While the lives of child stars appear to be seemingly easy with the wealth that fame brings, the death of Austin Majors showed that sometimes it can come with an everlasting struggle and a lifestyle that leads downs a path of addiction, alcohol and drug abuse.
The NYPD Blue star died at the age of 27 last Saturday and his death has been described as a possible fentanyl overdose.
Austin was living at a homeless facility in Los Angeles at the time of his death.
The former child star’s life in the limelight began early as he had his first tryst with the camera at just two years old in the 1997 film Nevada.
NYPD Blue child star Austin Majors died at the age of 27 while staying at a homeless facility in Los Angeles, it has been reported; pictured in 2005
His death sparked a wave of concern and sparked conversations about other child stars who have been driven to addiction, triggered by the pressures of fame.
Although the extent of the former child star’s struggle with drugs remains unclear, he is not the first young celebrity who has been thrust into the spotlight.
Many celebrities have ended up in a cycle of alcohol and drug abuse that caused many of their lives to go off the rails – or sadly ended with their early deaths.
From Drew Barrymore’s cocaine addiction at 13 years old to Johnny Lewis’ path to destruction that lead to a murdered woman and his passing, many stars have been met with a tragic fate due to their time in the limelight.
After Austin’s death, FEMAIL lays bare the other child stars whose lives began to unravel when the cameras stopped rolling.
Gone too young: Austin Major’s death came as a result of an addiction brought on by childhood fame
The former child actor is said to have died last Saturday, and ‘may have ingested a fatal amount of fentanyl,’ TMZ reported. He’s pictured in 2009 in LA
An autopsy on Austin’s body is scheduled to be completed, and final toxicology results are expected in a few months; seen in 1999 on NYPD Blue
Austin went on to appear in the movie The Price of Air and the TV series Providence, until he landed his big break as Theo Sipowicz, the son of Detective Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) in the hit series NYPD Blue from 1999 to 2004.
In 2002, the actor won a Young Artists Award for Best Performance In A Television Series for his role in NYPD Blue.
Austin also voiced Young Jim in the animated film Treasure Planet in 2002, which saw him receiving a nomination for best performance in a voice-over role.
He also had stints in ER, Hercules, NCIS, Threshold, Desperate Housewives, An Accidental Christmas, and made his final on-screen appearance in a 2009 episode of How I Met Your Mother.
Following his death, TMZ reported that there was ‘no foul play suspected’ and that it is ‘believed he may have ingested a fatal amount of fentanyl.’
In a statement to People, the childhood star’s family described him as a ‘loving, artistic, brilliant, and kind human being.’
Austin’s family continued: ‘Austin took great joy and pride in his acting career. He was an active Eagle Scout and graduated Salutatorian in High School. He went on to graduate from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a passion of directing and music producing.
‘Austin’s younger sister, Kali, says her fondest memories with Austin were growing up on set with him, volunteering at events with “Kids With a Cause,” and backpacking together. Austin was the kind of son, brother, grandson, and nephew that made us proud and we will miss him deeply forever.’
Clear Talent Group, who represented the former child actor, also issued a statement about his death to People.
The family released a statement to TMZ telling the outlet: ‘[Austin] was a loving, artistic, brilliant, and kind human being. Austin seen in 2002
Austin’s first role was in 1997 in the film Nevada, playing a young boy; seen in 2004
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s website noted that Austin’s cause of death is unknown and the case is ‘pending additional investigation’
‘It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of our talented client, Austin Majors. Most people will remember him as young Theo Sipowicz on ABC’s NYPD Blue and the voice of Young Jim in Disney’s Treasure Planet, but we will remember him as the caring, generous, and kindhearted individual that he was.
‘A graduate from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a passion for directing and music producing, Austin’s talents were boundless. Our hearts, prayers, and condolences go out to his family.’
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Coroner’s website noted that Austin’s cause of death is unknown and the case is ‘pending additional investigation.’
An addiction that led to her being blacklisted: Drew Barrymore began a cycle of alcohol and drug abuse at just 12
Drew started partying two years after she starred in ET in 1982 when she was just six years old (pictured left). As an adult (pictured right in 2022), she has opened up about how she became addicted to drugs as a tween
After starring in E.T., the actress found herself partying in nightclubs with her mom five days a week when she was eight
The actress, 47, perfectly depicts a child star that was left with no other choice but to grow up too quickly when she was thrown into the spotlight.
At six years old, Drew made her first on-screen appearance and starred in the 1982 film E.T..
Following the film, the actress found the party scene much sooner that anyone could have anticipated.
At just eight years old, Drew was partying in nightclubs alongside her mom five days a week.
‘I had a mom, but she was more like my best friend,’ she said on Norm Macdonald Had A Show, according to Today.
‘She was like, “Do you want to go to school and get bullied all day, or do you want to go to Studio 54?” And I was like, “Yes, absolutely!”‘
At nine years old, the child’s troubling habits began to worsen after her parents got divorced.
