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Tara Correa-McMullen: A Rising Star is Slain

Tara Correa-McMullen

A Minor Consideration has been saddened to learn of the passing of Tara Correa-McMullen on October 21st, the apparent innocent victim of a senseless, “drive-by” shooting, outside an apartment complex in Inglewood, California. Two other people were also wounded in this unprovoked attack, but survived, and as of this date, local police have no clues about who may be responsible.

Born on May 24, 1989, she was just 16 years old, and had been playing the recurring role of “Graciela Reyes” (ironically, a teen gang member) on the CBS-TV series, “Judging Amy,” since first landing the part at age 14. Her sole movie credit was as a character called, “Big Mac,” with actor/comedian Martin Lawrence, in “Rebound” (2005).

While we mourn her loss and extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to her family, friends and co-workers, we also feel compelled to strongly condemn the heartless violence that brought her young and precious life to an end, so abruptly.

Fred T. Beeman

Gordon Lee

Gordon Lee

The senseless violence that ended the life of 16 year-old Tara Correa-McMullen, an actress portraying ‘Graciela Reyes’ in “Judging Amy,” who was shot dead in what appears to be a random act without cause or suspects in Inglewood, California, was to our mind framed by the passing of “Our Gang” star, Gordon Lee who died quietly at age 71 in Sunrise, Minnesota.

Fifty-Five years separated their births. But for their brief exposure in front of the camera, these two people, as different as Night and Day, died within one day of each other. The world of kid stars is all the poorer for their passing.

The man who played the beloved “Porky” in the “Our Gang” comedies, Spanky McFarland’s little brother, saw his career end at age six. Gordon moved back to Texas with his mother and went on to acquire his education at Texas Tech and the University of Houston. Gordon viewed his time in Hollywood with wry amusement.

Tara did not have time to reflect on anything. That is for us, the living…the ones in charge of the memories and their meaning…to do, and it is my hope that we ponder the significance of “the gang culture” and what it has become.

Childhood itself is being destroyed. The loose associations of neighborhood kids getting together to play and pass the time that we saw in “Our Gang” are no longer with us. In Tara’s case, we have become so inured to gang violence that even the murder of a television star quickly becomes yesterday’s news…and we just go on.

It makes my head hurt, and my heart to ache. On Tara’s website there is a brief condolence note that gave me some comfort, and I’d like to share it with you…with thanks to Suzanne Vanosdale of Seattle, Washington:

“Fly, fly little wing, fly where only angels sing. Fly away, go now, find the light.”
(From the song, "Fly" by Celine Dion)

Paul Petersen



 

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