The Cultural Significance of the Child Star

Author: Jane Catherine O'Connor

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135898251

Category: Social Science

Page: 190

View: 8563

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The child star is an iconic figure in Western society representing a growing cultural trend which idolises, castigates and fetishises the image of the perfect, innocent and beautiful child. In this book, Jane O’Connor explores the paradoxical status of the child star who is both adored and reviled in contemporary society. Drawing on current debates about the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood and fears about children ‘growing up too soon’, she identifies hostile media attention around child stars as indicative of broader social concerns about the ‘correct’ role and place of children in relation to normative ideals of childhood. Through reference to extensive empirical examples of the way child stars such as Shirley Temple, Macaulay Culkin, Charlotte Church and Jackie Coogan have been constructed in the media, this book illustrates both the powerlessness and the power held by this tiny band of children, and demonstrates their significance as representatives of the public face of childhood throughout the twentieth century and beyond.
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Hollywood's Children

An Inside Account of the Child Star Era

Author: Diana Serra Cary

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 296

View: 5457

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Diana Serra Cary's well-wrought, empathetic narrative presents the underside of the glittering stage and screen world: frightened children, merchants who buy and sell childhood as a commodity, rapacious stage mothers and fathers whose ambition and avarice make them willing to sacrifice their children to fulfill their own dreams. The first part of the book mines a lode of new information, recounting stories of the precursors to Hollywood's child stars (and their ambitious parents) - the spectacular 1853 stage debut of four-year-old Cordelia Howard, the rise of red-haired Lotta Crabtree in California's Gold Rush camps, and the travails and triumphs of the hoydenish Elsie Janis as she ad-libbed her way to stardom. Cary - as "Baby Peggy", Hollywood's pioneer child star, the youngest in theatrical history - has lived her subject, surviving a childhood filled with an enormous workload, some real physical danger, and emotional trauma. She weaves her own story of being her family's chief breadwinner with similar tales involving famous movie children she knew and worked with - Jackie Coogan, Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, and Judy Garland, among many others.
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Remembered Childhoods

A Guide to Autobiography and Memoirs of Childhood and Youth

Author: Jeffrey E. Long

Publisher: Libraries Unlimited

ISBN: 9781591581741

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 495

View: 617

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Presents a guide to more than 2,800 autobiographies published between 1725 and 2007 arranged in categories that reflect shared themes and characteristics.
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The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America

Author: John F. Kasson

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393244180

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 2224

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“[An] elucidating cultural history of Hollywood’s most popular child star . . . a must-read.”—Bill Desowitz, USA Today Her image appeared in periodicals and advertisements roughly twenty times daily; she rivaled FDR and Edward VIII as the most photographed person in the world. Her portrait brightened the homes of countless admirers: from a black laborer’s cabin in South Carolina and young Andy Warhol’s house in Pittsburgh to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s recreation room in Washington, DC, and gangster “Bumpy” Johnson’s Harlem apartment. A few years later her smile cheered the secret bedchamber of Anne Frank in Amsterdam as young Anne hid from the Nazis. For four consecutive years Shirley Temple was the world’s box-office champion, a record never equaled. By early 1935 her mail was reported as four thousand letters a week, and hers was the second-most popular girl’s name in the country. What distinguished Shirley Temple from every other Hollywood star of the period—and everyone since—was how brilliantly she shone. Amid the deprivation and despair of the Great Depression, Shirley Temple radiated optimism and plucky good cheer that lifted the spirits of millions and shaped their collective character for generations to come. Distinguished cultural historian John F. Kasson shows how the most famous, adored, imitated, and commodified child in the world astonished movie goers, created a new international culture of celebrity, and revolutionized the role of children as consumers. Tap-dancing across racial boundaries with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, foiling villains, and mending the hearts and troubles of the deserving, Shirley Temple personified the hopes and dreams of Americans. To do so, she worked virtually every day of her childhood, transforming her own family as well as the lives of her fans.
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The Guide to United States Popular Culture

Author: William Labov,Ray Broadus Browne,Pat Browne

Publisher: Popular Press

ISBN: 9780879728212

Category: Social Science

Page: 1010

View: 1367

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"To understand the history and spirit of America, one must know its wars, its laws, and its presidents. To really understand it, however, one must also know its cheeseburgers, its love songs, and its lawn ornaments. The long-awaited Guide to the United States Popular Culture provides a single-volume guide to the landscape of everyday life in the United States. Scholars, students, and researchers will find in it a valuable tool with which to fill in the gaps left by traditional history. All American readers will find in it, one entry at a time, the story of their lives."--Robert Thompson, President, Popular Culture Association. "At long last popular culture may indeed be given its due within the humanities with the publication of The Guide to United States Popular Culture. With its nearly 1600 entries, it promises to be the most comprehensive single-volume source of information about popular culture. The range of subjects and diversity of opinions represented will make this an almost indispensable resource for humanities and popular culture scholars and enthusiasts alike."--Timothy E. Scheurer, President, American Culture Association "The popular culture of the United States is as free-wheeling and complex as the society it animates. To understand it, one needs assistance. Now that explanatory road map is provided in this Guide which charts the movements and people involved and provides a light at the end of the rainbow of dreams and expectations."--Marshall W. Fishwick, Past President, Popular Culture Association Features of The Guide to United States Popular Culture: 1,010 pages 1,600 entries 500 contributors Alphabetic entries Entries range from general topics (golf, film) to specific individuals, items, and events Articles are supplemented by bibliographies and cross references Comprehensive index
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The Dream Endures

