Throughout the history of Hollywood, child performers have constantly clashed with parents and guardians in charge of their money and lives. The stories of little stars like Britney Spears and Gary Coleman are well known. But long before them was child actor Laura Lee Michele. In the 1940s, Michelle became a famous Hollywood actress at the age of 7, working alongside screen legends such as Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper. But by the age of 22, she was in prison. Then she disappeared.
Today is the first part of a two part story about Michel’s life. This is a story that reveals the underside of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the dangers faced by child actors. Read the full transcript here.
Master: Gustavo Arellano
Guests: LA Times Company Town reporter Stacy Perman