By the time she was 12, she was addicted to alcohol and cocaine.
She was blacklisted from Hollywood due to her addiction and had a brief stint in rehab before hitting rock bottom when she was 13 years old.
After surviving addiction, Drew (seen in 1994) got married to Jeremy Thomas in 1994 at the young age of 19
‘When I was 13, that was probably the lowest,’ she told The Guardian.
‘Just knowing that I really was alone. And it felt… terrible. It was a really rebellious time. I would run off. I was very, very angry.’
At 13, the star could no longer face the pain of her alcohol and drug abuse along with her mental health struggles and attempted suicide.
She was institutionalized by her mom and spent 18 months at the hospital.
Following her release at 14, she requested to be emancipated from her parents, explaining that the decision was necessary as she wasn’t learning how to responsibly care for herself.
The actress (seen in May 2022) now jokes that she’s grateful for getting ‘midlife crisis, institutionalized, blacklisted, no family’ done by 14
‘It really is a recipe for disaster,’ she told Norm.
‘But you know what’s exciting? I got my s*** over with at, like, 14. Like, midlife crisis, institutionalized, blacklisted, no family, like, got it done, and then got into the cycle of being my own parent, figuring it out.
‘It’s sad that there’s this weird alchemy about kids doing this line of work that f***ed all of them up, and I’m no different.’
At 19, the TV personality married her first husband, Jeremy Thomas, in 1994, but divorced just one year later.
She then got married and divorced to Tom Green and later Will Kopelman.
But Drew now enjoys her life as a single woman.
The now 47-year-old has been open about her former lifestyle and said that she stays away from hard drugs, but still drinks in moderation.
The sweet girl with pigtails no more: Family Affair’s Anissa Jones began abusing drugs and alcohol, leading to her death at just 18
With her blonde pigtails and her eager grin, Anissa charmed viewers at just six years old with her role as Buffy in the 1960s TV series Family Affair. Anissa seen in 1971
But like many other child stars, when the cameras were off, her life fell to shambles. Anissa seen in 1969
With her blonde pigtails and her eager grin, Anissa charmed viewers at just six years old with her role as Buffy in the 1960s TV series Family Affair.
But like many other child stars, when the cameras were off, her life fell to shambles.
In 1971, the TV show was abruptly cancelled, but Anissa, who was 13 at the time, didn’t let it get her down as she was eager to audition for other roles.
However, the more she auditioned, the more she felt like she was held back by her reputation as the adorable and clever Buffy.
With no movie gigs coming in, the star turned to drugs and shoplifting to fill her time.
She was then relieved to be done with acting and was finally ready to have her turn at being a ‘normal’ teen again, but she took her newfound freedom to extreme lengths.
Many of the star’s new friends were drug abusers, causing the next five years of the 13-year-old’s life to turn into a downward spiral.
Anissa struggled both in her professional and personal life as her family began to have many issues.
In 1971, the TV show was abruptly cancelled, but Anissa, who was 13 at the time, didn’t let it get her down as she was eager to audition for other roles. The star seen in 1967
Her parents’ divorce led to a bitter custody battle that ultimately saw her dad winning custody of Anissa and her brother. Anissa seen in 1969
Her parents’ divorce led to a bitter custody battle that ultimately saw her dad winning custody of Anissa and her brother.
However, when the former child star’s father died, she moved in with a friend.
Anissa began shoplifting, quitting jobs, and developed bad eating and sleeping patterns.
On her 18th birthday, the actress inherited the money she earned from Family Affair, which was about $200,000, but she spent it all within months.
At 18 years old, her life came to a tragic end when she died of a drug overdose while at a friend’s house in 1976.
At 18 years old, her life came to a tragic end when she died of a drug overdose while at a friend’s house in 1976
Her Family Affair co-star, Kathy Garver, spoke to Fox News in 2015 about the child star’s downward spiral.
‘I really reached out and went to her 18th birthday party and her mother had come up to me and said, “You know I wish you could spend some time with Anissa because she’s in the wrong crowd,”‘ Kathy recalled.
‘And that crowd was taking drugs. Unfortunately I had to go away for a project and didn’t get back for two months and in that time she had died of a drug overdose.’
The doctor who had been providing Anissa with drugs was later arrested and charged that same year, according to The New York Times.
A big-shot father who welcomed him into the world of drugs: Robert Downey Jr. was thrusted into the spotlight and the party lifestyle at an early age
Downey Jr. fell into a life of addiction after securing his big break in the 1985 film Weird Science at the age of 20 (pictured left), but got clean (pictured in 2019)
In 1994, as pictured above, the star was arrested for speeding while drunk, and having heroin, cocaine and an unloaded .356 magnum in his passenger seat
Downey Jr. is pictured here in his mugshot from September 1999
Since the Marvel star’s father was a successful Hollywood producer and actor, the Iron Man star became immersed in the spotlight from an early age.
