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The Kid From This Famous Mary Ellen Mark Image Tells The Story Behind Her Riveting Photo (bust)

Like any talented photographer, the late Mary Ellen Mark’s photos leave us wanting to know more about her unexpected subjects. Luckily, NPR’s Chris Benderev tracked down the child who was featured in one of Mark’s most memorable shots entitled, “Amanda and her Cousin Amy,” and here’s what we learned:

The nine-year-old girl seen smoking a cigarette in the photo (shown above) is now known as Amanda Marie Ellison. She is 34 years old, lives in Lenoir, NC, and she says of the photo shoot, “Never forgotten it. Never in my life have I forgotten it.”

According to the interview from Benderev, in 1990, Mark had been sent to rural North Carolina by LIFE magazine to cover a school for “problem children.” Ellison was one of those children. “She’s my favourite,” Mark told British Vogue in 1993. “She was so bad she was wonderful, she had a really vulgar mouth, she was brilliant,” Mark added that her attraction to Ellison had to do with the fact that she, too, was “something of a problem kid,” and she was always “very touched by kids who don’t have advantages.”

© and source/ rest: bust.com.