William "Billie" Thomas, Jr., child actor. He is best remembered for portraying the character of "Buckwheat" ("O-tay!") in the Our Gang (aka Little Rascals) short films from 1934-1944. Although the character he played was often the subject of controversy in later years for containing elements of the "pickaninny" stereotype, he always defended his work, pointing out that Buckwheat and the rest of the black kids were treated as equals to the white kids in the series. R.I.P.
William "Billie" Thomas, Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series' end in 1944. He was a native of Los Angeles, California.