In addition to being a big-shot in Hollywood, Robert Downey Sr. was also a drug addict who had no shame in inviting his young son into his world.
During an interview with The New Breed, Downey Jr. revealed his father brought him to a party and let him try marijuana for the first time at the age of eight.
‘There was always a lot of pot and coke around,’ Downey Jr. said of his childhood.
Eventually, it became the only way he knew how to connect with his father.
‘When my dad and I would do drugs together,’ he explained.
‘It was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how.’
Downey Jr. pursued his own career in acting while he was a teenager.
He got his break when he starred in Weird Science in 1985 at the age of 20 and was cast on Saturday Night Live in the same year.
While appearing in court in 1999, the actor admitted: ‘Taking drugs to me is like having a shotgun in my mouth…and I like the taste of the gun metal.’
Once he was at the other end of his drug addiction, he revived his career by landing the role of Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008
However, his drug usage only ramped up as he gained more fame.
In 1994, the star was arrested for speeding while drunk, and having heroin, cocaine and an unloaded .356 magnum in his passenger seat.
The next few years saw the actor getting arrested numerous times for his drug-fueled behavior.
By 1996, his neighbor had called 911 on him after her had accidentally passed out in their teenaged son’s bed.
This reckless trend continued throughout the 90s and eventually led to him spending time in jail.
While appearing in court in 1999, the actor admitted: ‘Taking drugs to me is like having a shotgun in my mouth with my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal.’
In 2003, his wife-to-be, Susan, gave him an ultimatum and told him he’d have to give up drugs if he wanted to marry her in August 2005.
In 2013, he told the Daily Mail that he went through a 12-step program to get sober.
Once he was at the other end of his drug addiction, he revived his career by landing the role of Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
From a beloved childhood star to a distraught, drug addict: Lindsay Lohan went from the sweet child actor to someone who was always in trouble with the law
Lindsay was just 11 years old when she starred in the 1998 hit The Parent Trap (pictured left) and just recently made a comeback, announcing new projects and starring in commercials (pictured right)
She starred in hits like Mean Girls in 2004 before her arrests
Lindsay was a beloved child star who first won over audiences while starring as twins Annie and Hallie in the 1998 hit movie The Parent Trap, a role that she secured at the tender age of 11.
After featuring in the movie, which also starred Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid, Lohan skyrocketed to fame, quickly racking up a slew of other high-profile credits, including Freaky Friday in 2003 and Mean Girls in 2004.
However, the pressures of the industry took a toll on Lindsay.
The actress initially claimed the first time she had tried cocaine was when she was 21 and was never much of a drinker, despite later saying she had her first hangover at age 17.
Lindsay made headlines in 2007 when she was arrested for cocaine possession and drunk driving. She described the arrest as ‘totally irresponsible – a stupid mistake’ on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live and insisted it was her first time trying cocaine.
‘And from then on, the press were on me all the time,’ Lindsay said.
‘It was the first time I’d taken drugs. I was out in a club with people I shouldn’t have been with, and took cocaine, and got in the car. It was so stupid.’
The actress (pictured on New Year’s Eve in Miami in 2007) was arrested for cocaine possession and drunk driving in 2007, and was forced to take a break from acting
The Mean Girls star (pictured leaving the Beverly Hills courthouse in 2010) claimed ‘somewhere inside knew I wanted to go to jail’ when she went behind bars in 2010
She insisted that since that incident, she had only used the drug three or four times.
During that same interview, she admitted she uses ‘pot’ and ‘ecstasy’ as her drug of choice.
However, her father, Michael, claimed that was far from the truth and that she had been doing drugs at least since she was 18 years old, revealing a time he got a call about her overdosing.
‘Lindsay was filming in New Orleans and I got a call saying she had overdosed on cocaine. One of her assistants had given her the drug,’ he told The Sun.
‘I was so angry I got a gun from the house and planned to go to New Orleans to kill him.’
Michael also alleged she was abusing Adderall and vodka at that point.
It was then that the Mean Girls star got at least a little more candid about her history with drug use.
During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the actress admitted that she had used cocaine closer to 10 to 15 times.
Since starting her recovery, the former child star said she’s returning to acting and has since filmed Falling For Christmas with Chord Overstreet (pictured)
‘I was terrified of being judged,’ she admitted, and additionally fessed up to being an ‘addict’ when it came to alcohol.
‘That, in the past, was a gateway to other things for me,’ she said.
‘I tried cocaine with alcohol.’
‘I never felt good the next day,’ she added while explaining that she’d have the drug because it ‘allowed me to drink more.’
‘It was a party thing. People would have it, and I’d do it,’ Lindsay said.
The actress had been in and out of rehab six times by that point.
She also opened up about the jail time she did in 2010 for violating her probation and how she saw her own cry for help.
‘Having all the chaos around me that I was so comfortable with, I somewhere inside knew I wanted to go to jail,’ she said.
‘And I think that that was subconsciously being put out there just by my actions, or lack thereof.’
