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Old 09-02-2013, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
19,360 posts, read 13,021,568 times
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Dee's tragic story is just another in a long string that goes back forever.
Does anyone remember Mary Miles Minter? Nope. But she was as big as Dee in the20's and led an even sadder life once she faded from the screen.
Stage mothers have existed far longer than the movies, and they always will. As long as a cute kid can memorize some lines, and looks great on camera, she will be somebody's paycheck.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:44 PM
 
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Thanks for the info about Mary Miles Minter. I'll look that up.

Did Jean Harlow have a horrible stage mother, too?
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soda120 View Post
Thanks for the info about Mary Miles Minter. I'll look that up.

Did Jean Harlow have a horrible stage mother, too?
Yes, indeed. So did Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Shirley Temple, and a bunch of others. Many of the child actors began as vaudeville artists; Garland was one of the Gumm Sisters, a song and dance act created and managed by their mother.
This was just as common with boys and young males. The Marx Brothers came from a vaudeville family, and their mother managed all their careers well into adulthood.

Cute and talented kids have always been meal tickets, but not all were abused or taken advantage of by their parents. Shirley Temple's mother was a full stage mother, but was responsible with her daughter's wealth, as was Elizabeth Taylor's parents.

Back then, just as now, it was the mother who dragged the child around to tryouts and auditions and are the initial manager/booking agent/ decision maker. The kids were seldom unwilling; to the reverse, they enjoyed all the pampering they got when the studios were all cranking out pictures weekly.

It's pretty much the same today, except that TV is the entry to the motion picture biz. There's not a lick of difference between Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan from Judy Garland. They all started very young, led very pampered childhoods, and many had exactly the same troubles Lohan has now once they reached young adulthood.
Relatively few are well educated or trained to manage their own affairs. Kids like Brooke Shields, Ron Howard, and Jodie Foster are all exceptions in they way they were brought up, obtained a college degree, and were able to transition to adult actors, directors, or other jobs in the motion picture industry.

Marriage is the escape for the girls. The boys have it rougher. Many male child actors are cut adrift once they lose their childhood cuteness and go on to live short, unhappy lives as adults.

Sandra Dee was just the 1960's version of Lyndsey Lohan. Someone else made all the decisions for her, kept her dressed in the latest fashions, and handled all the money she made. Bobby Darin did love her, but by the time they married, she was alcoholic, and must have been very difficult to live with.

Darin knew from childhood his heart was very bad, and knew he wouldn't live a long life. That knowledge, along with his intense ambition and talent, probably made their marriage even more volatile. One of the careers had to go, and Sandra's drinking just ended hers early. Who knows what would have happened to her if Darin had lived as long as she- he died before celebrity rehab became a specialized medical practice.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:08 AM
 
26,163 posts, read 14,463,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzybint
...so sad for such a lovely talented actress to end up losing all her fortune and dying not long after her mothers death, with her son the only person to care for her..
Yes very sad....... I love the movie GREASE,i have it on VHS
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:48 AM
 
Location: England
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There were others like Jackie Coogan. Made millions as a child star in the 20s. He got to 18 years of age, and found out all his money was gone, spent by his parents.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:13 PM
 
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Thats quite sad also........ His parents took advantage of him
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:55 PM
 
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Thanks, Banjomike.

My mind always goes to Rusty Hamer (Make Room for Daddy) when discussing child actors' transition into adulthood. His career was virtually kaput after Make Room for Daddy. This may have been previously posted, but he went from job to job, developed alcohol/sub abuse problems, and later killed himself (age 42?).

Rusty Hamer was a catalyst for Paul Peterson (another child actor who experienced challenging times) starting his "A Minor Consideration" program. I'd love to meet Paul Peterson one day because of this program. He knows what it's like to have a great career, then lose it, and no one calls. He knows what the rejection is like, and uses his experience to help others. Mr. Peterson didn't stay in bed and pull the covers over his head. He got up and did something pretty admirable. I wish he was a friend of mine.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:59 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,333,321 times
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Originally Posted by Soda120 View Post
I'd love to meet Paul Peterson one day because of this program.
I've met him. He is a tremendously nice, down to earth person.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
8,613 posts, read 8,614,769 times
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Originally Posted by English Dave View Post
There were others like Jackie Coogan. Made millions as a child star in the 20s. He got to 18 years of age, and found out all his money was gone, spent by his parents.

But he did make a comeback. He was "Uncle Fester" on The Addams Family.

Jackie Coogan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
8,613 posts, read 8,614,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
Dee's tragic story is just another in a long string that goes back forever.
Does anyone remember Mary Miles Minter? Nope. But she was as big as Dee in the20's and led an even sadder life once she faded from the screen.
Her life was more complex than that.

Jackie Coogan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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