Hollywood is a place where dreams can come true. Everything that you’ve ever dreamed of could be right in your hands. Plenty of children dream of becoming a famous celebrity and head to Hollywood thinking that they’ll be the next big thing. For a lot of them, they get exactly what they’re looking for, big bucks and recognition. But some child actors have a hard time dealing with all the fame, and that dream starts to crumble. When that happens, oftentimes, the celebrity gets involved in drugs and alcohol and is seen partying in clubs. It’s the kind of situation that can destroy not only a young actor’s life but his or her career as well.
When child stars become famous, the pressure can be insane, and not everyone can handle it the same way. It can be even worse if they don’t have a proper support system and have to deal with a dysfunctional family. There can be a high price to pay for young stars when the cameras are flashing. If they can’t deal with it, trouble will ensue.
There are many young stars who’ve lost their way in Hollywood. There are so many tragic souls out there that lost their way and never really recovered from it. These are some cases of the ones that went down the wrong path and lost the fame that they worked so hard to get.
15. Aaron Carter
Aaron Carter was the younger brother of Nick Carter, one of the members of the Backstreet Boys. He seemed to have the world at his feet when he received his own record deal when he was only ten years old. That amount of fame at such a young age was not good for the singer. At one point, he was living the high life and dating many famous actresses such as Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, and even Brooke Hogan. The young man became addicted to pills, however, and that was the beginning of the end. His career took a nosedive, and he was eventually forced into rehab by his family. Although he came out clean and sober, he also had to file for bankruptcy because he had over $2 million dollars in debt. His career never recovered, and these days, he’s completely out of the limelight.
14. Haley Joel Osment
Osment became famous when he starred alongside Bruce Willis in Sixth Sense. He was the cute little boy who could see ghosts. He became one of the most sought-after young actors in Hollywood and went on to make Pay It Forward, and AI, both highly successful. He had a hard time dealing with all the fame, however, and in 2006, he crashed his car and was charged with a DUI. He received three years probation and tanked his career in the process. These days, he’s had a few bit parts such as in the Entourage movie, but aside from that, he has just had a bit of voice work. He spends a lot of time in Alcoholics Anonymous but has never been able to get back the success that he once had. It’s such a waste of a career because he was such a strong talent.
13. Edward Furlong
We fell in love with Edward Furlong when he starred in Terminator 2: Judgment Day at the age of 14. It was his big break, and it looked as if the kid was really going to go places. What could be cooler than being in a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger? Things started to go a little weird, however, a year later, when he got involved with his tutor who was twice his age. They were in love, though, and managed to stay together for six years. After they split, the woman claimed that Furlong had been physically abusing her. His career started to take a nosedive as he got involved, like so many others, in drugs and alcohol. He continuously violated restraining orders and had many issues with domestic violence. He went to rehab in 2014, and that’s the last that we’ve heard of him.
12. Jeremy Jackson
Another child actor that started a career off as young as six years old, Jeremy was quite young when he landed the role of Hobie Buchannon in the ’90s on the hit TV show Baywatch. He beat out over 3,000 actors who wanted the role, and although he was quite young, he got involved in drugs and walked around with a sense of self-importance, which was why he ended up leaving the show. He also went on to release two albums that had two hits as well. During this time, however, the drug use started taking over. His career started going downhill, and that forced him into rehab at the young age of 20. Thankfully, he’s been sober ever since and turned fitness into a career, training stars and helping them beat addictions as well. He’s one star that seems to have beaten his past. He’s back into making movies and even appeared on VH1’s Confessions of a Teen Idol.
