Joe Cobb

For other people named Joe Cobb, see Joe Cobb (disambiguation).
Joe Cobb

Cobb building a B-25 Mitchell bomber during WW2, circa 1944-45
Born Joe Frank Cobb
(1916-11-07)November 7, 1916
Shawnee, Oklahoma
Died May 21, 2002(2002-05-21) (aged 85)
Santa Ana, California
Cause of death Natural causes
Occupation Child actor
Years active 19231981

Joe Frank Cobb (November 7, 1916 May 21, 2002) was an American child actor, most notable for appearing as the original "fat boy" in the Our Gang comedies from 1922 to 1929. Some sources such as the first edition (1977) of Our Gang: The Life and Times of the Little Rascals documented him as being born in 1916 or 1917.

Early life and career

Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma on November 7, 1916, Cobb auditioned for producer Hal Roach's Our Gang comedy series at the age of five in 1921. He joined the gang in early 1923 after starting production the fall of 1922. His first silent short was The Champeen in January 1923. Cobb appeared in the Our Gang series' last silent film, Saturday's Lesson, and its first talking short, Small Talk, both in 1929. Although Small Talk was released June 15, 1929, Saturday's Lesson was released November 9, 1929.

He was a recognizable character, with chubby cheeks and a trademark beanie cap. Some sources indicate that his final film with the Gang was Bouncing Babies; however, he does not appear onscreen in that short. His last film as a regular cast member was the previous entry Boxing Gloves in 1929 when he was 12. In all he appeared in 86 Our Gang episodes during the seven years from 1922 to 1929. Cobb also appeared in three cameo appearances during the 1930s, Fish Hooky in 1933, Pay as You Exit in 1936, and Reunion in Rhythm in 1937.

After his acting career ended in the early 1940s, Cobb became an assembler for North American Aviation, a division of Rockwell International in Downey, California. He retired in 1981 at age 65.


Cobb died of natural causes on May 21, 2002 in Santa Ana, California.


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