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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 39

Forever Young

The ageless appeal of child stars. Words by Megan Nolan. Photograph by Luc Braquet.

In 2015, podcaster Jonathan Goldstein produced a segment for Reply All which asked the question: Why Is Mason Reese Crying? Reese was a ubiquitous 1970s presence on American television, cropping up on talk shows and in commercials of every kind. He was a striking, unusual looking child with distinctive facial features and bright red hair and the preternaturally adult demeanor and quick-fire banter common to many child stars.

Goldstein  tracked Reese down to ask him about a time when he was co-hosting the popular Mike Douglas Show as a child. On the podcast, Goldstein describes a YouTube video where Reese’s precocious facade crumbles dramatically with inexplicable emotion over Harry Chapin’s live performance of “Cat’s in the Cradle.” The little boy abruptly abandons his formerly frivolous tone, to the visible discomfort of Douglas, and instead turns to the side, hiding his face and heaving with inconsolable sobs. It’s


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Nine

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