Diana Serra Cary loved writing. She began with magazine articles and greeting cards (made with her husband). She worked as a bookstore manager and finally became a full author of her own. And towards the end of her life she became a publisher as well.
Now a quick note here. Online book prices can fluctuate wildly for no real reason. And sadly the death of an author or subject can create artificially high prices from resellers (Hollywood’s Children has a listing for over $800 on one site today). Resold books do not benefit her estate or family. March 2020 new copies of her autobiography, Coogan biography, and The Hollywood Posse are sold by her estate.
The Hollywood Posse: The Story of a Gallant Band of Horsemen Who Made Movie History
by Diana Serra Cary
First released: 1974, Last Reprinted 2016
Also Available For Kindle
Summary: After 1912, when the great cattle empires began to crumble, hundreds of seasoned cowboys found themselves jobless. A handful of discarded horsemen, however, stumbled upon an entirely new frontier – Hollywood. In a rare insider’s view, Diana Serra Cary tells the story of these cowboys, who survived for another fifty years as riders, stuntmen, and doubles for the stars. Filled with humorous anecdotes, The Hollywood Posse reveals the full story of the cowboys’ long and bitter feud with autocratic director Cecil B. De Mille; their relationships with the great Western stars – from the flamboyant Tom Mix to the durable John Wayne; and above all, their touching loyalty, code of honor, and devotion to each other.
Hollywood’s Children: An Inside Account of the Child Star Era
By Diana Serra Cary
First Published 1979, Last Reprinted 1996
Summary: Diana Serra Cary’s well-wrought, empathetic narrative presents he underside of he glittering stage and screen world; frightened children, merchants who buy and sell childhood as a commodity, rapacious stage mothers and fathers whose ambition and avarice make them willing to sacrifice their children to fulfill their own dreams
Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy?
By Diana Serra Cary
First Published 1996, Last Reprinted 2016
Summary: A former child film star shares her experiences growing up and offers insight into the lives of child stars, the burdens she carried, Hollywood’s beginnings, and the forgotten world of the vaudeville circuit.
Jackie Coogan the World’s Boy King
By Diana Serra Cary
First Published 2003, Last Reprinted 2016
Summary: Discovered by Charlie Chaplin in 1919, four-year-old Jackie Coogan soared to overnight stardom for his title role in the silent masterpiece, The Kid. A string of successes followed, including Peck’s Bad Boy, Oliver Twist, and A Boy of Flanders, earning Coogan a fortune of four million dollars. Dubbed “The Millionaire Kid” by the press, he later had to sue his parents in a futile attempt to recover his squandered fortune. His later years were marked with penury and the cruel diminishment of his childhood fame. As an adult, he found work in character roles and gained unexpected but fleeting fame as “Uncle Fester” in the series The Addams Family. He continued to make guest appearances on television until his death in 1984. In Jackie Coogan: The World’s Boy King, Diana Serra Cary reveals the little-known and even less understood private life of this famous child star and his dysfunctional family. She looks at the highs and lows of an actor who reached the height of fame before ten and whose subsequent career took an inevitable fall. Cary also examines the conduct of Coogan’s parents, whose behavior served as an unfortunate model for countless others who sought fame and fortune through their children’s success. The author, a major child star (the former Baby Peggy), employs her own hard-won insight to explore the career and family woes of another in this fascinating account about one of the greatest child stars of all time. Includes more than 30 photos.
The Drowning of the Moon: A Historical Novel of 18th Century Silver Lord Aristocracy in New Spain
By Diana Serra Cary
Summary: The Drowning of the Moon is a vast panoramic novel whose major characters are drawn from the aristocracy of 18th-century Mexico, an upper class made up almost exclusively of immigrant Spaniards and native-born criollos, the latter direct descendants of the first conquistadores, who legitimately lay claim to pure European blood. While the novel is a work of fiction and all the characters, (excepting historical personages) are entirely fictional as well, it should be understood, at the outset, that everything is solidly grounded in fact. All historical personages and events are treated with scrupulous regard to accuracy — physical appearance, temperament, political stance and chronology. No one is found where he or she could not have been at that time. As for the differing viewpoints of events, they are based on a sympathetic study of letters, diaries and histories of all the nations involved – The United States, Mexico, Spain, Great Britain and France. Those already familiar with the histories of 18th-Century United States and New Spain will recognize several figures, who play important roles. Among them are Father Miguel Hidalgo, the visionary priest whose daring changed the course of his country’s history and Baron Von Humboldt, explorer extraordinaire, who toured the great silver mines of Guanajuato in the autumn of 1804. Antonio de Riaño, Spanish-born Intendent of Guanajuato, who fought on the side of Yankee rebels against the British in Louisiana in 1777 and later took as his wife the renowned New Orleans’ beauty and aristocrat, Victoria St. Maxent. And, General James Wilkinson, First Commander in Chief of the American Army, who appears as the hidden hand behind much early American diplomacy. The story of the main protagonist is set against colonial Mexico’s little-known, but incomparably rich silver-mining industry, and the lavish life-style of its “silver lords.” A family saga, The Drowning of the Moon is written to be equally fascinating to readers already familiar with Mexico’s Spanish past and those coming upon it for the first time. Their drama sweeps from Guanajuato’s inexhaustible mines to Mexico City and Upper California, from Acapulco and Manila to Santa Fe and south to an immense plantation above New Orleans. It traces the rise of this titled silver nobility to the brutal destruction of its gracious society — a Gone with the Wind of Mexico. True historical figures mingle with fictional characters as both are involved in the daily tasks of such diverse professions as silver mining, silk raising, Church and convent, the Bourbon Army, Viceregal politics, the arts and the now almost unknown, but incredibly lucrative China Trade. Annually millions in Oriental luxuries and silver coin were carried from Manila to Acapulco and back, aboard the largest armed galleons afloat. By investing in the China Trade many mine owners financed the high cost of sinking their deepest shafts. But endangering this prospering and peaceful realm hang the dark threats of Napoleonic deceit, a land-greedy, expansionist government in Washington, and the venal prime minister of a cuckold Spanish king. The Drowning of the Moon re-creates Mexico’s dazzling silver elite, giving readers a wealth of romance and dramatic conflict, that grows directly out of the period in which its story is set to present a true and even-handed view of their vanished world.