A story of love, loss and guardianship in the Golden Age of Hollywood

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A story of love, loss and guardianship in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Britney Spears’ legal battle over guardianship which placed her under her father’s control has drawn international attention to the guardianship system. But many other rich and famous have also found themselves, rightly or wrongly, struggling with a system that is much easier to get in than out.

In Twilight Man: Love and Ruin in the Shadow of Hollywood and the Clark Empire, author Liz Brown tells the story of the life of Harrison Post, a story that begins in the Golden Age and runs through the Golden Age of Hollywood, a story of betrayal in the style of a film noir and a struggle for survival during WWII inside concentration camps. It’s a story that began for Brown years ago when she discovered Post’s signed photo in her late grandmother’s possessions and was taken in by the black-eyed young man’s gaze.

In this episode of the Modern law library podcast, Brown tells Lee Rawles of the ABA Journal how she discovered Post’s distant connection to her own family.

Post was the longtime lover and companion of William Andrews Clark Jr., founder of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and heir to a Montana mining fortune. Clark, who was much older than Post, provided a trust to ensure Post would be taken care of after his death. But her good intentions were thwarted when Post’s sister and her husband became Post’s curators and began to drastically drain that trust.

It was only after selling Post’s property and draining its funds that they decided to end the trusteeship and release Post, who fled Hollywood in the hope of finding a safe new life in Norway, just before the Nazi invasion.

Brown discusses his research methods, including the providential discovery of a number of Post reviews, in the podcast. She explains how anti-Jewish and homophobic public opinion may have played into Post’s treatment and how the political shenanigans of Clark’s father directly led to the passage of the 17th Amendment.

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