There’s nothing funny about drug abuse. In fact, it’s something that can overwhelm a person and take down families and, sometimes, can cause a person to die. The allure of disappearing from the complicated world is something that many a normal person cannot resist. It’s normally only the cost of the drugs that slows down the bad habit. But more often than not, addicts will go bankrupt before they can kick their vice. Drugs can be bad for people who can’t afford them, but for those who can afford them, they can be downright irresistible.
Hollywood is notorious for its partying lifestyle. The rich and famous have always made a meal out of drug and alcohol abuse. So, it should come as no surprise that those in Hollywood sometimes get too attached to various drugs of choice. These drugs can range from the casual to the more intense. Celebrities are no stranger to both the casual and the more extreme use of drugs. There have been many a tragic tale of overdose. Some survive, while others aren’t so lucky. But the one connecting fabric of drug use is that it destroys almost all success and hope of success. Young stars wilt under the pressure of drug use and pay a dear price with the evaporation of their careers and then their health. Let’s look at some Hollywood careers that have been destroyed by drug use!
15. Charlie Sheen
Oh, Charlie Sheen is definitely NOT “winning.” The actor went from TV’s highest-paid small-screen star to becoming a sad punchline. He evolved into a crushing cautionary tale of ego, drug, use and alcohol abuse, and that’s just scratching the surface. We haven’t even gotten to the prostitutes. It all began during his reign as TV King on the show Two and a Half Men. Sheen got into a VERY public fight with the producer and creator of the hit television show, Chuck Lorre. The fight abruptly ended Sheen’s run on the show as the world’s biggest television star. Sheen was on his way to drug rehab during the end of the filming of the 8th season of the show and made numerous disparaging remarks about Lorre. This got Sheen fired, and then, the actor went off on a crazy run of rants and complicated issues that would become legendary.
14. Lindsay Lohan
Well, I think we’ve been down this tragic tale before. Lohan was the next “it” actress in Hollywood. Everyone saw star power in her. She was featured in numerous teen-angst films. Her allure even bled into a little bit of singing. She was charismatic, likable, and had just the right look of sexiness with an hourglass figure that helped put her on a lot of radars. But partying with the Paris Hilton circle didn’t help her career as she got sucked into the young stardom abyss that swallowed many a Hollywood career. Lohan was doing coke, smoking pot, and drinking with such regularity that it began to affect her film schedule. Producers took notice, and Lohan’s career quickly evaporated. Police run-ins, jail, a house arrest, and a sexy Playboy spread were the final nails in her career coffin.
13. Macaulay Culkin
The loveable kid who smacked his hands on both his cheeks during consecutive holiday seasons is the source of our next big celebrity letdown. The Home Alone movie franchise star suffered from too much success too quickly as he struggled to follow up the massive success of his film bonanzas. Culkin floated through a bit of an acting identity crisis as he made attempts in the horror field and a few other small films. His career started to flatline as he aged, and his drug use increased. Culkin went through deep bouts of depression, and his intense relationship with Mila Kunis displayed the actress’s attempts to keep her former boyfriend alive with numerous ER visits. His career has since failed to completely relaunch as he has failed to find the massive box office success he achieved years prior.
12. Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston is one of the most tragic tales in the entertainment industry. She exploded to become one of America’s greatest singing treasures of all time. From being the fresh-faced beauty with an electric personality and an even more electric set of vocal chords to evolving into a movie star, Houston was so impressive in every way. She owned the 1980s rolling into the ’90s. Her apex was appearing with Kevin Costner in the megahit The Bodyguard. Houston not only wowed audiences with her acting performance but she also killed it with a massively successful soundtrack for the movie. Whitney Houston was a treasure, a star of epic proportions. Then arrived rapper/R&B artist Bobby Brown, AKA, Whitney Houston’s Kryptonite. Their relationship suffered highs and lows, literally. There were reports of physical abuse that went along with epic drug use. In the end, Houston, unfortunately, paid the ultimate price with her life.
11. Amanda Bynes
The darling of Nickelodeon went from cute and energetic to public drug use faster than you could say “washed up.” Bynes was a future superstar. She seemed perfectly ready to ride a wave of A-list success the likes of Sandra Bullock. The likable, charismatic young star had a tremendous personality and a sense of humor that seemed to have her destined for a very long career. Then, bizarre behavior started to become the norm for Bynes. She was seen smoking pot on the streets of New York, reportedly snorting cocaine in her apartment and, finally, flaunting her naked body everywhere. Her career evaporated right before our eyes, and her list of run-ins with the police quickly exceeded the TV and film roles she was offered. Bynes has effectively dropped out of Hollywood, unable to cope with the pressures that were surrounding her. We’re just hoping she makes it to 35 and beyond.
10. Gary Busey
If there’s a poster child in the film industry for what happens when you do too many drugs and mix in a lot of crazy, it’s the caricature of a man, Gary Busey. He was a strong presence on the big screen, an impressive character who was electric in roles like the one in the film Point Break. But Busey has exhibited a combination of psychedelic and erratic behavior bordering on insanity. You almost never know where Busey is coming from unless you categorize his entire persona as crazy. Busey has more recently popped up as a cult figure in some spot roles, but he’s clearly gone off the radar with his insane rants. Some have pointed to Busey’s 1988 motorcycle crash in which he sustained a serious head injury as the reason he has a little extra crazy in him these days. Either way, Busey is becoming more and more a cult actor who’s appreciated more for being eccentric and odd than for his talent.
9. Nick Nolte
Nick Nolte is a notorious tough guy. In Hollywood, Nolte is a rough-edged actor who wears his emotions on his sleeve. It was a match made in heaven when Nolte and Eddie Murphy joined forces as a tremendous duo, appearing in the 48 Hours movie series. Nolte always had a bit of a reputation for being a heavy drinker. And as the years have moved forward, his issues haven’t gotten any better. Nolte’s success reached its apex in the late 1980s, but he began to get heavily into drugs and alcohol. The late ’90s were especially harsh on Nolte. Aside from a fun role in the ensemble hit Tropic Thunder in 2008, Nolte’s roles in Hollywood have been mostly unrecognizable. And the only thing less recognizable than his career is his appearance. Nolte looks like a terrible rendition of a mall Santa Claus these days.
8. Mary-Kate Olsen
Precious and cute got messed up and trashy REAL fast. Mary-Kate Olsen is that age-old tale of a young celebrity getting way too rich way too young. On top of the Olsen Twins’ acting success, they made some pretty epic business moves and own their own clothing line. Without a doubt, Mary-Kate Olsen has been incredibly successful but highly volatile. Eating disorders along with drug and alcohol abuse have troubled the former child star all her life. She’s been quoted as stating, “I wouldn’t wish my upbringing on anyone.” The reality of Olsen’s world was that she was a spoiled star who got the world handed to her but became angry and internalized the attention. She didn’t handle the money and stardom well and went on a partying binge. She blames her “tough” childhood of filming and catered food on her downfall into drugs and drama.
7. Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst was one of the most promising young actresses in Hollywood after she emerged from her role in Interview with the Vampire. The movie may have starred Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, but Dunst stole the show. She was just 12 years old and got nominated for a role as best supporting actress in the Golden Globes. She then was in Little Women and Jumanji. Dunst was clearly a high-powered young talent destined for greatness. But in 2008, rumors were flying of drug and alcohol abuse and were followed by a serious bout of depression. Dunst’s reputation took major hits as she fell into a rough reputation spiral. It’s not all terrible though. Although Dunst’s missteps have caused her a giant speed bump in her amazing Hollywood run, she had a nice supporting role recently in the television series Fargo. She’s no longer the big name that was on the rise, but, maybe, she can stay straight and salvage her career.
6. Shia LaBeouf
It’s been a long while since we’ve seen anyone self-destruct in public this badly. From crazy performance art, to getting into public fights, to racist rants, to wearing a paper bag on his head — no one has been quite as confusing as Shia LaBeouf. The Transformers movie franchise anchor was kicked off of those sequels, in part, due to his incredibly erratic behavior. Shia LaBeouf has always been a VERY high-maintenance individual. Since he burst onto the scene, rumors of his difficult on-set behaviors have become legendary. It didn’t stop his run of successes, though. However, things have drastically changed with regard to LaBeouf’s standing in the world. He’s a caricature of a human being right now, doing anything and everything to grab odd attention. He’s publicly wasted with regularity and seems to be on a collision course with a nasty fate. An arrest for public drunkenness and a racist rant will only further cement his erratic behavior and bury him in obscurity for years. A comeback could be in order, but don’t count on it for at least 5 years. Right now, it appears he’s about to be banished to the Mel Gibson timeout corner.
