Freckle-faced child actor Leonard Kibrick appeared in more than three-dozen movies across the 1930s and early '40s, often in bit roles and sometimes, more prominently, as a tough kid and bully. Born Leonard Kibrick Warren in Minneapolis in 1924, he entered movies in the early '30s, at age eight. His screen career dated from Darryl F. Zanuck's debut 20th Century Films production, The Bowery (1933), starring Wallace Beery, George Raft, and Fay Wray. Kibrick also had a small part in the Frank Borzage Depression-era masterpiece Man's Castle (1933), starring Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young, and he could be seen in uncredited roles in such major productions as Ah, Wilderness! (1935) and San Francisco (1936), well into the decade.
It was the handful of short films, though, that Kibrick made as part of Hal Roach's "Our Gang" (aka "Little Rascals") troupe that immortalized the actor. Starting with For Pete's Sake (1934), in which he played the nasty son of a greedy, conniving store owner (William Wagner), Kibrick was typed as a bully and tough kid, a role that he played to the hilt (and often to good comic effect) in the middle of the decade, in Shrimps for a Day (1934) and The Lucky Corner (1936, in which he reprised his role with Wagner from For Pete's Sake). Kibrick was supplanted as the company's heavy by Tommy Bond, who took on the role Butch, the resident bully, though Leonard's equally freckle-faced and huskily built younger brother, Sidney Kibrick, continued to get work in the Our Gang films, playing Butch's sidekick, "The Woim."
Leonard Kibrick turned up in small roles in Nothing Sacred (1937) and Roxie Hart (1942), but left pictures in the early '40s. He briefly resumed his acting career on television in the late '80s, with parts in The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman and an episode of L.A. Law. Kibrick died of cancer in 1993. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi