The entertainment industry provides its biggest stars the world on a silver platter, and each person responds differently to their newfound success. While some are able to maintain the person that they were before their big break, others find themselves going off the deep end, choosing to indulge in all the little pleasures that fame has to offer. For those who walk down that road, there is no guarantee that they will ever come back. Time after time, we have seen stars go from having it all, to being the laughingstock of the media, and sometimes, losing their life to their addictions. It's a slope that many people struggle to come back from, but it is not impossible.
The names on this list are comprised of those who danced with the devil and lived to tell the tale. A lifestyle of indulging in decadence pushed them to their limits, and these individuals found a way to regain their life. They have all experienced being at the top of their respective professions, and eventually plummeting down to the depths of despair. While each person's substance of choice may be a little different they all had a similar result: slowly chipping away at the individual's life and career. These 15 people were able to overcome their troubles, but the list of those who were not would be much longer and extensive. If you are fighting similar struggles in your life, then may these celebrities be an inspiration for you to turn things around.
15 Eminem - Struggled With Prescription Drugs
The biggest-selling rap artist of all-time broke into the mainstream back in 1999, and his history with substance abuse and his road to recovery is well documented. Prescription medications quickly became a favorite for the rapper, and he developed a serious addiction, which also caused him to gain quite a bit of weight. His downward trend was on display for the entire world to see. After a near-fatal overdose, Eminem hit the rehab trail, and soon cleaned up his life.
Over the years, it has been truly remarkable to see the transformation that Eminem has undergone. He has always been an artist that hides nothing from his audience, and naming two of his albums Relapse and Recovery are a pretty good indicator of the demons that he faced. Eminem is currently living a clean life, free from the restraints of drug addiction, and still firmly atop the rap game.
14 Russell Brand - A Rockstar Lifestyle
Comedian Russell Brand has never shied away from speaking openly about his prior substance abuse, making him one of the more transparent stars in Hollywood in dealing with his personal demons. Brand was a heavy abuser of both heroin and crack, and his fiendish ways caused him to have around 12 separate run-ins with law enforcement. His autobiography, My Booky Wook, is an eye-opening read that gives us a glimpse into the nightmares of his substance abuse.
With the help of transcendental meditation and a strong will to fix his life, Russell Brand has been clean and sober for over 15 years. His most famous character, Aldous Snow, is a direct representation of the comedian, mirroring him in terms of his personal struggles as well as his career triumphs. It would explain why he portrayed the character to perfection in both Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek.
13 Angelina Jolie - From Wild Child To Mother And Philanthropist
Angelina Jolie is one of the biggest talents on the planet, and she has the hardware to back it up. The Academy Award winning actress has been one of the most high-profile figures for nearly two decades, and it seems that everything she does makes headlines. Needless to say, not all of these things are positive, so when Jolie admitted to past drug problems, the media was all over it. Her admitted drug use ran nearly the entire spectrum, making her abuse unique. Most people on this list have one or two drugs of choice, but Jolie went ahead and tried a little bit of everything.
These days, when she's not conquering the film world, Jolie is a major activist. She is intent on leaving the world a better place than she found it, and it's inspiring to see someone in her position actively working to make a legitimate difference. Currently, Jolie has no films set for release in the next few years.
12 Lindsay Lohan - The Poster Child For Corrupted Child Stars
The curse of former child stars diving headfirst into substance abuse is not immune to women, and the self-destruction of Lindsay Lohan was very painful to watch from afar. At one point, it seemed as though the actress had it all. Money, fame, and the adoration of fans worldwide were all in the palm of her hand. Lohan was a bonafide mega-star during her heyday, but her substance abuse issues caused a massive ripple effect on the rest of her career. Sadly, Lohan was arrested on multiple occasions, started a downward slope for her career, and, more importantly, her personal life.
After going through a widely publicized rough patch, Lohan appears to have gotten her health and personal life in order. Currently, the former child star is filming the British television series Sick Note, which will hopefully act as a catalyst for her to return to film, and possibly even music.
