It is an industry that famously venerates youth and, infamously, has casually destroyed so many young people, used them up then discarded them, that to list them all would fill this entire article. The film business loves to look at young people, but has less than zero interest in looking after them. Some are destroyed over a long period, such as Judy Garland, some barely have time to draw breath, such as River Phoenix. And then are the other less sensational but no less instructive stories of the young people whose hopes were raised by the industry, but find themselves whimsically discarded. At the start of this century, Thora Birch was one of Hollywood's most credible young actors.