David Gorcey, 63, an original Dead End Kid who appeared in more than 100 movies including all the Bowery Boys comedies of the late 1940s, died Oct. 23 at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, Calif. He had diabetes.
He appeared mostly as a straight man for his real-life brother, Leo, in the Dead End Kids and Bowery Boys movies. He retired from films in 1958 to become the head of Colonial House, a halfway house for alcoholics and drug abusers.
Mr. Gorcey started in show business as a child, joining his father, Bernard Gorcey, on the vaudeville circuit in the 1920s. Bernard Gorcey and his two sons, David and Leo, all played original roles in the Bowery Boys and Dead End Kids comedies.
Mr. Gorcey appeared on Broadway from 1935 through 1938 playing a street kid in "Dead End," Sidney Kingsley's play about a New York slum. Its success led Hollywood to produce more social dramas, provided an important part for Humphrey Bogart and inspired the 24 Dead End Kids movies.
Three groups evolved from the Dead End Kids, including the Bowery Boys, who were led by Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall. Leo Gorcey, who played a tough, pint-sized, fast-talking Brooklyn layabout, died in 1969.
Between 1946 and 1948, when most of the comic young hoodlums were actually well into their 40s, the Bowery Boys made 48 low-budget films, at first using fairly realistic themes but later straying into fantasy. Their appeal was based on puns and slapstick, and although the films were panned by critics, they resurfaced as nostalgia.
Besides the mostly silent role of Pee Wee in the Bowery Boys, David Gorcey also performed in several movies. Among these were "Little Tough Guy" and "Prairie Moon," both in 1938. In "Prairie Moon," he appeared in his first starring role, playing a cattle rustler opposite Gene Autry.
He also appeared in "Sergeant Madden" with Wallace Beery, also in 1938. A year later, he was featured in "Code of the Streets." In 1940, he appeared in "City for Conquest" with James Cagney, and "Boy of the City."
In 1947, he played Mickey Rooney's boxing trainer in "Killer McCoy." His Bowery Boys features included "Angels in Disguise" and "Bowery Bombshell," both in 1949, and "In the Money," in 1958. His last film, made later that year, was "Cole Younger's Gunfighters," in which he played a gunslinger.
After leaving the motion picture business, Mr. Gorcey, who was a licenced minister of the Gospel and International Missionary, retired to work with alcoholics and drug abusers in the Los Angeles area.
His survivors include a child, a sister and two grandchildren.