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When American Film Magazine Ruled the LA Roost

For the latest installment of Los Angeles magazine’s bubbly regular feature “LA Story,” reporter Amy Wallace chatted with actress Laura Dern about growing up in Malibu, Santa Monica, Mar Vista and Beverly Hills.

It was a different time, of course, and arguably Dern is the better for it. Instead of her famous parents and godmother Shelley Winters having to deal with TMZ at LAX and X17 at Starbucks, she recalls that coverage of movie celebrities back in the 1970s was a much more straightforward enterprise:

No one was into glamour. There weren’t tabloids like today. Actors like my parents and my godmother didn’t really “do press” in the ’70s. If anything, if it was a big movie, maybe you’d do the cover of American Film magazine. But that was it.

The AFI publication, founded in 1975 and given away free to the organization’s members, was shuttered in 1992. Claimed by the previous major media recession, it quietly sold its 58,000 subscriber base data to Entertainment Weekly.

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