The world of celebrity looks pretty glamorous when only looking at the surface. There is this very common misconception that having any occupation that makes you famous, (athletes, musicians, actors/actresses, etc.) is somehow on par with getting paid to sit around the house in your underwear and playing video games. For some reason, many see it as a form of gainful unemployment. The truth is, celebrities that hit that "phenom" status have to be the bearers of incredibly thick skin. Many celebrities have not been able to handle the lifestyle that comes with fame, and on occasion they've experienced very public mental breakdowns.
One should consider why these breakdowns seem to be common enough that there's almost always a celebrity in the news that appears to be "losing it." They are constantly being followed and hounded by the paparazzi. Sometimes the guerrilla photographers aren't even looking for a picture. There have been countless occasions where the paparazzi have passive aggressively assaulted a popular celebrity just to get a surge of violence or sound bite to create and sensationalize a story around. To deal with this on a regular basis has to be taxing. Since someone is always looking to point a finger at someone, a celebrity has to be constantly vigilant in making sure they don't say a single thing that could be misconstrued in a negative light. The pressure of "staying on top" and keeping everyone happy can be extremely daunting.
Other times, celebrities experience the same traumatic events that can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, they have to go through these experiences with the eyes of the world watching. Sometimes it can just become a little too much.
The following celebrities, for some reason or another, temporarily lost their bearings while the world watched in disbelief. While some of them seem to have moved on and taken care of themselves, a couple seem to have hit a point of no return.
12 Courtney Love
Courtney really didn't go crazy before our very eyes. She was entirely crazy when the world first found out who she was. The most notorious first incident goes all the way back to 1995 when Love had it in her head that she wanted to start a fight with Madonna on live television. While Madonna was being interviewed by Kurt Loder at an MTV awards show, Love began throwing things from her purse at Madonna and onto the set. Her legacy of crazy continued as she:
Went topless on David Letterman and sang "Danny Boy" without being asked.
Berated her daughter Frances on social media when Love lost custody of her for the second time.
Berated a fashion designer on Twitter to the point where she had to settle out of court for $40,000.
Completely freaked out at the same airport twice. The first was for the airline not allowing her assistant with a coach ticket to sit in first class. The plane landed and Love was removed. The second was a public meltdown over her assistant forgetting to pack a Kindle charger.
11 Britney Spears
We all remember when Britney Spears went a little crazy. In her defense, it seemed that Spears "craziness" was a reaction to constantly being pursued and intentionally pushed over the edge by the paparazzi. You have to be a little sympathetic to someone who just wants to be left alone with her children and not constantly have her parenting skills put under scrutiny. A good portion of Britney's "crazy" appeared to be an attempt to troll the paparazzi that backfired. The head shaving thing, the umbrella attack, these all seemed like things that were done just to give them what they want so they'd leave. Unfortunately they wanted more and Britney fell off the face of the earth for a while. When she returned to the spotlight, everything seemed to be business as usual.
10 Sean Penn
We all forgot that Sean Penn went a little bit nutty. Perhaps this is because he's done so much humanitarian work and kept his image so clean in the last two decades that his past transgressions were swept under the rug.
Back in the 1980s, Penn was engaged to Madonna. Penn believed that Madonna was having an affair with Warren Beatty, presumably because the two worked together on the film version of Dick Tracy. In a fit of rage, Penn broke into Madonna's house, tired her up, and abused her both mentally and physically for several hours. Madonna was only able to escape when Penn allowed her to have a bathroom break.
The incident was really the climax of a slowly boiling pot of crazy. Penn had been a violent and heavy drinker prior to his abduction of Madonna.
9 Mel Gibson
There is an old saying that states you can always have too much of a good thing. A lot of people won't like hearing this, but that thing can be something that is generally perceived as good. In Gibson's case, that thing is religion.
Around the time Gibson made his film The Passion of the Christ, he began to get very vocal about his religion and his feelings towards the Jewish people. One night, police officers pulled Gibson over under suspicion of driving drunk. Gibson berated the police officers, accused them of being Jewish, and went on a tirade that blamed the Jewish people for being the cause of all that is wrong with the world. This was just a slow buildup of anti-Semitic statements made by Gibson and his father around this time. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas has even claimed that Gibson is one of those folks that believe the Holocaust didn't actually happen.
8 Amanda Bynes
Nobody can really be a hundred percent sure as to what exactly happened with Amanda Bynes. She could have easily been an A-list actress but after her television show went off the air it seemed she didn't actively look for work. It didn't appear that she simply couldn't get it.
Some people have said drugs were the cause of her well-publicized fits of craziness, but even all those accounts pointed to nothing more than marijuana and alcohol. Regardless, she would post bizarre tweets routinely and made some drastic and bizarre changes to her appearance. In the end, Amanda claimed she was fine, but her family has publicly stated otherwise and that Amanda was in their care and getting help.
7 Lark Voorhies
It all started with some very outlandish choices in the application of her make-up. Voorhies own mother then did an interview saying that the actress was bipolar. Lark was present for this interview and it was claimed she would stare off into space mid-sentence and mumble to people that weren't there. Lark claimed she was praying.
