Matthew Beard was a child
actor best known for his role as "Stymie" in Hal Roach's Our Gang short
films from 1930 to 1935. He appeared in 90 films and television
series. In the Our Gang films, his character sported an
oversize derby hat given to him by comedian Stan Laurel. After he left
the series in 1935, he had minor roles in feature films, including Captain
Blood and The Return of Frank James with Jackie
Cooper, an Our Gang alumnus.
Four of Matthew's family
appeared in the Our Gang comedies. His younger sister Betty
Jane Beard preceded him in the gang. She ws dressed as a boy and played "Farina's" little brother
"Hector" in two films.
Another younger sister,
Carlena Beard, appeared as his younger sister in three shorts.
His younger brother, Bobbie
Beard, appeared for two years as his younger brother "Cotton."
To top things off, his
mother, Johnnie Mae Beard, appeared as (what else?) his mother in two of the
series. She was the only family member besides Matthew who had a speaking
Later, one other Beard family member, Matthew's
younger brother Renee Beard, appeared in two of Hal Roach's Our Gang-derived
featurettes of the 1940s.