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Brown - Dark
Place of Death
Mission Hills, California
Cause of Death
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Profile Bio Text
Carl Dean "Alfalfa" Switzer (August 7, 1927 – January 21, 1959) was an American child actor, professional dog breeder and hunting guide, most notable for appearing in the Our Gang short subjects series as Alfalfa, one of the series` most popular and best-remembered characters. Switzer was born in Paris, Illinois, the second son, fourth and last child of Gladys C. Shanks (née Doerr) and G. Frederick Switzer. He was named Carl after the Switzer family and Dean after many relatives in his grandmother`s family. He and his older brother, Harold Switzer, became famous around their hometown for their musical talent and performances; both sang and played a number of instruments.
The Switzers took a trip to California in 1934 to visit with family members. While sightseeing they eventually wound up at Hal Roach Studios. Following a public tour of the facility, 8-year-old Harold and 6-year-old Carl entered into the Hal Roach Studio`s open-to-the-public cafeteria, the Our Gang Café, and began an impromptu performance. Producer Hal Roach was present at the commissary that day and was impressed by the performance. He signed both Switzers to appear in Our Gang. Harold was given two nicknames, "Slim" and "Deadpan," and Carl was dubbed "Alfalfa." The Switzer brothers first appeared in the 1935 Our Gang short, Beginner`s Luck. By the end of the year, Alfalfa was one of the main characters in the series, while Harold had more or less been relegated to the role of a background player. The tenure of both Switzers in Our Gang ended in 1940, when Carl was twelve. Carl continued to appear in movies in various supporting roles, including I Love You Again, Going My Way, Courage of Lassie, and It`s a Wonderful Life and starred in the John Wayne film Island in the Sky where he coined the phrase "Whatever`s customary," about the only line he spoke throughout the film, but one he repeated several times in it.
In the early 1950s, Switzer moved to Kansas. He lived and worked on a farm at Pretty Prairie, west of Wichita. There he met and married Diane Collingwood, the heiress of grain elevator empire Collingwood Grain. The marriage only lasted four months, but did result in the birth of a son whose name was a well-kept secret. In 2002, it was revealed that his son`s name is Lance.
He Died by gunshot wound by an acquaintance in an argument over $50 which Switzer felt the acquaintance owed him. The acquaintance pleaded self-defense, and the judge ruled the death "justifiable homicide." Carl Switzer is interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. His death went virtually unnoticed in the media, as Switzer died on the same day as Cecil B. DeMille. Switzer received only minor footnotes in most newspapers, while DeMille`s obituary dominated the columns.
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Full Name at Birth
Carl Dean Switzer
Freckles, Infamous Cowlick, Off-Key singing, Crossing of Eyes, Tall & Skinny, Oversized Cowboy Hats
Cowboy Chaps & Cowboy Hats
Hunting In The Sierra's
The Little Rascals 
Carl Dean Switzer (August 7, 1927 – January 21, 1959) was an American singer, child actor, dog breeder and guide.
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