Lark then made a few more appearances on television to make sure people knew she wasn't bipolar or losing it. Her behavior in these interviews was much like what happened during the interview in which her mother said Lark was bipolar. These appearances to prove she wasn't slipping away only seemed to prove otherwise.
6 Tom Cruise
Around the time that Tom Cruise began to be very public about his involvement with The Church of Scientology, he very briefly had a stint of bizarre public appearances that made one believe that the actor might be going slightly nutty. Each incident by itself wouldn't have seemed like much. When Cruise announced his involvement with Katie Holmes and jumped up and down on Oprah Winfrey's furniture, one would have believed he was just happy. Then he made that strange video for his Church. Then he told Matt Lauer he was "glib" for not believing that psychologists are evil scam artists (Scientologists believe that psychologists played a big role in initiating Lord Xenu's evil plot). Then there was his inability to take a joke when a prank show squirted him with water (and several other celebrities) from a trick microphone at a red carpet event.
Fortunately, this progression seems to have stopped.
5 Sean Young
It's very possible that a reader is saying to themselves, "Who is Sean Young?" Well, you'd know who Sean Young is if she hadn't seemed to lose it several years ago. She has essentially gotten herself black-listed from Hollywood.
It all started when Sean Young really wanted the role of Catwoman in the Tim Burton Batman film. Young made a homemade Catwoman suit, made her way on to the Warner Brothers lot, found Tim Burton and Michael Keaton, and proceeded to purr at them and do Eartha Kitt impressions. When this didn't work, she wore the costume around the streets of Hollywood and begged for work.
Following the Catwoman incident, Young started to sneak into awards shows that she wasn't invited to, and on one occasion even heckled an actor during their acceptance speech.
It's also alleged by actor James Woods that Young would stalk him in the late 1980s.
4 Charlie Sheen
What was so interesting about Charlie Sheen's well publicized episode is the fact that it made him somewhat of a rock star in the eyes of many that followed his very public firing from the hit series Two and a Half Men.
Sheen had gone on a rather wild rant and it started to carry over in almost every appearance he made afterwards. In his initial rant on The Alex Jones Show, Sheen claimed he could cure his alcoholism with his mind and compared Alcoholics Anonymous to an oppressive cult. He compared himself to a Sheriff with an army of assassins. He claimed he had a life motto to "love and hate violently" (whatever that means), and he also revealed his interesting love life, which was essentially a three way relationship with two famous porn stars.
Sheen followed this up with a stage show called "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not An Option". The stage show was essentially Sheen carrying the rants over to a paid venue. His new legion of fans that arrived got over Sheen pretty quickly. The stage show was an absolute disaster.
3 Gary Busey
Busey's situation is a little different than those of our other celebrities on the list. You can actually pinpoint where things changed for Busey.
Busey was once a very prominent up and coming actor. He was even nominated for an Academy Award for his work on The Buddy Holly Story in the 1970s. This is a strange bit of information considering the fact we generally see Busey saying outlandish things on various reality television programs these days.
In 1988, Busey got into a very serious motorcycle accident when he was not wearing a helmet. Doctor's feared Busey would suffer permanent brain damage. Twenty years later, on a reality television program of all places, it was discovered that the damage was worse than doctors in 1988 had thought. Dr. Charles Sophy discovered that the injury essentially weakened Busey's mental filters. This condition is what causes him to act and speak so impulsively without realizing he's doing or saying anything strange.
2 Margot Kidder
Margot Kidder is best known for having played the role of Lois Lane in the Christopher Reeve Superman films. Kidder was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and as a result of her condition suffered a very public manic episode.
In 1996, Kidder was supposed to board a plane to teach a class. When she didn't arrive, her manager filed a missing persons report.
Kidder was found four days later, living in the bushes of a high-end neighborhood. When police approached Kidder in the bushes, she had lost her dental bridge, she was wearing minimal clothing, and she had chopped her hair off with a razor. Kidder told the police someone was trying to hurt her but the police could find no evidence of a crime, nor did she have any injuries beside the cuts and scrapes one would receive while living in a bush for a few days. Police were also able to rule out the incident being induced by drugs or alcohol.
Fortunately, Kidder has been able to keep her condition in-check and this was a closed incident.
1 Randy Quaid
Oh where to begin with Randy Quaid? In the beginning, Dennis Quaid's older brother was on the brink of becoming a huge star. He had earned Oscar Nominations, won a Golden Globe, starred in timeless comedies like the National Lampoon's Vacation films, worked on Saturday Night Live, and even played the hero pilot in Independence Day. Things looked good for Quaid, but eventually he and his wife Evi descended into a realm of total craziness.
Quaid and his wife no longer live in their home country and are living somewhere secretly in Canada. They have so many lawsuits against them and they've spurned far too many people. The two believe they had to move so they could run away from a secret Hollywood group of evil villains called The Star Whackers. They believe this group to have secretly killed stars like Heath Ledger and Chris Penn. Quaid and Evi also believe that this group created a fake person named Ronda Quaid so they could secretly garnish Randy's royalties from the Vacation films.
While in Canada, Randy actually keeps a Twitter account. He routinely makes bizarre posts about helicopters following him and finding secret microphones planted in bathrooms.
Either Randy has officially gone nuts, or he's pulling an amazing stunt from the pages of Andy Kaufman's book of comedy.