Lindsay fell of the radar for sometime but re-emerged as a business owner in 2019 and continues to identify as being in recovery.
After opening a since-shuttered nightclub in Greece, the former child star got engaged to Bader Shammas and announced that she plans on returning to acting.
So far, she has filmed Falling For Christmas with Chord Overstreet – which was released last year – and some commercials for companies like Planet Fitness and Allbirds.
Amanda Bynes started her drug journey at age 16 and ended up addicted to Adderall
Amanda’s career skyrocketed when she got her own TV series, The Amanda Show, in 1999 (pictured left) at age 13, but is now focused on living a sober lifestyle (pictured right in 2022)
The actress admitted that she first tried Adderall in 2007 when she was in Hairspray after reading that they were ‘skinny pills’
Amanda Bynes was an icon during her child-acting days. She landed the coveted gig of being on the tween sketch show All That and her popularity on the show lead to her getting her own series called The Amanda Show.
Once she booked the TV series What I Like About You in 2002 when she was 16 years old, she began smoking marijuana.
‘Even though everyone thought I was the “good girl,” I did smoke marijuana from that point on,’ she said during her renowned interview with Paper in 2018.
From that point on, she started experimenting with harder drugs.
‘[I tried] cocaine three times but I never got high from cocaine. I never liked it. It was never my drug of choice,’ she explained. Then she discovered Adderall.
‘I definitely abused Adderall,’ she told the outlet. She shared that she was ‘reading an article in a magazine that [called Adderall] “the new skinny pill”‘ while filming Hairspray in 2007.
Amanda was arrested a number of times for drug charges including in 2012
She revealed that ‘I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting’ after watching herself in Easy A
‘They were talking about how women were taking it to stay thin. I was like, “Well, I have to get my hands on that,”‘ she recalled and that’s when her addiction began.
She continued to abuse the drug as she filmed the 2010 flicks, Easy A and Hall Pass.
‘When I was doing Hall Pass, I remember being in the trailer and I used to chew the Adderall tablets because I thought they made me [more] high [that way],’ she admitted.
‘I remember chewing on a bunch of them and literally being scatterbrained and not being able to focus on my lines or memorize them for that matter.’
Amanda ended up quitting the movie mid-filming due to ‘the mixture of being so high that I couldn’t remember my lines and not liking my appearance.’
However, it was the film that she went through with that led to her quitting acting.
‘I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing [Easy A],’ she said, adding that her thoughts were possibly a result of her being ‘high on marijuana.’
The actress revealed ‘I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world’ and was arrested for drug charges in 2013
During her famous 2018 Paper interview, she revealed she was clean
That’s when she infamously announced her acting retirement on Twitter.
‘If I was going to retire [the right way], I should’ve done it in a press statement — but I did it on Twitter,’ the actress said.
‘Real classy! But, you know, I was high and I was like, “You know what? I am so over this,” so I just did it.’
Unfortunately, her addiction only spiraled further out of control after she left Hollywood.
‘I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me,’ she explained.
It was during that 2018 interview, though, that she revealed she was clean.
She was also in sober living, where she met her fiance, Paul Michael, and was under a conservatorship.
However, as of March 2022, Amanda was granted freedom from the conservatorship after being inspired by Britney Spears.
A child start headed towards a downward spiral: Dana Plato began as a beloved actress whose drug overdose led to the death of her son
Dana, who died at age 34, met a similar fate to many other child stars, and tragically, her death didn’t come as shock. Seen during season three of Diff’rent Strokes
Despite the many years of success, she struggled with the pressures of instant fame and began experimenting with drugs and alcohol as a young teen. Dana pictured in 1985
Dana, who died at age 34, met a similar fate to many other child stars, and tragically, her death didn’t come as shock.
Despite the many years of success, she struggled with the pressures of instant fame and began experimenting with drugs and alcohol as a young teen.
At just 13 years old, the actress was given the lifetime of the opportunity as she accepted a role on hit NBC TV series, Diff’rent Strokes.
But, with instant success, came the dangers with Hollywood excess.
Dana began partaking in marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol with her co-stars, which spelled trouble.
In 1983, Dana moved in with her guitarist, Lanny Lambert, and future husband, and she became pregnant at 20 years old.
Due to this she was written out of the hit TV show.
Her downward spiral began and was heightened with personal and financial problems as well as drug abuse. Dana seen in season five of Diff’rent Strokes
Her tragic life would soon come to an end in May 1999, when Dana died of a drug overdose. Dana seen in 1998
According to USA Today, the producers were worried that Dana’s personal life ruined her on-screen character, who had a squeaky-clean image.
She was then dismissed from her role in Diff’rent Strokes, and she had trouble finding another job.
Her downward spiral began and was heightened with personal and financial problems as well as drug abuse.
The actress was even known for robbing a Las Vegas video store.
She began spiraling further into drug addiction and alcoholism.
