A Rock Springs Man’s Film Career Revisited by Museum Employees

A Rock Springs Man’s Film Career Revisited by Museum Employees

Rock Springs native Mickey Daniels, second from left, and other Our Gang cast members from the original silent film series.

ROCK SPRINGS — One of the hardworking volunteers at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum recently came across a portrait of a young man named Mickey Daniels and inquired about who he was, which is why museum employees revisited Mickey Daniels’ career.

Back in 2019, museum staff prepared an article about Daniels and his career, which was the subject of a special update recently.

At least one Rock Springs native was able to break into the movies, and he did it after appearing at the Rialto Theater in the early 1920s.

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Mickey Daniels, born Richard Daniels, Jr. in Rock Springs on October 11, 1914, was the son of Richard Daniels, himself an actor born in Wales, and his wife Hannah. Mickey started performing young, and he was spotted by a talent agent during a performance at the Rialto Theater on South Main Street in 1921. (Like many theaters of the time, the Rialto offered live entertainment as well as films.)

Mickey Daniels, second from left, in 1932’s Too Many Women.

By the next year, he’d been signed by producer Hal Roach for the groundbreaking Our Gang series, whose stars were a group of loveable, ragtag kids.

Daniels appeared in over 100 short and feature films between 1922 and 1941. Film buffs in particular remember him as Mickey the Truant Officer in 1933’s Fish Hooky, one episode of the Our Gang series later syndicated on television.

Daniels left acting in the 1940s and died in San Diego, California, in 1970.

The Rialto Theater, circled at right, circa 1930, as evidenced by the featured film Up the River, starring Spencer Tracy and Claire Luce. Now long gone, the Rialto was located on South Main Street in Rock Springs just west of South Main’s intersection with C Street.

A YouTube video about Daniels and his film career is below.