11. Jaimee Foxworth
Foxworth became famous when she had the role of Judy Winslow from Family Matters. She was on the show for four seasons before she asked for a raise. Considering she only had a small part on the show, the show decided to let her go instead. She then became part of the short-lived band S.H.E., and when that failed, she turned to drugs and alcohol. She was in her twenties and unsure of what to do with her career, so she turned to the adult film industry and became a p*rn star named Crave. She appeared on Celebrity Rehab in 2008 and confessed to Oprah that she decided to turn her life around when she became pregnant a year later. These days, she isn’t doing anything but staying at home and raising her children. Her boyfriend, Michael Shaw, supports her, but there have been allegations of physical abuse against him.
10. Jodie Sweetin
Jodie Sweetin practically grew up on Full House, starting off the role as a very young girl and continuing it through to her teens. It must have been hard for her to go through puberty while on the show for ten years and still manage to have a normal life. In fact, her life started taking a turn for the worse. She got into partying and eventually became addicted to meth, cocaine, and ecstasy. She wrote about it in her autobiography, UnSweetined. It was a terrible turn of events indeed, and it ended her career. It wasn’t until Fuller House came around that she returned to Hollywood clean and sober. She went from a meth addict to being a mom, and we couldn’t be more proud of her. It’s too bad she had to go through the tragic phase of her life because it would have been nice to see where her career could have gone.
9. Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf has been acting since he was a kid, but it wasn’t until Transformers that he made it big. All of a sudden, he had women all over him and a full bank account. It truly seemed that the movie roles were just pouring in at that point. Things really seemed to be going great for the actor, and then, almost overnight, he started to act really weird. When he turned 19, he was charged with criminal trespassing as well as assault with a deadly weapon. The charges were dropped, but that was just the beginning as he went on to be charged with a DUI, failing to appear in court, and unlawful smoking. Although he did act in many big movies, his career took a hit due to all his weird behavior, including plagiarizing someone else’s novel. Most recently, he was arrested for assault when he was caught on camera assaulting a man during a protest. He often acts like a mad man in public, and no one can understand what’s happened to the actor. He’s been in a few movies over the years, but he’s never achieved the same level of success that he once did.
8. Lindsay Lohan
She’s been working since she was a little girl in films such as Parent Trap and The Wonderful World of Disney. She made quite a splash in Hollywood in her teens as a healthy and sexy redhead, making a quick name for herself in films such as Mean Girls and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. She became one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood at the time and even started dating That 70’s Show‘s Wilmer Valderrama. It must have been hard going through puberty while being in front of the camera, and it wasn’t long before we all saw some cracks in her veneer. She started acting up and even showing up to her movie sets acting like a diva and upsetting her costars. It wasn’t long before she was experiencing DUI’s and ending up in court. She had a drug problem, and before you knew it, no one would hire Lohan again. It was such a waste of a talented actress.
7. Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin rose to fame quickly in movies like Home Alone and The Good Son. He was cute and mischievous, and everyone loved him. In 1995, Culkin found out that his own father was mismanaging his fortune, and it was wasting away. He went to court against his parents who fought for control over his money. That alone would do a lot of damage to a child. He started spiraling out of control and got involved in drugs. In 2004, he was arrested because he had half an ounce of pot on him. The press ripped him apart even though smoking weed, especially these days, isn’t that big of a deal. People had a hard time separating the cute little boy from the man who was caught using drugs. His career took quite the hit, and we didn’t see Culkin for years. These days, he’s performing with his cover band called Velvet Underground. Who knows if he’ll ever come back to the big screen.
6. Tatum O’Neal
Tatum O’Neal is the daughter of the legendary actor Ryan O’Neal, so she grew up already in the limelight before her own career started. She was one of the youngest actors to receive an Oscar for Best Actress in Paper Moon when she was only ten years old. She went on to make a few more films, which only added to her fame. She had a hard time dealing with all the fame even though she had been around it since she was born. She started using drugs and alcohol at the shockingly young age of 9, and it wasn’t long before she was addicted to heroin. That was pretty much the end of her career and a waste of all her talent. She was arrested in 2008 when she was caught buying crack. Thankfully, she eventually went to rehab in 2012 and wrote a memoir. These days, she’s slowly returned to acting and made a few films such as Squirrels to Nuts.
5. Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes seemed to have the Hollywood industry in the palm of her hands. She was a child actor that went on to star in many films such as Easy A and Hairspray. She was also a hit on TV with shows like All That and What I Like About You, and she even had her own TV show, The Amanda Show, named after her. These threw her right into the spotlight. She became one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood at that time. However, in 2012, things started turning for the actress when she announced that she would be retiring from acting. People were shocked because she seemed to be doing so well. She quickly went downhill as she was charged with a DUI when she crashed into a police car. Five months later, she was charged with not one but two hit-and-run accidents, and then later in the year, her driver’s license was suspended. She spent a lot of time in court, just like Lohan, and she would show up for appearances looking bizarre. The last straw came when she started a fire in front of a friend’s house and was put in a mental health treatment center. She has literally done nothing with her life in the past seven years.
4. Matthew Underwood
Matthew literally spent his whole life in the industry as he started modeling when he was only six months. He spent his childhood in roles such as a bully in Method & Red and a tough kid in Just Us Kids. He grew up playing plenty of extreme sports such as parasailing, surfing, and skydiving. He landed a role as a teenager in Zoey 101 for four years. After the TV show was over, he returned to Florida, where his family lived, and that’s where his life started taking a turn for the worse. He was arrested in 2012 for possession of drugs, and there was a search warrant applied to see if there were narcotics in his home. Not sure how that will bode for his career as Nickelodeon will not approve of such things. He hasn’t been seen back in Hollywood since, and these days, he works as an acting teacher.
3. Corey Feldman
We remember Corey from ’70s flicks such as The Goonies, Stand by Me, and The Lost Boys — those are the movies that made him famous. But being a child actor can be hard, and he succumbed to the pressure and started doing drugs and got into drinking while he was filming Stand by Me with River Phoenix. That turned into an addiction to sex, heroin, and cocaine. He had multiple drugs arrests over the years, which led him to rehab in 1991. His career was shot, however, and he would never recover from it. When he got out, he had over $200,000 in legal fees, so he did shows like The Two Coreys and a few B-rated movies to pay the bills. These days, he’s in a band called Truth Movement, which he started in the ’90s, and they released an album called “Still Searching for Soul” in 1999. “I’ve had probably some of the darkest, most depressing times anybody could imagine. But in the end, I’m a positive guy.”
2. Dana Plato
Dana Plato was one child star who got totally messed up by Hollywood. She started her career in commercials at the age of seven and got her big break on the TV show Diff’rent Strokes when she was 13. The pressures of fame started to take their toll on her, and she started using cocaine with co-stars Todd Bridges, Gary Coleman, and Charlotte Ray. To the shock of producers, Plato ended up pregnant and was kicked off the show. She married the father of her child, but that union didn’t last very long because of her drug use, and she also lost custody of her son. She went from being on a hit TV show to working in B-rated movies and eventually starring in adult films. Her life continued to spiral out of control as she found out that her accountant had embezzled her savings. She was broke and no longer had a career in Hollywood. Plato died at the age of 34 due to a drug overdose, and it was later ruled a suicide. Her son also killed himself at the age of 25 by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun.
1. Danielle Fishel
Danielle Fishel became famous while on the popular TV show Boy Meets World, a show that she practically grew up on. She disappeared from Hollywood after she was caught drunk driving one night. It was a shock to everyone because she appeared to be a sweet and innocent girl, and no one could imagine that she would ever make such a stupid decision as to drive home drunk. She didn’t have the same downward spiral as Lohan, but it did change her career. It was a slip-up on her part, but she disappeared soon after that and never returned to Hollywood until recently when the TV show Girl Meets World was released. She instead went off to have a family and said goodbye to Hollywood. We’re glad that her life did straighten out, for the most part, and it didn’t go as badly as the rest of them.