For the American mixed martial artist, see Eugene Jackson (fighter).
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Eugene W. Jackson Jr., II, (1916-12-25)December 25, 1916, Buffalo, New York
October 26, 2001(2001-10-26) (aged 84), Compton, California
Cause of death
Child actor, actor
Eugene W. Jackson, II (December 25, 1916 - October 26, 2001) was an American former child actor who was a regular of the Our Gang short series during the silent Pathé era.
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When he joined the gang, Jackson, replaced the series' first black member, Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison. Jackson was nicknamed Pineapple because of his haircut's similarity to the shape of the pineapple fruit.
He played the character Humidor, in one of Mary Pickford's most successful films, Little Annie Rooney (1925). A very large (10 Sheet) film poster of the cast of Little Annie Rooney, including Jackson, hangs in the lobby of the Mary Pickford Theatre of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood.
He also starred in Hearts in Dixie (1929), one of the first all-talkie, big-studio productions to boast a predominately African-American cast. He was the first African-American child to have a speaking part in a major motion picture.
In television, Eugene W. Jackson II was a recurring character on Julia, the first network sitcom to have a female African-American lead, Diahann Carroll. Eugene played Julia's uncle.
Eugene W. Jackson II's last major feature film was The Addams Family (1991) with Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, and Christopher Lloyd. He played a one-armed musician.
Jackson's son, Eugene (Gene) W. Jackson III, has also worked in Hollywood most of his life. He played the key character Gabriel in the Civil War drama Shenandoah, opposite James Stewart. He played a musician in the marching band in Porgy and Bess with Sammy Davis Jr.. In television, he started as a film loader and later a camera assistant on classic programs such as Emergency!, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Columbo, The Six Million Dollar Man, and as a camera operator on Mork and Mindy, as well as the more recent Evening Shade, Hearts Afire, Hunter, Cheers, Hill Street Blues, Seinfeld, According To Jim, and Girlfriends.
Jackson died of a heart attack in Compton, California on October 26, 2001. He was 84.
He wrote an autobiography in 1999, that contains many pictures taken during his long career in show business.