Her husband then ended their marriage and gained custody of their son due to her struggles with addiction.
The actress continued to rob stores and even forged prescriptions for Valium.
Her tragic life would soon come to an end in May 1999 when Dana died of a drug overdose.
Unfortunately, her death would have a dire impact on her son, Tyler Lambert, who was just 14 years old when his mother died.
Just two days before the 11th anniversary of Dana’s death, Tyler, 25, fatally shot himself.
From star actor to living on the streets: Todd Bridges suffered from drug abuse beginning when he was just 15 years old
Two years after Diff’rent Strokes, which he first started filming in 1978 at age 13, he was living on the streets and addicted to drugs (pictured left) but he made a recovery and returned to act in Live From A Studio Audience in 2021 (pictured right)
Todd appeared in court in 1993 after he was arrested on drug charges while he was addicted to heroin
Todd became a sitcom sensation after he starred as ‘What you talkin bout’ Willis Jackson when he was just 13 years old.
Unfortunately, a life in the limelight that was preceded by years of abuse from his father and being molested by a family member led him down a dark path.
Todd started doing drugs while he was still filming the sitcom when he was 15 or 16 years old.
‘I wouldn’t do it on the set. I would never do that. I would always wait until the weekends and do it just to try to forget what I was going through,’ he clarified during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
By the time he was 20, he was addicted to drugs and two years after Diff’rent Strokes wrapped in 1986, he was living on the streets.
‘I had no shoes on, no shirt on, no money in my pocket, and I felt horrible about myself,’ he explained.
‘I felt that my life was over.’
He started dealing drugs including marijuana, cocaine and speed in order to survive.
‘I wasn’t Willis when I was over here. I was Todd Bridges, the drug dealer,’ he stated.
‘I was considered a pretty notorious character.’
Bridges (pictured above in 2019) got sober after he was arrested following a 14-day heroin bender and credits his jail time for ‘saving his life’
He added: ‘I had a .45-caliber MAC-10 I used to carry on me. I had a 9mm, and if I showed you it and it came out of my waistband, you were shot. It was a matter of survival of the fittest.’
He hit a low point when he became addicted to meth and cut himself off from his family. The former child star once stayed up doing drugs for 14 days straight.
He explained that he ‘started having grand mal seizures,’ and extremely vivid and intense hallucinations of ‘little green men’ that he was shooting at.
When he was 26 years old, he was pulled over by police and contemplated committing suicide by police by pointing his gun at them.
‘I put my hand on my gun because I was so tired of living,’ he confessed.
‘Not that I was going to shoot the police officers, but I was going to point it at them and make them shoot me to really take away the pain.’
However, he chose not to and decided to use the opportunity to get clean.
‘This voice said to me: “Don’t do that. Let go of it and let them take you in,”‘ he explained.
‘I always say that the Burbank police officers didn’t really arrest me. They rescued me in my time of need.’
He was treated for recovery while he was there, but the process wasn’t easy.
The actor had an outburst during his recovery that was so aggressive he was stripped down, strapped to a bed and was forced to wear a diaper.
‘I go: “This has got to stop. I’ve got to get my life together,”‘ he declared at the time and that was the moment he decided he’d be taking recovery seriously and is still sober to this day.
He even made a brief return to acting in a cameo for ABC’s 2021 Live In Front Of A Studio Audience.
Jodie Sweetin became an alcoholic at age 14 which spiraled into a life of hiding a meth addiction when she was just 20 years old
Jodie first tried drugs at 14 just after Full House wrapped in 1995 (pictured left). The actress, pictured right on the red carpet in 2019, has relapsed multiple times but is sober these days
She first stepped into the role of Stephanie Tanner on Full House when she was just five years old and starred on it up until she was 13 before she turned to drugs
Jodie first stepped into the role of Stephanie Tanner on Full House when she was just five years old. The hit 90s sitcom ran up until she turned 13. It was at that point that she started to feel lost.
‘I had this extra hurdle to overcome, of trying to prove who I wasn’t — that I wasn’t, the girl from Full House,’ she said on Good Morning America in 2008.
‘But I didn’t really know who Jodie was and looking for other things to, to fix that and kind of fill that void,’ she continued.
That’s when the child star turned to drugs. Jodie drank for the first time at her co-star Candace Cameron Bure’s wedding when she was 14 years old and had ‘two bottles of wine.’
‘That first drink gave me the self-confidence I had been searching for my whole life,’ she wrote in her 2009 memoir, unSweetined. ‘But that set the pattern of the kind of drinking that I would do.’
As the actress struggled to book roles, she picked up on more drug habits and was in and out of rehab throughout her teens. When she was in high school, she started doing ecstasy and by the time she was in college, she turned to cocaine.
She was 20 years old when she first tried meth and developed a severe addiction that she managed to hide balancing married life with her then-husband, Shaun Holguin.
‘Everything revolved around my addiction,’ she told People in 2008 about her time using meth.
