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Jerry Tucker Shatz Papers

Abstract

Title:
Jerry Tucker Shatz Papers
Author/Creator:
Schatz, Jerry
Collection number:
LAB 99-48
Size:
39.00 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1931-1943
Inclusive dates:
1931-1987
Collection Area:
Mass Media and Culture
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

Jerome H. Schatz was a child actor of both film and radio during the 1930s and 1940s. Schatz, performing under the name Jerry Tucker, became the youngest actor ever placed under contract to Paramount studios. His most prominent role was as the spoiled rich kid in the Our Gang comedies. Schatz left show business to join the Navy and worked as engineer after World War II.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

The collection is open for research use.

Preferred citation:

Jerry Tucker Shatz Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/16405
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Fees page for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Jerome H. Schatz, child actor of both film and radio during the 1930s and 1940s, was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 1, 1925. When Paramount executive Albert Kaufman spotted young Jerry at the boxing club managed by his father, Leonard Schatz, he suggested that Jerry might have a career in show business. Based on this suggestion, Mr. and Mrs. Schatz moved their family to Hollywood. Soon after they arrived they were informed that Schatz was too ethnic a name, so Jerry Schatz adopted the stage name of Jerry Tucker. In 1929, at the age of four, Jerry became the youngest actor ever placed under contract to Paramount studios. As a result of his red hair, blue eyes and pale skin, he became known as the Red, White and Blue Kid and was famous for his ability to recite passages from memory. Jerry appeared in many films and radio programs but is best remembered for his work in the Our Gang comedies.

Jerry (Tucker) Schatz appeared in films such as Sidewalks of New York (1931) with Buster Keaton, No Man of Her Own (1932) with Carole Lombard, Babes in Toyland (1934) with Laurel and Hardy, San Francisco (1936) with Jeannete MacDonald, Captain January(1936) with Shirley Temple and Boys Town (1938) with Spencer Tracy. His most prominent role, however, was as the spoiled rich kid in the Our Gang comedies. His Our Gang debut was a minor role in Shiver My Timbers (1931). From that minor role, he went on to work in 18 Our Gang comedies including, Hi-Neighbor (1934) in which he played the rich kid with the slick fire engine, Mamas Little Pirate (1934), Anniversary Troubles (1935) and Teachers Beau (1935).

Leonard Schatz unexpectedly died in 1932 and in 1939 Ruth Schatz and her son relocated to New York City. In New York, Jerry worked in several radio programs including King Arthur Jr. (1940-1941) and Twenty Grand Salutes Your Birthday (1941).

In 1942 Jerry Schatz left show business and joined the Navy. He suffered injuries when a kamikaze hit the destroyer USS Sigsbee (00502) on which he served. In 1944 Mr. Schatz married Myra Heino and they had two daughters, Karen and Renee. Jerry Schatz did not return to showbusiness after the war. Instead he studied electrical engineering at the State University of New York, Stony Brook and Empire Colleges, and worked as an engineer for RCA Global Communications until his retirement in 1981. He currently lives with his wife Myra in New York.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Papers of Jerry Schatz spans the years 1931 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1931 to 1943. The collection contains scripts, photographs, a scrapbook, a magazine article, two videotapes and a 1930s baseball uniform.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Mr. Jerome H. Schatz donated the Papers of Jerry Schatz to the Library of American Broadcasting in 1998.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Linda M. Machado, 1999.

Processing note:

Basic perservation work was conducted.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Lizzie Nolan, January 2012.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection is organized as three series.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Scripts, 1939-1942 (4.00 linear feet)

This series contains scripts from radio shows between 1939 and 1942. The script for Twenty Grand Salutes Your Happy Birthday is marked with autographs by Babe Ruth, Jimmy Dorsey, Buddy Shuts and Gene Tierney.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Hilltop House -- Episodes #545 and #587, December 1, 1939 and January 30, 1940 series 1box 1folder 1
Society Girl -- Episodes #190, #195 and #211, July, 1940 series 1box 1folder 2
David Harum, September 26, 1940 series 1box 1folder 3
Set Sail -- Episodes #1 and #35, October 7, 1940 and November 29, 1940 series 1box 1folder 4
King Arthur" -- Episodes #1 and #47, December 2, 1940 and February 7, 1941 series 1box 1folder 5
Twenty Grand Salutes Your Happy Birthday, February 28, 1941 series 1box 1folder 6
Jones & I -- Episode #1, September 13, 1941 series 1box 1folder 7
Jones & I, April 4, 1942 series 1box 1folder 8
The Andersons -- Episode #64, July 3, 1942 series 1box 1folder 9
Postmarked Today, August 30, 1942 series 1box 1folder 10
Front Page Farrell, September 30, 1942 series 1box 1folder 11
The Eyes and Ears of the Air Force, November 3, 1942 series 1box 1folder 12
Hop Harrigan Special Salvage Commercial, undated series 1box 1folder 13

Series 2: Photographs, 1931-1935, undated (4.00 linear feet)

This series contains 163 photographs from the film career of Jerry Tucker. Included are stills and publicity shots from numerous movies including, Hi Neighbor, Private Lives, Captain January, Prosperity, Tovarich and Dick Tracy Returns. Cary Grant, Claudette Colbert, Spanky McFarland, Buster Keaton, Shirley Temple, Maurice Chevalier, Kate Smith, Ginger Rogers, Bing Crosby and Marie Dressler are among some of the stars pictured in this series.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
King Arthur Jr., undated series 2box 1folder 14
Our Gang autographed by Jerry Tucker, undated series 2box 1folder 15

Series 3: Biographical, 1939-1942, undated (one folder and one oversize box)

This series contains an interview with Jerry (Tucker) Schatz that appeared in Filmfax magazine (no date), a synopsis of his movie and radio work in Hollywood and New York from 1939 to 1942, a scrapbook, two videotapes and a baseball uniform. The scrapbook documents Jerry Schatzs work in television, radio and in the Navy. It contains newspaper clippings, photographs, correspondence (including a condolence card to Jerry Tucker from Kate Smith), and membership cards. One videotapes is a copy of, Hollywood Nostalgia, 1930-1940, narrated by Jerry (Tucker) Schatz and the other is Hi Again Neighbor, The Story of Spanky and Jerry, written and produced by Steve Randisi and Jack Roth. Finally, this series includes the baseball uniform worn by Jerry Tucker when he served as the Paramount Studios Baseball team mascot.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Interview and Film & Radio Work Synopsis, undated series 3box 1folder 16

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.