“Oh, you know, I’m going to be a dramatic actress. Yes, by all means. Nothing else is so much fun as that. Oh, I love to cry!” — child star Virginia Lee Corbin in 1921. She was either 6 or 10 years old at the time (due to conflicting accounts of her birth year).
Corbin is not very well known today, but she was a fairly big child star that was plagued by many personal problems in her young adulthood. Born in 1910 (her gravestone says 1914), Corbin was managed by her stage mother, Frances Corbin, who pushed her into the movies as early as 1916.
Corbin grew up to become an attractive young woman and she briefly appeared in a few flapper roles in the mid to late 1920s. She and her mother, however, spent most of her fortune which led to a bitter feud once the jobs became fewer and fewer. In the late 1920s, after her mother attempted suicide, Corbin tried to have her declared insane.
Corbin‘s film career ended in 1931. She had left her mother and sister in Los Angeles, married a stockbroker named Harold Krol and gave birth to two children in the early 1930s. The birth of her first child took place in Europe, possibly to keep her mother from interfering.
Despite motherhood, Corbin‘s domestic life was not happy. In 1936, Krol filed for divorce, charging his wife with habitual drunkenness. After losing custody of her children, she remarried another Chicago stockbroker Charles Jacobson. She attempted to restart her film career but it never went beyond a few uncredited extra jobs.
Her health, probably due to her alcoholism, led to her early death in 1942, at the age of 30 (or 27). The newspapers at the time claimed she passed away in a sanitarium from heart disease but IMDb specifically stated that her death was caused by chronic tuberculosis.