In an ideal world parents are supposed to care for us and look out for our needs.

However, some child stars who made it big in Hollywood may have a different view.

Many Hollywood parents, or as they are sometimes called stage mums and dads, have been seen as difficult, pushy, controlling, selfish, and who act out their own agenda.

Looking at the history of stage parents, some of the most prominent ones which come to mind are Minnie Marx, Gertrude Temple, and Ethel Gum, and in more recent times, Jaid Barrymore and Dina Lohan.

At one point or another they all tried to break into show business themselves and weren’t greeted or embraced by the fickle world of Hollywood. So, instead they built their lives and hopes around their children, living through their successes.

It’s one thing to live vicariously through another by being pushy and unrealistic; but it’s another to live off your child’s means or, even worse, squander their fortune.

Many Hollywood child stars have had their earnings frittered away by greedy and over-zealous parents.

Jackie Coogan was the first child star who took his parents to court to reclaim his earnings way back in the 1930s.

He was famous for starring alongside Charlie Chaplin in one off the most famous silent movies of all time, “The Kid”.

Coogan broke hearts as the young abandoned child that Chaplin’s character the ‘Tramp’ takes in and cares for.

The scene where Coogan’s character is being dragged away from the Tramp is still regarded as one of the most heart wrenching scenes in Hollywood.

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Just as heart wrenching was Coogan’s mother and her husband who stole his earnings estimated to be worth approximately $3m. Even today that’s a lot of money, never mind in the 1930s.

They lived an extravagant lifestyle spending money on furs, expensive cars and other luxurious items.

Coogan successfully sued his mother and step father, but after legal expenses, he was awarded the miserable sum of $126,000.

However, some good did come out of the court battle. The attention it got resulted in the 1939 enactment of the California Child Actor’s Bill.

It was nick-named the “Coogan act.”

The Bill mandated that the employers of child stars had to set aside 15% of the child’s earnings in a trust which they couldn’t access until they were 18 years old.

However, this was not enough. The Bill doesn’t go far and in more recent times, child superstars from all entertainment areas names including Macaulay Culkin, Gary Coleman, LeAnn Rimes and Dominique Moceanu have all taken their parents to court to recover their lost fortunes and to deny their parents any access to their future earnings.

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