HOLLYWOOD'S CHILDREN: An Inside Account of the Child Star Era by Diana Serra Cary

HOLLYWOOD'S CHILDREN: An Inside Account of the Child Star Era

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Is there anything more to say about Jackie, Shirley, Mickey, Judy, and Deanna? Diana Cary--formerly Baby Peggy--was among the cast of Hollywood child stars whose careers foundered at puberty, and her view of the era looks back to 19th-century predecessors, examines serveral cases of the stage-mother syndrome, follows the curves of many careers, and includes a good number of the anecdotes and sad songs familiar from other show-biz scrutinies. Her own on-again, off-again career began at 19 months and peaked when she was five or six; thereafter, one manager ran off with her assets, the Depression wiped out her comeback earnings, and her adolescence at Lawlor's Professional School was characterized by hopes of top billing once more. It never came. Like many of her Lawlor schoolmates, she married and divorced early and struggled into adulthood with no survival skills. Much of this has been told before: how Judy's mother pushed hard while Ginger's used kid gloves; how Buckwheat had to travel in a different Pullman than the rest of the Gang; how most, victimized by greedy relatives, never saw the money they earned while the lucky ones, like Shirley Temple, were more properly protected and inherited their due. It's a jump-around history, with a muted moral--Cary found her peace in religion--and her own story moving in and out of the limelight. No star, perhaps, but the Baby Peggy reminiscences add bite.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1978
ISBN: 0870744240
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin