Andrea Darvi (born Andrea Margolis, New York, 1952)began acting at age seven, and considered her career essentially finished at age 15. She adored acting, but had the fortune - or misfortune, in Hollywood's eyes - to be born with very dark hair, huge dark eyes, olive skin and a naturally "plaintive" look. She was a quick study, and a tremendously gifted instinctive actress, but her looks relegated her to what she herself described as "street urchin/orphan waif" roles. In the early to mid 1960's, television casting was still a lockstep process. If the child was blond, blue-eyed, and not too tall, they could be cast anywhere during their prime years (which at that time, began to end about age 11). Talent was secondary - if the "look" was right, tremendous opportunities could open up. Darvi was a better actress than almost anyone in her age bracket at that time, but - notwithstanding her beauty - she had the wrong "look" to suit producers.
Bitterly resigned to her fate, she eventually accepted, and even eventually was relieved, that she was a "former actress". After college, she became a free-lance journalist, and wrote a balanced and revealing book about her - and many other child stars - experiences in Hollywood called "Pretty Babies" (McGraw Hill, 1983). She could have been one of the all-time great adult actresses, as for example Dakota Fanning will likely be, but she was born and began her career at a time when she had the "wrong look". It was Hollywood's loss.moreless