5. Michael Jackson
The King of Pop needs no introduction. The journey from child star to accused pedophile was a long one. Michael Jackson became the most famous of all singers. He was the most successful singer of his time. His album Thriller, released in 1982, had an estimated sales of 66 million. It was (and currently is) the best-selling album of all time. In the United States, the album became the first ever 33x multi-platinum certified album. Jackson’s success was so unparalleled, he even had his own attraction at Disneyland. Jackson’s contributions to singing and dancing were incredible. But he began to do skin treatments to lighten his skin and distanced himself from a lot of society. He also began inviting children over to his massive estate that was dubbed Neverland. Jackson was accused of sexually abusing a child and settled out of court for $22 million. That caused Jackson to withdraw more. But it would be his eclectic mix of drugs that eventually would not just slow down his creativity but also take his life. Jackson was never the same as he started using drugs, and his music greatly suffered. His incredible legacy will always be cemented in music lore, but his personal issues and drug use sapped his greatness.
4. Tatum O’Neal
Tatum O’Neal was the youngest person to ever win an Academy Award when she received it, capturing the honor at the tender age of ten. It was 1974 when O’Neal appeared in the film Paper Moon. Then came The Bad News Bears. O’Neal had a few high-profile relationships along the way. She dated Michael Jackson and eventually married John McEnroe. They had three children together, but O’Neal’s story took a very different turn. Instead of having a dream Hollywood ending, O’Neal ran into a buzzsaw of personal issues. After McEnroe and O’Neal divorced in 1994, her many drug problems surfaced. O’Neal was addicted to heroin, an issue that caused her to lose custody of her children to McEnroe. In 2008, O’Neal was arrested for buying crack cocaine. Her once promising acting career had evaporated into something very different.
3. Corey Haim
Corey Haim was a fireball of success as a child star. He wasn’t a TV flash-in-the-pan actor. He was a bonafide star on the big screen. Haim anchored numerous hot movies. Along with his good friend, Corey Feldman, Haim was taking Hollywood by storm. But then came the drug use and excessive partying. Haim’s career took a massive downturn as his adorable young persona morphed into a young adult who chose more provocative roles. This change, combined with reports of excessive drug use, did Haim’s career in. Along with his career downturn, Haim began to fringe on health issues associated with his drug use. He eventually succumbed to these issues, and he died from an overdose. Haim was once a very promising star but ended up going nowhere.
2. Corey Feldman
If there’s a name for Corey Feldman these days, it would be Mr. Irrelevant. Feldman was the “kid character actor” who made movies go. He was impressive in every role he starred in as a youth. He was always part of talented ensemble groups, most notably in Goonies, and he appeared with Corey Haim in many films. Haim and Feldman were close friends, and their success mirrored one another. Unfortunately, they also both mirrored one another with their drug use issues. Feldman wouldn’t overdose from his alleged drug use, like his good friend Haim, but Feldman’s career was equally squashed by age and the partying. Aside from playing in an obscure rock band, Feldman has ultimately disappeared and is now outside Hollywood looking in.
1. David Hasselhoff
The Hoff! David Hasselhoff has been in two legendary television shows. His role as Michael Knight in Knightrider made him a star. But his lead role in the sexy television series Baywatch made him a legend. Hasselhoff has become a revered actor around the world. German fans are so obsessed with him that they’ve made him a hit as a singer as well. But Hasselhoff struggled with notable issues shortly after Baywatch. A video of him in a drunken stupor went viral. The embarrassing video confirmed that the rumors about Hoff’s drinking and drug use may very well have been true. Since then, he’s become virtually invisible with limited exposure. Hasselhoff will always be a bit comical with regard to how people view him. He’s somewhat of a caricature of a celebrity at this point. But his very real fall from grace has left him without a concrete future.
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