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Trent Bernard "Junior" Durkin, Hollywood's Saddest Story


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"Junior" Durkin and was an orphan by the time he was 14. His mother had been a secretary with the Shubert Theatre on 44th Street in New York City. During her illness, Junior and his sisters, Grace and Gertrude lived in a Catholic Orphanage, St. Mary's just outside of New York City.

Within the 5 years following his mother's death, Junior appeared in 13 movies and 5 plays.

Then he went to San Diego with his best friend, Jackie Coogan and Jackie's Dad, Jack. During the drive to the Coogan Ranch near the Mexican Border, a car passed them and then cut in front of them along the Imperial Highway near Pine Valley. When Jack Coogan slammed on his breaks the car went over the embankment and flipped over and over. Jackie Coogan and Junior Durkin were riding in the rumble seat. Jackie was able to hold on, while Junior was thrown out of the car and landed in the creek bed. Jackie(with broken ribs) struggled to get Junior and his Dad up to the road in hopes of flagging down help. Both died in the arms of the crying, distraught former child star.


I can't find any website which includes very much information about Trent so I have included his story on my blog:




I will gratefully add any information provided to Junior's story.


Message was edited by: bkohatl

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