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'Our Gang's' Porky dead at 71

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Actor Gordon Lee, known as "Porky" in "Spanky and Our Gang" and the "Little Rascals" has died in Minneapolis just days short of his 72nd birthday.

Lee died Sunday of cancer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Saturday.

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The Fort Worth, Texas, native became a film star at 19 months in 1935 when his mother sent a picture to the Hal Roach studio after reading they were seeking someone to play Spanky McFarland's kid brother.

He appeared in 42 feature films and became known for his signature line, "Otay, Panky," the Star Tribune said.

His stardom was short-lived, however. Lee had a growth spurt prior to first grade, ending both his career as a little brother and his career in Hollywood.

Lee kept his background secret for years until the early 1970s, when a friend persuaded him to identify himself as Porky and reconnect with his childhood co-stars. After that, he became a regular at events, signing autographs and meeting with fans, the newspaper said.

The twice-divorced former child star moved to Minnesota in 1993 to be near his son.

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