There are a lot of factors of filmmaking that get questioned ethically by audiences and thinkers. It involves understanding whether certain things are acceptable even when they are done under the banner of creativity and performance arts. One such aspect has been the saga of child actors. In the past and at present several people have asked the question, to what degree is having child actors acceptable, and if it is, what are the valid limitations that should be put on filmmakers to ensure the welfare of the children they hire? There has been no lack of hot takes on this matter either, and many have provided their two cents.
In the past many actors who worked as children came out to tell their stories and what it is like to be a child actor in the ever-demanding world of films and television. Some of these stories were not short of horror stories. Melanie Griffith had done a nude scene in her early movies when she was still a teenager. Jennette McCurdy also talked about how she never wanted to start acting in the first place and was forced by her mother to do it. By the age of 12, she was the main financial support of the family. Mara Wilson, the lead of Matilda, also quit acting due to several reasons, one of the reasons being the way she was treated on set after she hit puberty.
There is no shortage of such concerning stories in the world of child stars. Often times there has been a discussion about the long time effect such pressures can have on children. One such actress whose story does not fall far from this list is Ashleigh Aston Moore. Most remember her as Chrissy from Now and Then. Remembered as a sweetheart from her work. What happened to her?
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Like many in the business, Ashleigh also started her work in acting at a very young age. At the age of four year old, she started acting. Like a typical beginning, she first started in advertisements and commercials. Later after starring in several commercials, she landed a dual role in 1997 in the CBC series The Odyssey. This was a children’s fantasy series that ran for three seasons and thirty-nine episodes before it ended in 1994. Ashleigh played the role of Donna in the series normal world and of Alpha in the Downworld, which was the fantasy land in which the protagonist finds himself after lapsing into a comma.
Moore frequently acted after her role in Odyssey. She appeared in famous works like Liar Liar (1993) and Family of Strangers (1993). during this time, she also made appearances in well-known shows like Madison and Northern Exposure. However, her most popular work came in 1995 when she appeared in Now and Then.
Now and Then was her best-known work, where she appeared in the role of Chrissy DeWitt. This was a coming-of-age story, and Moore ended up working alongside well-known actors like Melanie Griffith, Demi Moore, Gabby Hoffman, and Thora Birch. She had to gain 20KGs for this role which gave her some severe body issues.
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Due to her well-known roles, Ashleigh became a well-known name. She was nominated for a Gemini Award for her role in A Family of Strangers. In 1996 she received a best young actor nomination for her role in Now and Then. In 1995 she was awarded the YTV Achievement Award for he debut series, The Odyssey. However, she quit acting in 1997. Her final work was her appearance in Touched By an Angel as Abby Fontaine. There is little known about why Moore quit her work. She ended up moving closer to her family in Canada.
On December 11th, 2007, she died at the age of 26 in British Columbia. There were some reasons given for her death, but the real cause was not publicly announced. It is commonly believed that she died of a drug overdose. One individual, claiming to be friends with the actress, said that Moore suffered from Lupus or Munchausen Syndrome and detailed her struggle with addiction.
It was allegedly confirmed that Moore died of pneumonia which she contracted due to a weakened immune system from drug abuse. Little is known about her life after she quit acting. The most that is known about her life is that she started acting early because she loved it, and her mother took care of her as she had an absent father. Many celebrities and colleagues shared their condolences with the grieving family. She had a promising life ahead of her. Ashleigh Aston Moore is truly missed.
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