Podcast: What happened to Lora Lee?

Throughout the history of Hollywood, child entertainers have consistently clashed with the parents and guardians who manage their money and lives. The stories of kid stars like Britney Spears and Gary Coleman are well known. But long before them was child actor Lora Lee Michel. In the 1940s, Michel became a famed Hollywood actress at age 7, working alongside screen legends like Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper. But by the time she was 22, she landed in prison. Then she disappeared.

Today, part one of a two-part series tracing Michel’s life. It’s a story that reveals the underbelly of Hollywood’s Golden Age and the perils facing child actors. Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times Company Town reporter Stacy Perman

More reading:


A child star at 7, in prison at 22. Then she vanished. What happened to Lora Lee Michel?

An old VHS tape gives a son a glimpse of his father’s shot at fame in 1960s Hollywood

Explaining Hollywood: Your child wants to act. What do you need to know?

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