Eugene Jackson



Rising to fame as Pineapple in Hal Roach's Our Gang shorts in the mid-1920s, comic child actor Eugene Jackson performed in vaudeville in addition to his film work, and later continued to work alongside such comic icons as Redd Foxx. Born in Buffalo, NY, in 1916, Jackson got his break in show business while performing the shimmy for a bag of groceries at Central Avenue's Rosebud Theater in 1923. Winning the competition for three weeks in a row, his mother recognized the youngster's talents and soon took him to Hollywood to attempt a career in the entertainment industry. Soon signed to a two-year contract by Roach (who dubbed the child Pineapple due to his afro-frizz), Jackson made his Our Gang debut in The Mysterious Mystery! Later working for Mack Sennett and alongside Mary Pickford, Jackson made a successful transition into talkies with his role in the 1928 musical Hearts in Dixie, and toured in vaudeville when adolescence took hold. Later turning up on television in both Julia and Sanford and Son, the former child-star published a biography titled Eugene Pineapple Jackson: His Own Story in 1998. Jackson also established studios in both Compton and Pasadena, where he taught dance. Eugene Jackson died of a heart attack in Compton, CA, on October 26, 2001. He was 84.