11 Jason Mewes - Struggled With Addictions Throughout His Biggest Roles
As one of the main fixtures of Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse, actor Jason Mewes has been an indie darling and a fan favorite since his debut in Smith's classic Clerks way back in 1994. Mewes has appeared in every View Askewniverse film, and his portrayal of the character Jay has made him as beloved as his hetero life mate Silent Bob. Throughout the series of films, however, fans could see Mewes' ever changing physical appearance, though most had no idea that he was battling a crippling drug addiction. Even after the conclusion of the View Askewniverse, Mewes continued his addiction battle until 2010.
Living a life of sobriety is a good look on Mewes, and he is currently directing his very own movie. The father of one is a regular on the convention scene, and he appears to be happier than ever. He also participates in the podcast Jay and Silent Bob Get Old with his lifelong best friend Kevin Smith.
10 Demi Lovato - Cleaned Up Her Act At An Early Age
At just 24, Demi Lovato has already put together one heck of a career in the entertainment industry. Very few performers will find success in music, film, and television, but Lovato has done so all before reaching the age of 30. She possesses an amazing ability to entertain in any medium she tries, and has remained a largely influential figure from a very young age. By the time she was 18, Lovato had already entered a rehab clinic for drugs, alcohol, and an eating disorder, and started her road to a better life. She's dealt with a number of personal issues, and has continued to persevere.
As of 2017, Lovato has been clean and sober for 5 years, which is no easy feat. Nothing has derailed the young star permanently, and she shows no signs of slowing down. Lovato will be releasing a documentary about herself later this year entitled I Am: Demi Lovato. Fans will be eagerly awaiting its debut on YouTube.
9 Anthony Kiedis - Got Clean To Save The Band
As the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis has been in the spotlight since the late 1980s after the band finally hit the airwaves with "Higher Ground." His lyrics have covered a variety of topics, and it is often his words penned about his struggles with drug addiction that have been fan-favorites. After original guitarist Hillel Slovak died of an overdose, Kiedis cleaned up his act, though this was short-lived. The singer relapsed in the 1990s, and the band was on the brink of calling it a career.
After sobering up towards the end of the decade, the Chili Peppers recruited former guitarist John Frusciante back into the fold, and the band released their album Californication, which remains their best-selling record of all-time. Though he stumbled once more along the way, Kiedis eventually found his sobriety, and has since lived the life he worked hard to get.
8 Dennis Rodman - Turned To Alcohol After His Infamous Time In The Spotlight
As one of the most charismatic and unique players to ever play in the NBA, Dennis Rodman was no stranger to being in the limelight throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Whether it was his ever-evolving hairstyle or his infamous marriage to Carmen Electra, Rodman was a constant lightning rod of media coverage, which sadly took away from his play on the court. Rodman was a 5-time NBA Champion, 2-time All-Star, and 2-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Since the end of his illustrious NBA career, Rodman has had issues with substance abuse. Unlike most entries on this list, alcohol has been Rodman's biggest issue, and he has even appeared on Sober House in order to get his life on track. It is thought that no news is good news, and the fact that Rodman's sobriety has remained out of question appears to be a good sign.
7 Nick Carter - A Simple Choice: Change Your Life, Or Die
Growing up, I was a massive fan of the Backstreet Boys, but then again, who wasn't? The boy band craze of the late 1990s saw an incredible surge in album sales, and the Backstreet Boys were at the forefront of it all. Having sold an estimated 100 million albums, they would go on to be the biggest-selling boy band of all-time. Despite their incredible success, personal demons would grab a hold of member Nick Carter, and the youngest member of the group would deal with drug and alcohol problems. Due to a medical diagnosis, Carter was left with a simple choice: change your life, or die.
Since cleaning up his act, Carter has undergone an incredible physical transformation, and he used his gym time to get away from the substances that had plagued his life. The Backstreet Boys continue to record and tour, no doubt cashing in on the music that made them mainstream darlings.
6 Bobby Brown - Drugs, Drama, And A Life Marked With Tragedy
It's no secret the boy band success of the 1990s was trying to capture the success that New Edition had in the 1980s. While New Edition wasn't a pop group, they were still comprised of young men singing about adult topics that captured the hearts of young female audiences. New Edition was a massive success in their day, and member Bobby Brown would reach incredible heights after going solo. Brown took over the music scene, and engaged in one of the most high-profile relationships of all-time with Whitney Houston. Sadly, the couple's well-documented dealings with drug abuse were on display for the whole world to see.
