Sarah Jessica’s “Sad, Dark” Child Star Origins


Unlike most child stars, Sarah Jessica Parker hasn’t grown up to be a crack addict, serial killer, or reality show star. In fact, she’s done quite splendidly while keeping her wit and professionalism about her and not even driving drunk or without the proper accessories. And a new memoir, Put on a Happy Face by Broadway songwriter Charles Strouse, reminds us of just how effortlessly she started out in the biz, with no failure to launch whatsoever.

Well, maybe just a little. When Sarah Jessica was nine and appearing in an off-Broadway revue of Strouse’s songs, he desperately wanted her to go into his wildly successful family musical Annie, but everyone else involved in that show said no way! They were certain the future superstar was “too sad looking” and “too dark” to score in that project. (Real visionaries, huh?) Well, Strouse insisted and SJP got the part of an orphan, eventually clawing her way to the title role of the moppet with the saucer eyes, fright wig, and scary optimism. She rocked—and after that, going from Daddy Warbucks to Mr. Big probably wasn’t THAT much of a stretch.