California Enters the 1940s

Author: Kevin Starr

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199923930

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 5872

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What we now call "the good life" first appeared in California during the 1930s. Motels, home trailers, drive-ins, barbecues, beach life and surfing, sports from polo and tennis and golf to mountain climbing and skiing, "sportswear" (a word coined at the time), and sun suits were all a part of the good life--perhaps California's most distinctive influence of the 1930s. In The Dream Endures, Kevin Starr shows how the good life prospered in California--in pursuits such as film, fiction, leisure, and architecture--and helped to define American culture and society then and for years to come. Starr previously chronicled how Californians absorbed the thousand natural shocks of the Great Depression--unemployment, strikes, Communist agitation, reactionary conspiracies--in Endangered Dreams, the fourth volume of his classic history of California. In The Dream Endures, Starr reveals the other side of the picture, examining the newly important places where the good life flourished, like Los Angeles (where Hollywood lived), Palm Springs (where Hollywood vacationed), San Diego (where the Navy went), the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (where Einstein went and changed his view of the universe), and college towns like Berkeley. We read about the rich urban life of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and in newly important communities like Carmel and San Simeon, the home of William Randolph Hearst, where, each Thursday afternoon, automobiles packed with Hollywood celebrities would arrive from Southern California for the long weekend at Hearst Castle. The 1930s were the heyday of the Hollywood studios, and Starr brilliantly captures Hollywood films and the society that surrounded the studios. Starr offers an astute discussion of the European refugees who arrived in Hollywood during the period: prominent European film actors and artists and the creative refugees who were drawn to Hollywood and Southern California in these years--Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Man Ray, Bertolt Brecht, Christopher Isherwood, Aldous Huxley, Thomas Mann, and Franz Werfel. Starr gives a fascinating account of how many of them attempted to recreate their European world in California and how others, like Samuel Goldwyn, provided stories and dreams for their adopted nation. Starr reserves his greatest attention and most memorable writing for San Francisco. For Starr, despite the city's beauty and commercial importance, San Francisco's most important achievement was the sense of well-being it conferred on its citizens. It was a city that "magically belonged to everyone." Whether discussing photographers like Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, "hard-boiled fiction" writers, or the new breed of female star--Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, and the improbable Mae West--The Dream Endures is a brilliant social and cultural history--in many ways the most far-reaching and important of Starr's California books.
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Get Happy

The Life of Judy Garland

Author: Gerald Clarke

Publisher: Delta

ISBN: 0307556336

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 528

View: 4960

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She lived at full throttle on stage, screen, and in real life, with highs that made history and lows that finally brought down the curtain at age forty-seven. Judy Garland died over thirty years ago, but no biography has so completely captured her spirit -- and demons -- until now. From her tumultuous early years as a child performer to her tragic last days, Gerald Clarke reveals the authentic Judy in a biography rich in new detail and unprecedented revelations. Based on hundreds of interviews and drawing on her own unfinished -- and unpublished -- autobiography, Get Happy presents the real Judy Garland in all her flawed glory. With the same skill, style, and storytelling flair that made his bestselling Capote a landmark literary biography, Gerald Clarke sorts through the secrets and the scandals, the legends and the lies, to create a portrait of Judy Garland as candid as it is compassionate. Here are her early years, during which her parents sowed the seeds of heartbreak and self-destruction that would plague her for decades ... the golden age of Hollywood, brought into sharp focus with cinematic urgency, from the hidden private lives of the movie world's biggest stars to the cold-eyed businessmen who controlled the machine ... and a parade of brilliant and gifted men -- lovers and artists, impresarios and crooks -- who helped her reach so many creative pinnacles yet left her hopeless and alone after each seemingly inevitable fall. Here, then, is Judy Garland in all her magic and despair: the woman, the star, the legend, in a riveting saga of tragedy, resurrection, and genius.
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Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams

The Story of Black Hollywood

Author: Donald Bogle

Publisher: One World

ISBN: 0307514935

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 432

View: 514

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In Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams, Donald Bogle tells–for the first time–the story of a place both mythic and real: Black Hollywood. Spanning sixty years, this deliciously entertaining history uncovers the audacious manner in which many blacks made a place for themselves in an industry that originally had no place for them. Through interviews and the personal recollections of Hollywood luminaries, Bogle pieces together a remarkable history that remains largely obscure to this day. We discover that Black Hollywood was a place distinct from the studio-system-dominated Tinseltown–a world unto itself, with unique rules and social hierarchy. It had its own talent scouts and media, its own watering holes, elegant hotels, and fashionable nightspots, and of course its own glamorous and brilliant personalities. Along with famous actors including Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Hattie McDaniel (whose home was among Hollywood’s most exquisite), and, later, the stunningly beautiful Lena Horne and the fabulously gifted Sammy Davis, Jr., we meet the likes of heartthrob James Edwards, whose promising career was derailed by whispers of an affair with Lana Turner, and the mysterious Madame Sul-Te-Wan, who shared a close lifelong friendship with pioneering director D. W. Griffith. But Bogle also looks at other members of the black community–from the white stars’ black servants, who had their own money and prestige, to gossip columnists, hairstylists, and architects–and at the world that grew up around them along Central Avenue, the Harlem of the West. In the tradition of Hortense Powdermaker’s classic Hollywood: The Dream Factory and Neal Gabler’s An Empire of Their Own, in Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams, Donald Bogle re-creates a vanished world that left an indelible mark on Hollywood–and on all of America.
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