Dickie Moore, Child Actor in 'Oliver Twist,' Dies at 89

Courtesy of Photofest
Dickie Moore in 1933's 'Oliver Twist.'

He was also known for his role in 'Little Rascals.'

Dickie Moore, the child actor who was famous for his role as the title character in 1933’s Oliver Twist, has died, according to the New York Times. He was 89.

Moore, who also was known as one of Hal Roach’s Little Rascals and starred in numerous Our Gang shorts, died Thursday. His wife, actress Jane Powell, said in a 2013 interview that he was suffering from arthritis and dementia.

Oliver Twist, which was directed by William J. Cowen and starred Irving Pichel, Doris Lloyd and William Boyd, was notable as the first film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel to have sound.

Moore’s film roles also included Blonde Venus (1932) with Marlene Dietrich, So Big! (1932) with Barbara Stanwyck, Million Dollar Legs (1932) with W.C. Fields, Winner Take All (1932) with James Cagney and Man’s Castle (1933) with Spencer Tracy. In 1942, he starred alongside Shirley Temple in Miss Annie Rooney, a film about a young woman (Temple) who falls in love with a rich teenager (Moore). The film featured Temple’s first onscreen kiss.

Born Sept. 12, 1925, Moore made his film debut as an 11-month-old baby in 1927’s The Beloved Rogue. By age 7, he had appeared in more than 20 films. But by the time he was a teenager, his film career slowed, and he stopped acting by the 1950s. In the late ’60s, he founded his own public relations firm, Dick Moore Associates, in New York.

Moore met his third wife, Powell, whom he married in 1988, when he interviewed her for his 1984 book Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (But Don’t Have Sex or Take the Car), which features interviews with such child actors as Mickey Rooney, Natalie Wood, Jackie Coogan and Powell.

In a 1984 interview about the book, Moore said: “We were all very isolated. Shirley Temple told me she thought all children worked. … Many of us thought that was all there was. And we were in competition, too, of course. There was a big feeling of competition, and friendships were not encouraged.”

He is survived by Powell.

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