Sunday 10 April 2016

Book ~ "X Child Stars: Where Are They Now?" (2016) Kathy Garver and Fred Ascher

From Goodreads ~ This is the go-to guide for fans for biographical information, rare photos and interesting trivia about their favorite child stars, shows, networks, and the times that defined the shows. 

Spanning sixty years of television history, this book details both the success stories and tragedies of many child stars. Here is the story of Anissa Jones, Buffy on Family Affair, who tragically died from a drug overdose at the age of seventeen, as well as Ron Howard, who starred in both The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, and who later became an Academy Award winning director. 

A child star herself, Kathy Garver profiles these and other legends of classic television in a book that will answer the question: Where are they now?

This book is written by Kathy Garver, who was Cissy in the 1960s sitcom Family Affair.  It is a guide to all the shows (most well-known but some were obscure) that had children in them and what happened to these kids.  The chapters are broken up by year from the 1950s to the 1980s

  • The 1950s - I Love Lucy, The Adventures of Ossie and Harriet, Make Room for Daddy, Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, etc.
  • The 1960s - My Three Sons, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, Petticoat Junction, The Munsters, etc.
  • The 1970s - The Partridge Family, The Waltons, Happy Days, Little House on the Prairie, One Day at a Time, etc.
  • The 1980s - Family Ties, The Cosby Show, Kate & Allie, Married ... with Children, Roseanne, etc.

Each show has a section within the chapter.  The section starts by saying how many episodes were made, the network the show was on, if the shows were black and white or in colour, and the debut and finale dates.  I found the updates on the child stars extremely high level.  It would have been nice to have a bit more detail rather than just a paragraph or two.  It would have been nice also to have more pictures (there were just a handful) of what they looked like back in their heyday and what they look like today (or in some cases, before they passed away).

Garver said that she knows some of the people she wrote about.  I found her a bit judgmental and opinionated at times.  For example, about Erin Moran of Happy Days, she said that she's seen her at some autograph shows and Erin seemed very hyper and "overmedicated".  She also said that Gary Coleman of Diff'rent Strokes would have benefited from anger management.  I imagine she was trying to make the book more personal but I would have rather than she told us about the child stars and keep her opinions to herself.

At the end of the book there is information and resources.

It's a quick read and is a reminder of all the shows from the past.

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