Y is for Youth


Y

Y is for Youth

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Hollywood during the Golden Age at times could seem like an adventure playground filled with children. Child stars were a staple of most of the studios; and a huge draw. At one point Shirley Temple was indisputably The Biggest Star in the World. And many of her peers were also highly successful, and the 1930s and 1940s were marked by a succession of adorably cute  – sickeningly so, in some cases – pre-teens singing and dancing (and crying; there was often a lot of crying).

Judy Garland

Off-screen there were tears, too, in many cases – usually because of a terrible combination of pushy stage mothers and studio bosses who treated the kid players appallingly (most notably Judy Garland, who was under such huge pressure to lose weight that she developed eating disorders, and whose workload was so intense she lived in an endless cycle of amphetamines and barbiturates).

Once some of these kids grew into gawky adolescents, their appeal would wane. Few managed to stay popular playing teenagers, or ‘juvenile parts’ as they used to be called, and fewer still were able to have successful acting careers as adults.

marg
Margaret O’Brien
Jackie Coogan
Jackie Coogan
Jackie Cooper
Jackie Cooper
The Little Rascals
The Little Rascals
The Dead End Kids
The Dead End Kids
The Bowery Boys
The Bowery Boys
Freddie Bartholomew
Freddie Bartholomew
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Virginia Weidler
Virginia Weidler
Dean Stockwell
Dean Stockwell
Claude Jarman Jr.
Claude Jarman Jr.
Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler
McDowall, Roddy (Lassie Come Home)_01
Roddy McDowall
Brandon deWilde
Brandon deWilde
Bobs Watson
Bobs Watson
Edith Fellows
Edith Fellows
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7 thoughts on “Y is for Youth

  1. I used to love all these when I was younger myself. I still have a soft spot for the Rooney/Garland musicals, and for Shirley Temple too; even though she can be too much at times!
    Good choice for ‘Y’ Niall.
    Regards from Norfolk. Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandfather has 3 VHS collections: best of Shirley Temple, John Wayne, and The Little Rascals. That’s all he ever watches, except for hockey, and episodes of Little House on the Prairie that he doesn’t understand aren’t new, and haven’t been for 30 something years.

    Liked by 1 person

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