Margaret O'Brien, one of filmdom's brightest child stars throughout the 40s and 50s, was invited to a round table of former pixie stars assembled here, then given no footage in the final cut.
It was as though Margaret's optimism and positive career reflections had no place on this forum of basically negative recalls.
Here was an over-the-title co-star opposite to such greats as Judy Garland (in "Meet Me in St. Louis") adored by millions and who worked steadily as a true star for twenty years. Yet in this tv presentation (shown on the Biography Channel) O'Brien's remarks were limited to mere seconds during group round table general banter.
Could it be that the producers didn't really want to hear a former child star who actually enjoyed her work, made a successful transition into adulthood, and who lived and is living a normal, pleasant life? After all, that would mess up their dramatic theme of troubled over-the-hill actors who ran into all kinds of tough situations following their respective youthful careers. No place for normalcy or joy in this discussion.
Whatever the case, O'Brien's lack of footage speaks for itself. In fact, it's almost embarrassing to watch everyone at the round table except Maggie given time to share. Still, those who remember this talented MGM youngster, who co-starred in equal billing with such luminaries as Edward G. Robinson (in "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes") and Charles Laughton (in "Three Wise Fools") know O'Brien was a genuine star.
That she's turned out normal and so well-adjusted may be her biggest blessing in disguise: there's nothing disturbing to tell here, just a living success. So she can smile politely at the others and get on with her happy life.
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