“Bare Knees” Flapper

The Life and Films of Virginia Lee Corbin

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About the Book

One of the most popular Hollywood child stars of the late 1910s, Virginia Lee Corbin was well known to fans worldwide. With her mother as her manager, Corbin retained her popularity as she grew older. She performed in vaudeville for a couple of years before continuing her film career. Corbin fit well into the flapper mold of the Jazz Age and appeared in many films throughout the 1920s. As she matured, her mother found it ever more difficult to control her. Corbin led a difficult life. After her mother’s suicide attempt, she found that all the money she had earned was gone. Her marriage (at age 18) failed and she was eventually separated from her children. The flapper struggled to remain relevant in the sound era and was trying to make a comeback when she died at 31 in 1942.

About the Author(s)

Retired school public relations officer Tim Lussier has had a 45-year passion for silent films. His website, SilentsAre, has been one of the most popular silent movie sites on the Internet for the past 20 years. He lives in Whispering Pines, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Tim Lussier

Foreword by Kevin Brownlow

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 218
Bibliographic Info: 65 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7568-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3425-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Kevin Brownlow 1
Preface 3
1—Looking Back 7
2—From Prescott to Hollywood 9
3—The Road to Stardom 20
4—A Regular ­Tear-Shedder 25
5—The Most Consummate Little Actors in the World 35
6—Emotional Star 40
7—The Magic of Aladdin 46
8—Fairy Tales, Fox and Friction 51
9—New Star in a New Year 57
10—The Cowboy and the Last Fairy Tale 62
11—From Star to Supporting Roles 69
12—Vaudeville Lights 73
13—Back to Hollywood 79
14—One of the Few to Survive 84
15—A Former Child Star Grows Up 92
16—The Elusive Peter Pan 101
17—Court, WAMPAS and Good Reviews 116
18—Lost Opportunities 132
19—Court, Crooks, Cars and Cafes 143
20—Insanity 151
21—Moving On 155
22—Talkies and Troubles 165
23—Enter Teddy 171
24—But It’s Work 176
25—Children, Divorce and Renewed Hopes 183
26—Once They Were Great 188
Filmography 195
Chapter Notes 199
Bibliography 205
Index 207

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Lussier’s biography fleshes out [information about Corbin’s life] as best as possible, scrounging up reviews, newspaper clippings and magazine articles for each step of Virginia’s busy career. To say this was painstaking work is an understatement, but he managed to piece together a surprisingly detailed—and nicely readable—examination of her life and work.”—Silentology

• “It is always commendable when lesser known performers benefit from the hard work and research of writers and film historians who take the time to explore their life and work. ‘Bare Knees Flapper’ is a quintessential book for anyone interested in film history, and should find a place in any library or research center. Most highly recommended.”—jlneibaur-writer