The Mystery of Jocko the Monkey

Leatrice Gilbert

Eve Golden recently shared this photo of Leatrice Gilbert, the daughter of John Gilbert and Leatrice Joy. The question was the identity of the gentleman with the monkey.

Thanks to Mary Mallory, we have a partial answer. The monkey was named Jocko and he was apparently popular entertainment for children in the movie colony in the 1920s. A monkey named Jocko even has an entry on imdb about the same time. The trainer, however, has yet to be identified.

Jocko and Baby Leroy
Mary spotted the monkey, named Jocko, and his unidentified trainer while researching photos of Baby LeRoy, seen at right, and found this photo on EBay, where it is listed for $2.99.


Here’s another photo of Jocko with Rin-Tin-Tin, also listed on EBay for $6.99.


And finally, Jocko poses on Jackie Coogan’s head.

Thanks, Mary!

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Animals, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Mystery of Jocko the Monkey

  1. I thought the face was different from Josephine’s! Thanks for this update.


  2. Anne Papineau says:

    Did Jocko appear with Buster Keaton in The Cameraman, while Buster was photographing the Tong War?


  3. mandymarie20 says:

    Awesome photos! Thanks for finding about the entertaining Jocko. I wonder how many kids enjoyed the antics of Jocko.


  4. Kirk Silsbee says:

    When my father was a boy in the 1920s, his mother took him downtown on Saturdays to shop and see shows at the vaudeville theaters. A familiar sight on the downtown streets was an Italian organ grinder with a little monkey like Jocko. The man wore a coat with large, Captain Kangaroo pockets; the monkey wore a little uniform. The man would grind the organ, as the monkey went around to people who stopped to watch, tipping his cap to collect tips. One afternoon, my father and grandmother were heading home on the Red Car, and my dad noticed that the Italian man was up ahead in the car, with his organ all folded up, but no monkey in sight. At some point though, a tail uncoiled out of one of those big pockets.


  5. Eve says:

    Thanks, Mary and Larry I will forward this along to Leatrice Jr.’s son.


  6. Jim Shulman says:

    There was a mustached Italian organ grinder named, Mike, with a monkey, Jocko, who used to appear in Pittsfield MA in the summer and Mike died about 1943.


  7. Tom Myrtle says:

    Comparing the photos above with one from the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (in which he is shown with Laurel and Hardy, IAMLA/The Campanaro and Santillo family, 1930), I believe the unidentified trainer to be Tony Campanaro, who is said to be the trainer of Josephine as well as Petey, the dog from the Our Gang films. Mr. Campanaro is also said to have worked as animal trainer for the Hal Roach Studios. Furthermore, has a page for Mr. Campanaro, which lists 58 film credits, including “The Kid Brother” and “The Cameraman.”


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