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You'll Barely Recognize Butch From Little Rascals Now

It's been 28 years since the release of the 1993 baseball movie "The Sandlot," an indelible classic about a group of young boys with a special friendship. And just a little more than a year after "The Sandlot" debuted, there came another release which celebrated the all-important friendship of a ragtag group of boys: that film is The Little Rascals, a 1994 comedy about friends who struggle to deal with one of them having their first crush.

The film was beloved for its charming and eclectic cast of characters, boys (and one girl) around the ages of four through nine, whom all had their own distinct personalities and memorable parts. Even Butch (Sam Saletta), one of the local bullies who spends the whole time causing trouble for the titular group of friends, was loveable in his own right.

Sporting the trademark bad boy look of a leather jacket, backwards cap, and oversized pants and shirt — and, of course, accompanied by a partner-in-crime — Butch kept trying to beat up lead protagonist Alfalfa (Bug Hall). Butch and his accomplice, Woim (Blake Jeremy Collins), steal a go-kart from Alfalfa and his friends, to use for themselves in a local go-kart derby. The friends build a new vehicle, though, and Alfalfa beats Butch and Woim in the race. When they try to beat him up in retaliation, he finally stands up for himself, landing a punch on Butch to claim victory over the bullies, once and for all.

So goes the fate of Butch... but what happened to the actor who played him, Sam Saletta? Well, with it being almost thirty years since The Little Rascals, it's no surprise that he's grown up quite a bit.

Sam Saletta hasn't acted in over a decade

Butch in "The Little Rascals" was Sam Saletta's third role: previously, he'd appeared in one episode each of "ABC Afterschool Specials" and "Missing Persons." After "The Little Rascals," he continued acting for a while. Among his various roles was a two-episode arc in "Beverly Hills, 90210" in 1997. Then, from 1997 through 2001, he appeared in six episodes of "7th Heaven," playing George Camden, an orphan who's taken in by the Camden family patriarch, Colonel John Camden. While playing this role, Saletta continued wearing the long, curly-haired mullet that he had in "The Little Rascals."

That's effectively the last time Saletta appeared onscreen — with or without his long locks — as with the exception of a bit part in an episode of "ER" in 2003, the rest of his acting career has involved voice work. However, Saletta still flexes his creative muscles — just in a different form now.

Butch from The Little Rascals is now a musician

Sam Saletta is all about music these days. Instead of long curly locks, his older self seems to favor short hair and a five o'clock shadow. As he writes in his Twitter bio, he is now an "LA Based Singer/Songwriter and music professional." He even has a website to promote his music, which includes an EP, simply dubbed "The Sam Saletta EP."

According to blog posts on Saletta's website, Saletta launched an Indiegogo campaign in October of 2014 to help fund his first album. Less than three months later, he announced his fundraising goal had been reached, and said he would begin recording. He posted an update in September of 2016 — a video of him recording a song. In the video, he shows off not only that he can sing, but also that he can play keyboard. In early 2017, he announced his album would be finished and released that spring. A link to purchase the album off Amazon appears broken, but Saletta's EP became available on Soundcloud in April 2018.

Sam Saletta makes his living from music and voicework

When he's not making music, Sam Saletta has also lent his voice to other projects. Over the years, he has had recurring voice roles in the Canadian animated kids show "The Kids from Room 402" and the Nickelodeon animated show "Rocket Power," among other projects. He has also provided voicework for two video games, 2003's "Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly," and 2010's "Call of Duty: Black Ops." According to Saletta's website, he also lent his voice to a California-wide commercial promoting the affordable California Community College initiative, through the financial aid website "I Can Afford College.com."

That said, Saletta's social media and music website have been relatively inactive in recent years, so while his passion for music is clear, it's unknown if he's been working on a new release. He certainly has built a pretty impressive music portfolio: as noted on his site, he studied jazz vocals at the USC Thornton School of Music, where he learned to play keyboard, and in his late teens, he made it to the top 40 of "American Idol." As of a few years ago, he was making a living by playing music for films and live shows.

Saletta's site also suggests that he'd rather make some distance from his Butch days, as the end of his bio states: "Sam has been told that he was a child actor once, though he doesn't remember much about it..."

Well, he may not remember acting, and he may be focused on music now, but to most people, his child star days will always be fondly remembered.