Okay, maybe icon is stretching it a bit, but Gennie James was THE child actress of the mid-1980s. Homegirl was in EVERY tv movie that mattered: The Hugga Bunch, The Christmas Gift (with JOHN DENVER no less), The Secret Garden (with Colin motherf’ing Firth and other disappearing child actor Barret Oliver!!!) and the first show that ever made me cry Alex: The Life of a Child where she played Frank Deford’s daughter who died of cystic fibrosis. I was in first grade when that movie hit the airwaves. I admit I was a bit of a melodramatic kid–I also loved Beaches–and I snuck downstairs to watch as she passed away in her father’s arms. Oh, how I cried and cried and cried. I just made the mistake of rewatching that scene on youtube and now I need to pop in a Golden Girls DVD so I won’t go to bed depressed.
At any rate, Gennie stopped acting in 1988 when she was just 11 years old. Now, if this was 20 years ago I would forever wonder what the hell happened to her. But this is 2012 where you can find out anything you want via Google! And sure enough . . . Gennie gave up acting and is apparently living a normal life with a husband and kids in Texas. It’s almost anti-climactic how easy this was to find out. Bahhhhh.
Let’s remember the good old days by watching a little clip of The Hugga Bunch.