When a lot of us think about celebrities, we think about it as a glamorous job filled with fabulous clothes and exclusive parties, but that isn’t always the case, especially for child stars. It’s hard enough growing up and experiencing all sorts of feelings that you didn’t know you were capable of, but being a child star can take these feelings to a whole new level. Not only do child stars have to face teenage angst, and feeling like they don’t belong, but they also have to constantly be in the public eye. Sometimes this pressure can be so overwhelming that it causes some child stars to go off the deep end. Unfortunately, a once beloved child star turning to the dark side isn’t a rare story. It’s a sad fact that many child stars can’t face the pressures of constantly being in the public eye. Below is a list of ten child stars who were ruined by fame. Although some of these stars managed to get back in the good graces of the public, the things they did are not easily forgotten.
became an 80’s teen idol after appearing in The Lost Boys. But by the tender age of fifteen, Haim had already started taking drugs in order to break away from his childhood acting. During the 1990’s, Haim’s bad boy image made it nearly impossible for him to find work. He appeared in a few movies but they were all straight to video. Things continued to spiral out of control for the once popular actor. In 1993, he was arrested for threatening a business manager with a BB gun and just three years later, he was sued by his insurance company for $350,000. Then in 1997, he was forced to file for bankruptcy. Over the course of his life, Haim went to rehab a grand total of fifteen times. Sadly, on March 10, 2010, Haim’s addiction took his life.
9. Jodie Sweetin
Jodie Sweetin skyrocketed to fame after she joined the cast of Full House as Stephanie Tanner, at the young age of five. The show ran for eight years before it was canceled in 1995. That’s when things started to go down hill for Sweetin. After the show ended, she began drinking heavily. In 2002, Sweetin married police officer, Shaun Holguin and started experimenting with hard drugs. Three years later, Sweetin entered Rehab for her addiction and a year after that, she and Holguin were divorced. Over the next seven years, Sweetin married and separated from set designer Cory Herpin, and her third husband Morty Coyle. In 2009, she released her autobiography, which chronicled her struggle to fit in.
8. Taran Noah Smith
Taran Noah Smith found fame after he was cast as Mark Taylor on the popular show, Home Improvement. He played the role for a grand total of 9 years, from the age seven until sixteen. After the show ended, Smith was seemingly lost. At the age of 17, he shocked everyone and married a 33-year old woman (their marriage lasted for six years). The next year, Smith sued his parents for control over his trust fund, of which he said his parents had squandered away. In 2012, Smith was arrested for DUI and possession of hash. He was sentenced to three years probation.
7. Jeremy Jackson
Jeremy Jackson garnered fame after being cast in the 1990’s hit show, Baywatch. Jackson appeared on the show for nine years, during which he developed a drug and alcohol problem. In 2000, Jackson checked himself into rehab and came out clean and sober. Today, he is using his time to help stars with their own addictions. He is also a musician, DJ and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor. Luckily for Jackson, even though he went down a rough path for some time, this child star woes had a happy ending.
6. Edward Furlong
Edward Furlong became a well-known child star after his break out role as John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. After his winning performance, he went on to star in movies such as American Heart and A Home of Our Own. However, Furlong’s successful career began to go downhill when he started battling alcoholism and drug addiction. The actor has admitted that from the age of 22 to 26, he was “on and off,” hard drugs. In 2009, Furlong was arrested for punching and threatening his wife and in 2012, he was arrested again and charged with domestic violence. He went on to be arrested for a third time, once more for domestic violence against his girlfriend, Monica Keena. On July 1, 2013, Furlong agreed to go to rehab in order to avoid a prison sentence.
5. Jaimee Foxworth
Jaimee Foxworth first skyrocketed to fame after starring on the popular show, Family Matters, for four seasons. After the fourth season of the show, Foxworth was written out of the script. There was no explanation as to what happened to her character, in fact, the rest of the characters in the show acted as if she never existed. After she lost her job on Family Matters, Foxworth had trouble finding acting jobs, during which she battled with substance abuse and depression. Foxworth later went on to star in pornographic films under the name, “Crave.” Her transition into the p**n industry was documented by the Oprah Winfrey Show. The segment was entitled, “Former Child TV Star Reveals the Biggest Mistake of Her Life.”
4. Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin first came into the public eye after starring in the popular films, Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. In addition, the young star appeared in movies such as, Richie Rich, Uncle Buck, My Girl and The Good Son. At the highest point of his fame, he was regarded to be the most successful child star since Shirley Temple. Culkin retired from acting at the age of 14, and things haven’t been going too well for the once popular actor since. On September 17, 2004, Culkin was arrested for the possession of marijuana, for which he was briefly jailed. He received three one-year suspended prison terms, and was ordered to pay $540 in fees. Today, Culkin is performing with the band, ‘The Pizza Underground.”
3. Britney Spears
At the age of 16, Britney Spears signed with Jive Records and released the album, One More Time. She quickly rose to fame and became one of the most well-known pop superstars. However, in 2007, Spears started to spiral out of control. In February, she stayed in a rehab center for one day. The following night, she was seen shaving her head and in the next few months, she admitted herself into numerous treatment facilities. Later that year, she lost custody of her children to Kevin Federline. But when Spears seemed to be hitting rock bottom, she managed to pick herself back up. Today, she is performing at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. On August 28, 2014, it was confirmed that Spears is writing and recording new music.
2. Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes rose to fame after starring in the Nickelodeon series, All That and The Amanda Show. In Addition, she starred in movies, What a Girl Wants, She’s the Man, Hairspray, Sydney White and Easy A. In June 2012, Bynes took to twitter to announce that she was retiring from acting. That’s when things started to get weird. In March 2012, Bynes was pulled over by the police for talking on a cell phone while driving, the following month, she was arrested for a DUI and then in September of the same year, she was charged with two alleged hit and run accidents. In May, 2013, Bynes was arrested for possession of Marijuana, tampering with evidence and reckless endangerment. In July 2013, Bynes was arrested once again, after trying to start a fire in front of a stranger’s house. In September, Bynes was admitted to UCLA medical center. After her treatment, Bynes seems to be doing better. She has recently enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.
1. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan began her career at just three years old, as a child fashion model. Eight years later, Lohan rose to fame after starring in Disney’s film, The Parent Trap. Since then she has appeared in movies such as, Freaky Friday, Mean Girls and Herbie: Fully Loaded. In 2006, Lohan was hospitalized for dehydration. Later that year, she attended numerous alcoholics anonymous meetings. She also checked herself into the Wonderland Center rehabilitation facility. In 2007, Lohan’s personal issues began to interfere with her acting jobs. She dropped out of the film, A Woman of No Importance and was replaced in The Edge of Love. In 2007, Lohan was arrested on a DUI charge and returned to rehab. Less than to weeks after her rehab program ended, Lohan was arrested once again for a DUI and possession of cocaine, after which she went back to rehab. Lohan found it hard to find work after her multiple arrests. Today she is trying to get her career back on track. Her efforts are being chronicled on the reality TV show, Lindsay.