Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, a young woman by the name of Joan L. Collins.
Like me, Joan collects vintage clothes (and vintage reproductions), bobs her hair, and has assumed the role of a 21st century flapper, as you can see in the picture to the right. (Doesn’t she look like someone who just stepped out of 1925?)
In addition to being a fan of the Jazz Age and perfectly recreating the look and feel of the era with her wardrobe and makeup, Joan is also an up-and-coming writer. Right now, she is in the middle of writing the first full-length biography of actor Carl Switzer.
“Carl who?” you ask. Some of you might know him best as Alfalfa, the freckled trouble-making kid with a cowlick from Hal Roach’s Our Gang series between 1935-1940.
A lot has been said about Alfie over the years, especially surrounding his untimely death in 1959. Many lies and half-truths have been told about him, his death, and his personal life. And Joan’s mission in life is to get the truth out there, hoping to finally lift the black cloud that has cast a shadow over his memory for over five decades.
She is working with Carl’s niece and several notable published biographers to help her with this biography, which she hopes to have published sometime next year.
While we all remember him as the kid with a cowlick from Our Gang, Switzer also worked in movies and television as an adult. Most of those roles after the Alfalfa years were sadly uncredited.
Some of those uncredited roles include:
- Going My Way (1944) as Herman Langerhanke
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) as Freddie Othello
- White Christmas (1954) as “Freckle Faced Haynes”, the dog-faced boy
- The Ten Commandments (1956) as “slave”
So the next time you watch any of those classics, be on the lookout for dear old Alfalfa all grown up!
If you are interested in learning more about Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer, Joan has a Facebook group dedicated to him with a whole load of rare images and information. Please drop by and say hello!
For videos and information on the upcoming biography, you can wander over to carlswitzer.com and thank her for all the hard work she is doing.
I really appreciate any support you are willing to give her. And if you know any fans of the Our Gang series, Alfalfa in particular, please pass this post (and Joan’s group and website) along to them!
::UPDATE AS OF JUNE 29, 2013::
The book is off and Joan L. Collins has suspended the “Alfie Project on Facebook indefinitely. That is all the information I have at this time.