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Flashback Friday: Where did Thora Birch go?

02.07.2014by: Droz

I was reading an article by The Guardian the other day about Thora Birch that kind of depressed me. It was an article I just happened to find while in the middle an impromptu Terry Zwigoff film festival I was holding for myself. As you may know, Terry directed the film Thora is perhaps best remembered for, 2001's GHOST WORLD, which also starred a young Scarlett Johansson. Back then, most people would have assumed Thora was destined for the big league rep Scarlett now enjoys. But things just didn't go that way. Instead, Scarlett blew up huge and Thora got tossed out like last week's garbage. As much as many of us love Scarlett, one does wonder how the hell things went so wrong for Thora?

The short answer to that question is that she pissed off too many people. Thora has been acting since she was 6. However her star began to shine brightest following movies like AMERICAN BEAUTY. Thereafter she became increasingly sought after by many a filmmaker, becoming a darling of the independent movie scene. Unfortunately for Thora, her affinity for independence was not limited to the kind of movies she made. Growing disillusionment over the Hollywood machine began to take hold in Thora. She also became troubled by the gradual decline of her acting contemporaries like Brittany Murphy and Brad Renfro, both now deceased. Combine all that with a vaguely unsettled nature and a somewhat troubled family situation and it becomes clearer how she eventually earned a reputation as a troublemaker - easily the kiss of death in Hollywood.

Nowadays the quick-witted cutie with the impressive rack is nowhere to be found. That's unfortunate, as I always had a special thing for Thora. She played exactly the kind girl I would have fallen for in a big way back in my high school days - cute, but sharp tongued, smart and clever, yet harsh and unforgiving. I'd have put myself through all kinds of hell trying to get next to her. That's the one silver lining to not having Thora around anymore. I can continue to see her as that same cynical square peg, making a mockery out of everyone and everything around her. I might have some trouble maintaining that were she now playing moms and school teachers.

As much as I do love those old roles, I'd hate to see them become her career's epitaph. Thora has helped set the standard for many a nonconformist character and indie actor who came after her. I mean, where would Ellen Page be without her? Perhaps Thora's brand of unsettled dissent just doesn't sit well with the showbiz of today. Maybe she's too much of a rabble-rouser to fit in with an increasingly superficial Hollywood. I do hope she finds her place somewhere, somehow. She's still got a lot of time left on her career clock. It would be a shame to see her count it all down while sitting on the sidelines.

Check out some of Thora in better times below.

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Source: Movie Hotties

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5:54AM on 02/07/2014
Buddy Cop Movie with Christina Ricci?
Buddy Cop Movie with Christina Ricci?
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12:50PM on 02/07/2014
I would imagine she'll make a return someday but having a steady, acclaimed career is probably off the table.
She's got epic tits though, damn.
I would imagine she'll make a return someday but having a steady, acclaimed career is probably off the table.
She's got epic tits though, damn.
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8:06AM on 02/07/2014
she is a industrial strength hottie especially with some meat on her bones...
she is a industrial strength hottie especially with some meat on her bones...
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6:14AM on 02/07/2014
All the accounts I've read point less to her attitude and more to her creepy, ex-porn-actor father who has become an albatross around her neck, on-set and elsewhere. A similar situation to Katherine Heigl and her mother but WAY more creepy.
All the accounts I've read point less to her attitude and more to her creepy, ex-porn-actor father who has become an albatross around her neck, on-set and elsewhere. A similar situation to Katherine Heigl and her mother but WAY more creepy.
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7:08AM on 02/07/2014
Yeah I was gonna say, her Dad was the one who tanked her career.
Yeah I was gonna say, her Dad was the one who tanked her career.
12:48PM on 02/07/2014
Agreed, it was definitely her Dad causing problems, not her.
Agreed, it was definitely her Dad causing problems, not her.
+4
8:28PM on 02/07/2014
I still rewarch "Now and Then" and "Hocus Pocus" every year and I always wonder why she's seemed to vanish. Last I saw of her was "Homeless to Harvard" and now realize that was 11 years ago. Beautiful girl. I hope she's happy whatever she's doing.
I still rewarch "Now and Then" and "Hocus Pocus" every year and I always wonder why she's seemed to vanish. Last I saw of her was "Homeless to Harvard" and now realize that was 11 years ago. Beautiful girl. I hope she's happy whatever she's doing.
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11:19PM on 02/07/2014

I also thought she was going to explode after GHOST WORLD

From the sounds of it, her attitude plus her father/manager's behaviour killed her chances of making good on her initial success. It sounds like she didn't glam up the way the suits wanted her to, and her father got her fired from an off-Broadway production of DRACULA when he threatened another actor during rehearsals. She was also friends with Brad Renfro and Brittany Murphy and had a front-row seat for their self-destruction.

It sounds like a combination of bad luck and problems dealing
From the sounds of it, her attitude plus her father/manager's behaviour killed her chances of making good on her initial success. It sounds like she didn't glam up the way the suits wanted her to, and her father got her fired from an off-Broadway production of DRACULA when he threatened another actor during rehearsals. She was also friends with Brad Renfro and Brittany Murphy and had a front-row seat for their self-destruction.

It sounds like a combination of bad luck and problems dealing with the Hollywood machine. A pity: she's a great actress.
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+1
7:59PM on 02/09/2014
I don't know where she went, but her boobs definitely need to come back.
I don't know where she went, but her boobs definitely need to come back.
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12:20PM on 02/07/2014

Wasn't There Gossip About Her Being an Escort?

I read that because of her dad causing trouble for her acting career, she's turned to escorting to make money (through her dad, of course). Also, there are rumors that her and her dad are way too familiar with each other. But, again, this is gossip from the Interwebs. In any case, I thought she was going to leave Scar Jo in the dust... go figure.
I read that because of her dad causing trouble for her acting career, she's turned to escorting to make money (through her dad, of course). Also, there are rumors that her and her dad are way too familiar with each other. But, again, this is gossip from the Interwebs. In any case, I thought she was going to leave Scar Jo in the dust... go figure.
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