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Job Descriptions: The Former Child Star


Snap judgments about Hollywood's living, breathing cautionary tale.

In show business, the heaviest cross to bear isn't that of struggling actor. It's former child star. You've tasted the fruit, you know what you're missing. So that word, "former," it just sits there, mocking you, doing everything in its power to prevent you from booking another part.

But why resign yourself to the fate of a has-been? Because the cruel passage of time has transformed those adorable chubby cheeks into the pitted flesh of a failed existence? No siree, Bob! Whoever said there are no second acts either never had one or isn't a fan of The Celebrity Apprentice (GE).

After years of toiling in movies with talking babies, who didn't give John Travolta the benefit of the doubt in Pulp Fiction? When Martha Stewart finished serving a five-month sentence for insider trading and set about rebuilding the beleaguered Omnimedia (MSO), who among us didn't drape ourselves in swatches of fabric and solidarity? President Clinton rehabilitated his image, post-presidency, with lofty initiatives. The lowly ABC network (DIS) underwent an extreme makeover, rocketing from last to first in Nielsen ratings.

Watching someone lose footing and fall from grace only to claw their way back to success appeals to our basic survival instincts. A meteoric rise is interesting, but it's got nothing on a well-orchestrated return to former glory.

Good luck with that.

Minyanville's Job Descriptions: Former Child Star
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