Over the years, Bobby Brown's personal life was chocked full of peaks and valleys, and he ended up in rehab as recently as 2013. After some tragic losses in his personal life, Brown has remained out of the public eye for some time now. He continues to tour the world and perform for his fans to this day.
5 Charlie Sheen - A Wild Life That Finally Caught Up To Him
I know, it's almost impossible to believe that the king of "winning" and the man made of "tiger's blood" could have ever used drugs, but alas, here we are. After breaking out in the 1980s, Charlie Sheen kept the motor running on his career for over 20 years. Though he had been famous for a few notable roles, his time on Two and a Half Man catapulted him to mega-stardom, and Sheen was making $1.8 million every episode. After leaving the show, Sheen's personal life began to spiral out of control, and his past demons seemed to be making a return.
Sheen would go on to star in the show Anger Management, which lasted for an impressive 100 episodes. It seemed like his wild life came to its peak when he announced he was HIV positive and he has since seemingly tried to turn his life around.With one movie set for theatrical release this year, it is great to see Sheen continuing to do what he does best. He's been a huge source of entertainment for many people, and seeing him back in his groove can only be described as winning.
4 Corey Feldman - Child Star Turns To Drug
There seems to be a trend with superstars who got their start in the 1980s and their development of some serious drug issues. As one of the most famous child stars of all-time, Corey Feldman was a massively popular name before he made it to high school. After starring in a string of classics, Feldman continued to find success into young adulthood. The 1990s weren't nearly as kind to the actor, and unfortunately, his substance abuse did his career no favors.
Though Feldman has continued to act in both film and in television over the years, he was never able to duplicate the success he had as a child. It would seem as though the drug problems he once battled are no longer an issue for the actor. These days, Feldman primarily focuses on his music career, and his last film appearance came in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, which was released in 2015.
3 Courtney Love - Addiction Overshadowed Her Impact
As the queen of grunge, Courtney Love became a media fixture in the 1990s thanks to the success of her band Hole as well as her marriage to legend Kurt Cobain. While Nirvana was changing the landscape of music, Hole was forging their own path in the industry, and even achieved multi-platinum status with their 1994 album Live Through This. Shortly before and long after Cobain's tragic death, Love had a high-profile battle with substance abuse, and the media was absolutely ruthless to the performer.
Her drug abuse highly overshadowed the fact that Courtney was instrumental in female-led rock bands in the grunge scene. She was a pioneer in her time, though being married to Kurt Cobain often left her in the shadows of his success. While she may seem to be in a constant state of battle with other musicians, she is said to have been sober for a while now. Hopefully she can remain on the straight and narrow and put out some music for her fans to enjoy.
2 Mickey Rourke - From Addiction To Oscar Nominee
A handsome leading man has always been a fixture in Hollywood, and the Mickey Rourke of the 1980s was as handsome as anyone gracing the big screen. While plastic surgery nightmares are usually associated with women, Rourke appears to be the poster boy for men. After his career began to plummet, Rourke's surgeries and drugs did nothing to help the struggling actor. Fortunately, Rourke is an incredibly talented boxer, and found success in the ring. Very few people expected Rourke to regain his acting glory, and in 2008, the actor proved his doubters wrong.
Rourke starred in the film The Wrestler, and was once again the darling of Hollywood. The actor was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance, and his career was completely revitalized. It even led him to be featured in the smash hit Iron Man 2, which happens to star the number one entry on our list.
1 Robert Downey Jr. - A Perfect Example Of Coming Out On The Other Side
The Robert Downey Jr. of today and yesterday are so incredibly different from one another that you would almost think they were two different people. The younger Downey was an amazingly gifted actor whose personal demons would not let up. It didn't matter that he had the looks and the talent to be as big as anyone in Hollywood; Downey was his own worst enemy, and his substance abuse took him to the lowest of lows. Over the years, it seemed to be one folly after the next, and most wondered if he would ever be the star that they knew he could be. In 2008, after cleaning up his act and continuing to exorcise his demons, Downey was cast in Iron Man, and the rest is history.
The man with all the potential in the world was finally able to get out of his own way, and in turn, became the biggest name in Hollywood. The last decade has seen Downey relish in the success that he rightfully earned, and he has been the anchor of the industry-shifting Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since. While some stars never return from the brink, Downey is the shining example that through hard work and perseverance, your life can be saved.
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