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Tuesday, 22 August, 2000, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Growing pain of child stars
A film of the hit first Harry Potter novel will make a household name of its 11-year-old hero, actor Daniel Radcliffe. BBC News Online's Ryan Dilley looks at the triumphs and trials of child stardom.
When you reach the top, there's usually only one way to go.
For child stars the slippery slope to obscurity can be particularly steep, evoking pity and perhaps a little schadenfreude in a once clamouring public.
Becoming a has-been at 14 is often nothing to do with a lack of acting ability, according to veteran film critic Barry Norman.
"The talent may still be there, but the cuteness tends to vanish, to be replaced by gawkiness, puppy fat and unsightly pimples."
However unfair this may seem, the history of troubled child stars is as long as that of cinema itself.
Although he received an allowance of only $6.25 a week, the star was among Hollywood's highest paid actors - having brokered a $1m contract.
When the parts began to dry up in the 1930s, Coogan looked forward to the $4m held in trust by his family until his 21st birthday.
However, his mother and stepfather turned party-poopers, forcing the actor to fight them through the courts for his fast dwindling fortune.
The case prompted the passing of "Coogan's Law" to protect child stars' earnings, but came too late to save Coogan's marriage to screen siren Betty Grable - which faltered over "money matters".
Coogan later surfaced as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family TV series.
Hitting the big screen at just three, the ringletted-starlet was credited with buoying American morale during the Depression and keeping her studio, 20th Century Fox, from going under.
Despite the hard times, fans in the 1930s were willing to shell out not only for cinema tickets but also a whole raft of merchandise - from dolls to kettles.
Although Temple could not be accused of "gawkiness, puppy fat and unsightly pimples", the casting directors no longer beat a path to her door when she hit 20.
Taking such rejection on the chin, Temple reinvented herself as a politician, running for Congress and becoming a White House staffer.
Despite being best known worldwide for her rendition of On The Good Ship Lollipop, she was charged with some tricky diplomatic missions - including being made the ambassador to Czechoslovakia in the final year of the Cold War.
Although a regular in more family fare, it was this controversial role which captured the imagination of John Hinkley.
In 1981, after stalking Foster - then studying at Yale - Hinkley attempted to assassinate President Reagan.
He was said to be emulating the psychopathic central character in Taxi Driver, who shared his obsession with Foster's screen prostitute.
Foster went on to forge a successful adult career in Hollywood, twice picking up the Best Actress Oscar.
She remains one of Tinseltown's most secretive figures, jealously guarding her privacy.
Coleman, who even as an adult measures only 4ft 7ins, filed for bankruptcy last year - blaming financial mismanagement for the lost of his earnings.
The one time star, who receives constant treatment for a serious kidney ailment, has even been forced to sell personal items on "Web-a-thon" site to make ends met.
Convicted for assaulting a 14-stone autograph hunter who pestered him while he worked as a security guard, Coleman is not the only Diff'rent Strokes star to have a brush with the law.
Actress Dana Plato was accused of trying to rob a video store. She later died of a drug overdose. Todd Bridges was acquitted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
The film's director, Steven Spielberg, said she was "13 going on 29". The actress proved his point by ending up in a rehab clinic, attempting suicide and formally separating from her parents. All before she turned 16.
Though a maternal rift still exists - her mother recently auctioned an array of Barrymore's baby clothes - the actress has outlived her "wild child years", appearing in a string of hit movies.
Home Alone, in which the blond tyke was left at home by his parents, was one of the top grossing films of the 1990s, making £300m.
His meteoric rise was followed by an equally dramatic fall. Beset by family wrangles, Culkin "divorced" his manager/father and has not made a movie since 1994's ironically titled Getting Even With Dad.
He is set to resurrect his acting career on the London stage in Madame Melville.
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