‘On a typical day I’d wake up and feel terrible because I hadn’t done any. You’re either trying to get it, doing it or worrying about when you’re going to get it next. You don’t even realize that it’s taken over so quickly.’
After she ended up in the hospital in 2005, she admitted she had a problem and committed to treatment and moving into a sober-living house.
Unfortunately, her addiction returned when when she was divorcing her second husband, Cody Herpin, and fighting with him over custody for their baby daughter, Zoie, in 2008.
Jodie got addicted to heroin when she was 20 and relapsed multiple times, but has been sober since the Fuller House premiere
She returned to acting in Fuller House which ran from 2016 to 2020
She described in her memoir that she hit ‘big rock bottom’ when the court ordered an emergency custody investigation after she had drove with her kid on two glasses of wine.
‘From that day forward, I threw myself into going to AA and avoided people who do blow off their coffee tables,’ she wrote.
Unfortunately, she relapsed once again in 2013 after she and her third husband, Morty Coyle, filed for legal separation and got hooked on painkillers after a car accident.
She quickly sobered up after that point and has fortunately stayed sober since.
She is happily engaged to Mescal Wasilewski and was able to return for the Full House reboot Fuller House, which ran form 2016 to 2020.
Since then, she has spoken out about the toll living in the limelight as a child.
‘I was attacked as a kid in the tabloids,’ she said on the Allison Interviews podcast.
‘I can’t stand tabloid magazines or even social media these days.
‘I think anyone who goes after these kids, whether it’s how they dress, or how someone is parenting them, when they are out in public, leave them alone.’
An amazing actor whose life wasn’t as glorious off-screen: Brad Renfro went through a cycle of battling addiction that led to death
Brad was just 10 years old when he made his first on-screen appearance in the 1994 movie The Client. Seen in 2002
Brad had numerous run-ins with the law beginning in 1988 as he was arrested for possession of cocaine and marijuana. Seen in 2001
Brad was just 10 years old when he made his first on-screen appearance in the 1994 movie The Client.
In the film, he starred alongside many of Hollywood’s greatest such as Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon, and was praised for his ‘honest’ and ’emotional’ acting.
Following his success in the film, Brad went on to win The Hollywood Reporter‘s Young Star award.
His career seemed promising as he took on many other high-profile roles such as Huck Finn in 1995’s Tom and Huck and the younger version of Brad Pitt’s character in Sleepers (1996).
However, things off-screen weren’t as glorious.
Brad had numerous run-ins with the law beginning in 1988 as he was arrested for possession of cocaine and marijuana.
The child star was just 16 at the time and told People that he was ‘grateful’ for the experience because it taught him to stay ‘sober.’
During the interview, he even advised children to stay away from drugs.
Sadly, the child star’s early rise to fame and trouble with addiction caught up with in 2008, and he died from a drug overdose. Seen in 2005
However, just a short time after the interview, Brad was once again battling addiction and began finding himself in more trouble.
He was soon arrested allegedly attempting to steal a yacht. Then in 2005, he was charged with driving under the influence.
Weeks later, the actor was busted by the police again for possession of heroin, a charge he later pleaded guilty to and entered rehab.
Sadly, the child star’s early rise to fame and trouble with addiction caught up with in 2008.
He was found unconscious after a night out with friends by his girlfriend.
In the 911 call, the operator questioned the girlfriend as to what had happened and she responded: ‘I’m not sure. I mean, I think he might have taken a couple of pills last night.
‘He had an audition at 1 o’clock this afternoon. I’ve been trying to wake him up to get ready and he just won’t move.’
Brad’s death was later ruled an accident and the cause was written as ‘acute heroin/morphine intoxication.’
‘The cleanest-living star’ in Hollywood had a dark secret: River Phoenix had the public fooled, and was abusing drugs and alcohol
River seemed to be the next big thing after he landed his breakout role in the TV show’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 1982, when he was just 11 years old. Seen in 1985
River seemed to be the next big thing after he landed his breakout role in the TV show’s Seven Brides For Seven Brothers in 1982 when he was just 11 years old.
He went on to star in 1986’s Stand By Me, and My Own Private Idaho, The Mosquito Coast, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, and Little Nikita.
It seemed as though the actor was on the path to becoming a major movie star, however, the fate that met many other child stars caught up with him.
To the public, River was known to be one of the cleanest-living stars in Hollywood because he grew up in a family that was opposed to drugs, alcohol, and meat.
Tragically in October, the truth about what went on behind the scenes was revealed and the then 23-year-old died of a drug overdose.
After collapsing outside of an LA nightclub in front of his siblings, he was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Tragically in October, the truth about what went on behind the scenes was revealed and the then 23-year-old died of a drug overdose. River seen with Joaquin in 1985
The New York Times reported that the coroner found ‘deadly levels of cocaine and morphine’ in his system. River seen in 1998
The New York Times reported that the coroner found ‘deadly levels of cocaine and morphine’ in his system.
