April 20, 2010

Butch and Buddy from "Spring Parade" (1940)

Above: Butch and Buddy with Deanna Durbin in the film "Spring Parade" (1940).

"Butch and Buddy" were a pair of kid actors played by Billy "Butch" Lenhart (1930-) Kenneth "Buddy" Brown (1932-).

They appeared together in several Universal films in the early 1940s. The first pairing was in Universal's "The Under-Pup" (1939) starring Gloria Jean in her first film. They played the sons of Billy Gilbert's character.

Universal needed two young boy actors again for the zany comedy "Sandy is a Lady" (1940) starring 2-year old Baby Sandy, who was Universal's answer to Shirley Temple. Lenhart and Brown were chosen to play "Butch" and "Buddy" in the film, and this is how they got their stage names.

They were such a hit that they were paired together in several more movies over the next five years.

The first film where they were billed together as Butch and Buddy was in Spring Parade starring Deanna Durbin (read the new review here at the Deanna blog)

Their most well known films are:

"Never Give a Sucker and Even Break" (1941) with WC Fields and Gloria Jean


"In the Navy" (1941) with Abbott and Costello

After 1945 they pretty much dissovled as a comedy team, as neither had the desire to pursue film acting as a career.

Kenneth Brown appeared in only one other film after 1945, in "36 Hours" (1953) where he had a bit part as a cop.

Films with Butch and Buddy:

"Sandy is a Lady" (1940)
"Spring Parade" (1940)
"Jumpin' Jive" (1941)
"In the Navy" (1941)
"Man from Montana" (1941)
"Never Give a Sucker and Even Break" (1941)
"Doin the Town" (1941)
"Melody Lane" (1941)
"Johnny Doughboy" (1942)
"Cinderella Swings It" (1943)
"Spotlight Revue" (1943)
"A Lady Takes a Chance" (1943)
"Army Wives" (1944)
"Rough Ridin' Justice (1945) (cameo)

As of this writing, I do not know what they did after thier film career, but I am researching this.


  1. I just saw these kids for the first time in Spring Parade and found them irritating as heck! Not the actors fault, but the characters they played were, let's face it, brats. I was just waiting for them to be punished for making up nasty lies and messing things up between Deanna & her fella... and felt pretty frustrated when the movie didn't punish or explain their behavior. I assume they were lying about her so they would be paid more for (false!) information? But the awful things they said about Deanna's character seemed way too malicious and unprovoked. What did she ever do to them?! In an otherwise delightful romantic comedy musical, Butch and Buddy were the sour note for me!


  2. At one point critics called them "The kids you want to spank." Certainly seems like a good idea!

  3. Buddy is my uncle :-)

  4. Kenneth Brown went on to play piano for the Frank Sinatra Jr. band.

  5. Butch is my uncle! I am surprised to see them here! In real life was just a normal kid and well behaved most of the time. His dad used a razor strop! Amazing what you can find on Google! Rhonie Lenhart

  6. Butch is my Uncle Bill. In real life he was a normal kid! He was pretty well behaved as his Dad used a razor strop on us! I never got it but saw a couple of my older cousins get it!