Is the Actor Who Played Alfalfa Buried With a Drawing of His Dog From the Little Rascals?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

Let’s begin!

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: The actor who played Alfalfa in the Little Rascals films is buried with a drawing of his dog from the films.

Carl Switzer is best known for his role as Alfalfa in the various Little Rascals films.

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In the movies, Switzer has a pet dog named Petey.

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Switzer died young, at the age of 31, and on his grave, there is a drawing of a dog…

This had led many fans over the years to naturally presume that the dog is a tribute to Petey, but that’s not the case.

Switzer had a difficult life after the Little Rascals films ended. He was 13 when the last film came out in 1940, and besides some Bowery Boy knock-off films in the late 40s, he did not have much more success as an actor, a fact certainly not helped by his rumored poor disposition.

Later on, Switzer would move to Kansas where he married, had a kid and got divorced. While there, he hunted a lot and bred dogs for a living. He bred dogs for Roy Rogers and Jimmy Stewart.

It is for THIS reason that the dog appears on Switzer’s grave, because he was a dog breeder.

In 1959, the 31-year-old Switzer was killed by an acquaintance over a debt from an unpaid loan. At the time, it was ruled that the homicide was justifiable, as Switzer allegedly came at the man with a knife. In the time since, though, that story seems to be a bit suspicious (especially seeing as how Switzer knife that he had on him was a penknife and it was not even open), but I suppose we’ll never know for sure what happened that day.

Switzer suffered one last indignity – he died the same day as Cecil B. DeMille, so Switzer’s passing was barely noticed by the media.

The legend is…

STATUS: False

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com

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