Later, River’s close friend Bob Forrest said that drugs were the norm in their showbiz circle.
In his book Running With Monsters, the musician said: ‘The drug routine stayed pretty consistent for all of us. First, smoke crack or shoot coke directly into a vein for that ninety-second, electric brain-bell jangle.
‘Then shoot heroin to get a grip and come down enough to be able to carry on a conversation for a few minutes before you start the cycle again.’
Speaking of the night River died, he said: ‘River was obviously wasted and was as unsteady as a boxer who had taken one too many headshots during a fifteen-round bout.’
Bob claimed that just before Phoenix began to seize, he said: ‘Bob, I don’t feel so good, I think I’m OD’ing.’
Edward Furlong’s sordid relationship with adult tutor as a minor and early Terminator 2 fame led to a life of addiction
Edward (pictured right in 2019) had a relationship with a 26-year-old as he filmed the 1991 movie Terminator 2 when he was just 13 years old (pictured left)
Edward is pictured here with Paris Hilton in 2000. He was discovered by Terminator 2’s casting director Mali Finn
Edward was unexpectedly thrown into the world of acting when he was discovered by Terminator 2’s casting director Mali Finn.
‘[Edward] didn’t come in through an agency, he’d never been in anything, she literally just went out to find raw untried talent,’ the film’s director James Cameron told EW.
‘I was in a place called the Pasadena Boys Club,’ Edward recalled.
‘[Mali] says, “Can I have you come and audition for a movie? I can’t tell you what it is, but take my number down, and call me.”‘
While Terminator 2 was a big hit at theaters in 1991, behind the scenes, he began dating his 26-year-old tutor, Jackie Domac, when he was just 13 years old.
The controversial relationship continued until 1999 when Jackie sued him for domestic violence.
In court documents obtained by the New York Post, Jackie ‘was subjected to a barrage of verbal abuse, threats, violent outbursts [and] outrageous and unlawful attacks.’
It was revealed that he was still using drugs in 2006 after his ex-wife claimed their baby tested positive for cocaine
All the while, Edward continued to consistently book roles.
However, he also picked up on some other dangerous habits.
By 2000, when he was 23 years old, the actor checked into rehab but it didn’t keep him from continuing to use after he was released.
‘I was a heroin and cocaine addict. It was really scary,’ he admitted to People in 2012.
The star was initially considered for the 2003 Terminator 3 sequel, but was fired due to his addiction.
‘Essentially, I overdosed on drugs. I had a contract. And that always really bummed me out,’ Edward told Forbes.
The actor ended up serving jail time in 2013 after he violated his ex-wife’s restraining order in 2010
As he continued on with his career, his drug habits and violent tendencies continued as well.
Eventually, his name started appearing in headlines again after his wife, Rachael Bella, filed for divorce in 2009 – claiming that the son they had in 2006 tested positive for cocaine.
The actor ended up serving jail time in 2013 after he violated their restraining order in 2010.
In court, she claimed that he ‘grabbed me, bruised me, pushed me … left messages saying he would hire people to come and beat me with chains and bats. He is smoking cocaine and doing other various drugs. He is very unpredictable.’
Nowadays, the actor claims to be clean and has reflected on the impact that being a child actor had on his drug addiction.
‘It was literally overnight success. It was insane. I’m still coming to grips with the shock and awe of it all… I got into things that weren’t good for me – for a long time,’ he said during his 2019 interview with Forbes.
‘I was a kid who had a lot happening all at once. And I wasn’t really able to process it,’ he continued.
‘Early career, I remember it was crazy to me. It’s insane for a little kid to get that much power. Especially if you don’t really have any parents.’
A tween actor whose life went down a horrible path: Johnny Lewis rose to stardom at 16, but struggled with addiction and ended up murdering someone before falling to his death
Johnny (pictured in 2000) began acting when he was just five years old, but his big break came when he was 16
From residential burglary, assault, and drug addiction, the actor was headed straight towards a destructive path. Johnny seen in 2004
Johnny began acting when he was just five years old, but his big break came when he was 16.
The star appeared on Malcolm In The Middle and 7th Heaven. He later had roles on hit shows like Smallville, The O.C., Drake & Josh, and Boston Public.
His most well-known role was on Sons Of Anarchy, and while he was an established actor, he ran into a lot of trouble with the law.
From residential burglary, assault, and drug addiction, the actor was headed straight towards a destructive path.
In 2011, the actor was involved in a motorcycle crash and suffered head injuries, leading to an in-jail diagnosis of internal bleeding.
After a string of violent episodes, the actor made headlines when it was revealed he murdered his 81-year-old landlady and fell of his building to his death at the age of 28. Seen in 2011
In 2012, the former child actor entered rehab and his status seemed to improve, but when he was released, things took a horrible turn.
After a string of violent episodes, the actor made headlines when it was revealed he murdered his 81-year-old landlady and fell of his building to his death at the age of 28.
