Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yelled at your child, feeling guilty?

Well, you've got nothing on THESE parents (via Mental Floss's Top Bad Parents):

1. When the movie Anatomy of a Murder came out, Jimmy Stewart’s dad was so upset by the content that he took an ad out in the newspaper imploring people to avoid his son’s filthy movie.

2. Mickey Hart, the drummer for the Grateful Dead, got his dad hired on as the band’s manager when the band was just starting out. The problem? Lenny Hart stole thousands of dollars from the then-struggling group. There was no love lost after he was fired: “He was an absolute rotten human being,” Mickey said when his father died.

3. Stephen King’s dad pulled the cliché “I’m going for cigarettes” move when Stephen was two and never came back.


Read the rest of the interesting dish, including, alas (take note, Charles Henry), Clara Bow's incredibly bad parents.


Charles Henry said...

I'm at a loss to explain why Jimmy Stewart's dad rates such a high profile spot on a list like this.

Louise Brooks' parent didn't care that she was molested by a neighbor, Clara Bow's dad molested his own daughter himself... publicly criticizing your son's choice of acting roles is a far cry from the other cretinous behavior chronicled in their line-up.

I tried to think of a better substitute but I'm coming up blank...

maybe Gary Coleman, who had to sue his parents to get his share of the money he earned on Different Strokes..
...and why not then Jackie Coogan, whose lawsuit against his parents led to the Coogan Act, to protect child star's like Coleman from avaricious parents.

(my wife's suggestion: Joan Collins, of "Mommie Dearest" fame)

Jimmy Stewart's dad, on the other hand..? I just don't see the big deal about that one.

Charles Henry said...

geez, I meant to say Joan Crawford, not Joan Collins. (my mistake not my wife's..)

Eowyn said...

Nor do I. And poor Jackie Coogan was not only exploited by his parents, but really horribly treated by frequent co-star Wallace Beery, whom he looked up to as a father figure. As the story goes, Beery would be the friendly, avuncular figure only during takes. Between them, he belittled, ignored or outright told Coogan to well, get lost, but in less polite terms. Poor Coogan was worked up into getting very emotional during scenes, making them extremely realistic. But as soon as the director called "cut," he was left to drift.

I always felt sorry for him.

Charles Henry said...

Poor Coogan was worked up into getting very emotional during scenes, making them extremely realistic...

My gosh, that poor kid. I didn't know that continued to be the case for him. His own father tormented him for the heartbreaking scene in the Chaplin film The Kid, where little Jackie is taken away to the workhouse.

Poor Jackie was having a ball acting with Chaplin, and just before they filmed the harrowing scene of him crying in the back of the truck, his dad apparently snuck over and whispered that if he didn't do a good job he would be taken out of the movie. Jackie Coogan later said that those tears in the final film were all real.

I never realized that they did this kind of thing to him on a regular basis!

There's no business like show business...

Eowyn said...

What bothers me, about humanity -- and I confess I expect humanity to see these things and adjust for them, by now -- is that children, by now, should be recognized for the potentials they are for all of us. They are the chance to redo things right, as it were. We continue not to see this, for whatever reason.

In the case of Jackie Coogan, he was a cog in the machine. But in the wider view, it is obvious how making sure this particular child sees things, ensures making sure he, and everyone else, sees things properly. You do NOT do this by torturing him in his vulnerability. Nor any child.


Back to square one.