Mildred Kornman aka Ricki VanDusen, ‘Our Gang’ Star, Dies @ 97

According to most sources, as of last week, there were just three human beings alive who appeared in any capacity in a Silent Era silent film — no stars, the last having died in 2020.

Kornman (second from L, next to Pete the Pup) (Image via vintage still)

On August 19, 2022, the last woman known to have appeared in a Silent Era film, Mildred Kornman, died at 97, according to a sweet remembrance by a longtime friend.

Kornman, born July 10, 1925, had followed her sister Mary Kornman (1915-1973) into films, making her debut at the age of 1 month in The Thundering Fleas in 1926.

She went on to become a regular in the Our Gang series from 1926-1928, and an extra from 1930-1935. She did movie extra work as well.

Perhaps her greatest achievement was as an in-demand fashion model in the '40s under the name Ricki VanDusen. She was photographed by the likes of Irving Penn (1917-2009), ending up on Vogue.

After her show biz careers, Kornman turned to photography, the profession of her father, who had worked for Harold Lloyd (1893-1971).

In her later life, Kornman made many appearances at fan conventions, having been noteworthy for her Silent work, for being an Our Gang survivor, for having worked with Laurel (1890-1965) & Hardy (1892-1957) and for her modeling history.

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