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Scotty Beckett was a child star who appeared in 15 "Our Gang" shorts in the mid-1930s, and he had much success as a child and juvenile over the next decade, perhaps having his greatest success playing the young Al Jolson in The Jolson Story in 1946. He seemed prepared to make the transition from juvenile actor to young adult, appearing with many of the top younger stars of that time, including Elizabeth Taylor, but he started a rapid descent into problems with drugs, alcohol, and violence, and although he lived another 20 years, passing away in 1968 at the age of 38. His final years were marked with one awful event after another, and he is surely one of the saddest Hollywood stories of a child actor gone wrong.
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