Mildred Kornman July 10, 1925 – August 20, 2022
Bad news on a Lazy Sunday. James L Neibaur alerted me to the passing of Mildred Kornman, the formerly oldest living member of the, Our Gang films and quite possibly the last living actor to appear in a role in silent movies. Mildred was 97, born July 10, 1925). Mildred was the sister of Mary Kornman, who was basically, the Darla Hood of the early Our Gang Comedies, appearing in at least forty shorts! She died in Colorado fifty years ago of cancer.
But back to Mildred, who attained a rare second act as Ricki VanDusen, (yeah, that's how she spelt it!) one of America's first super-models during the 1950s, appearing on countless magazine covers, like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. She lived out her golden years out in the sticks at her ranch in rural Utah. But, Before she bugged out, she built a successful career as businesswoman and photographer. If you were to ask her what her greatest accomplishments were, she would tell you it was her kids, son Stephen and daughter, Darragh, not to mention her whole posse of grand kids!
Mildred was actually born in Hollywood and graduated Hollywood High. Her Dad, Eugene Kornman, was a photographer who worked closely with Harold Lloyd. Mildred was named after Lloyd's wife, silent star, Mildred Davis. It was in his capacity as a photographer that Mildred and her more famous sibling, Mary were discovered. It was either trouble finding child care or during, "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day," but Hollywood solved that problem for the Kornman family.
Mildred's passing means there are just two remaining cast members from the Our Gang/Little Rascals comedies on the planet. Mickey, played by acquitted suspected wife murderer, Robert Blake, who will be 90 next on September 18, 2023 and Sidney Kibrick, who played Butch's sidekick, Woim, who will be 95 on July 2, 2023! That's how the woim toins!