERS' ROOST (1955) (Chuck).
  • MAD AT THE WORLD (1955) (Ignatz).
  • WIRETAPPERS (1956) (Tony).
BILLY BENEDICT

Not listed in book:

  • TRAMP TROUBLE (RKO 1937) Edgar Kennedy two-reeler. Edgar adopts a "'troublesome' young boy" according to Leonard Maltin in "The Great Movie Shorts"--this could very well be Benedict's role.
  • HOLLYWOOD HOBBIES (MGM 1939) Billy leads a couple of girls on a tour of Hollywood celebrities and their sporting activities in this short subject.
  • JESSE JAMES AT BAY (Rep 1941) (Ranch Hand).
  • THE GLASS KEY (Par 1942) (DA's Office Boy).
  • I WON'T PLAY (WB 1944) Two-reeler. D: Crane Wilbur, C: Dane Clark and Janis Paige (Florida).
  • ONE MORE TOMORROW (1946) (Copy Boy).
  • THE CON MAN (Showcase/Hal Roach 1953).
  • THE KILLING (UA 1956) Directed by Stanley Kubrick (Airline Ticket Counterman).
  • THE OVER THE HILL GANG (1969) (Telegram Deliveryman).
  • COMPUTERCIDE (TV 1982) (Elderly Man).
Listed in book but no character role:
  • THE STING (Uni 1973) (Roulette Dealer).
BENNIE BARTLETT

Not listed in book:

  • THREE MARRIED MEN (1936) (Percy Mullins).
  • EASY LIVING (Par 1937) (Newsboy).
  • BERTH QUAKES (RKO 1938) Leon Errol two-reeler. Again, according to "The Great Movie Shorts," child psychologist Errol must contend with a "bratty stepson." Bartlett, listed in the cast, made a specialty of these roles.
  • SWING YOU SWINGERS! (Col 1939) Andy Clyde short subject (stock footage of Bartlett also used in the 1954 remake TOOTING TOOTERS).
  • THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS (WB 1943) (Page Boy).
  • REAR WINDOW (Par 1954) (Miss Torso's Military Boyfriend Stanley).
Listed in book but no character role:
  • TIMOTHY'S QUEST (1936) (Jimmy).
  • THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS (1936) (Ship's Bellhop).
  • LET THEM LIVE (1937) (Mike).
  • EXCLUSIVE (1937) (Boy).
  • DANGER--LOVE AT WORK (1937) (Junior Pemberton).
  • MEET JOHN DOE (1941) (Red, Office Boy).
BERNARD GORCEY

Not listed in book:

  • WORDS AND MUSIC (Vitaphone 1931) One-reel Ruth Etting short (shot in New York) with Bernard as a waiter.
  • PIE A LA MODE (Vitaphone 1932) Musical short starring Herbert Warren.
  • NOTHING BUT THE TOOTH (Vitaphone 1933) Musical short starring Jack Haley.
  • ROOKIE'S COOKIE (Columbia 1943) El Brendel two-reeler directed by Jules White.
  • JOURNEY INTO LIGHT (20th Century Fox 1951) (Flophouse Clerk).
MISCELLANEOUS


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Updated 1/22/04.

All materials on website, including flash movies, are copyright 1999-2004 Brent Walker, and cannot be used without permission.