Authorities discovered he had ‘some form of chemical dependency, mental health issues, and a lack of permanent housing,’ according to a probation report published by CBS News.
From popstar to addict: Aaron Carter struggled with addiction after finding fame at an early age
The popstar and heartthrob began his career at just seven years old. Aaron pictured in 2000
Despite his overnight success, the singer was met with many run-ins with the law due to his addiction problem. Aaron seen in 1999
The popstar and heartthrob began his career at just seven years old, but didn’t truly get thrusted into the spotlight until the age of nine, which is when he opened for the Backstreet Boys.
Despite his overnight success, the singer was met with many run-ins with the law due to his addiction problem.
His singing career lasted from 1997 to 2005 and ended due to multiple lawsuits, tax issues, problems with his record deals, and his drug abuse.
In 2008, the star was arrested for possession of marijuana, which began his downward spiral.
Still abusing drugs and alcohol, the singer entered rehab in 2010 to treat his drug problems and mental health issues, but was released just a month later.
His singing career lasted from 1997 to 2005 and ended due to multiple lawsuits, tax issues, problems with his record deals, and his drug abuse. Aaron pictured in 2000
In November 2022, Aaron was found dead in bathtub aged 34. Aaron seen in February 2022
In 2013, he filed for bankruptcy due to tax issues from 2003 that still plagued him.
Four years later, in 2017, the former child star was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of marijuana.
In November 2022, Aaron was found dead in bathtub aged 34.
Following the news, his family claimed he died of an overdose as there was no water found in his lungs.
His fiancée Melanie Martin, 30, and mother Jane Carter urged officers to investigate an alleged drug deal he made on the night that he died as they believe it could have led him to overdose.
In an interview with TMZ, Melanie said she had found text messages on Aaron’s phone from a man demanding $800 for an unknown substance.
Pressure was too much to handle: Lee Thompson Young was thrown into the spotlight at just 14 and began a battle with depression
The actor was beloved Disney Channel star who got his start on-screen at just 14 years old, but the pressures of the spotlight became too much for the young star to handle. Lee seen in 2005
The Disney star stopped acting from 2010 to 2103 as he was suffering severe depression and bipolar disorder. Lee seen in 2004
The actor was beloved Disney Channel star who got his start on-screen at just 14 years old, but the pressures of the spotlight became too much for the young star to handle.
He famously appeared in Disney’s The Famous Jett Jackson from 1998 to 2001.
Lee then landed a role in the 2004 movie Friday Night Light followed by various gigs on smaller TV shows.
He was also in The Guardian, Smallville, and South Beach.
The Disney star stopped acting from 2010 to 2103 as he was suffering severe depression and bipolar disorder.
While it was reported he was working on treating this issues, the actor was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
While it was reported he was working on treating this issues, the actor was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Lee pictured in 2005
The child star’s parents later set up a foundation in his name to help other young children struggling with mental health. Lee seen in 2004
Following his death, the cast and crew of The Famous Jett Jackson revealed they were ‘devastated’ by his death,’ adding that they were ‘beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man.
The child star’s parents later set up a foundation in his name to help other young children struggling with mental health.
Speaking to WISTV, his family said: ‘Some of a person’s inner life, you really don’t know. People know that Lee wasn’t the only one. And for them to see everything he accomplished in the 29 years, it’s more than some people accomplish their whole lives.
‘He was able to do that with a mental illness and, yes, it ended tragically but, through that we’re inspired.’
Corey Feldman got hooked on cocaine and heroin, and called being forced into being an actor at age three ‘child slavery’
While Corey was filming Stand By Me in 1986 at age 15 (pictured left), he was introduced to alcohol and marijuana, and eventually became addicted to cocaine and heroin. He has since recovered from his addiction (pictured right in 2020)
Corey was a renowned teen star in the 80s, starring in hit films like The Goonies (1985) but a life in the limelight caused him to develop a heroin addiction
Corey was a renowned teen star in the 80s, starring in hit films like The Goonies (1985), Stand By Me (1986) and The Lost Boys (1987). However he got his start in the industry much earlier on, starring in commercials when he was just three years old.
The actor doesn’t speak of those times fondly, telling The A.V. Club: ‘Well, at 3 years old, kids don’t really find their way into anything or make any type of decisions.’
He added: ‘At 3 years old, it’s called child slavery, and that’s what I endured: Child slavery. So I was a slave child who got very fortunate in his early career… or I guess my parents got very fortunate, I should say.’
His parents were both in the entertainment industry. His father, Bob Feldman, was a bassist who’d get high with his son and his mother, Sheila Feldman, was a Playboy model who force-fed him diet pills.
After his parents split up when he was 11 years old, he stole one of his grandfather’s guns and kept it under his bed.
‘I used to hold it to my head every night and go, “God, why am I so ugly? Why am I so fat?” I hated myself and wanted to kill myself,’ he told People in 1992.
When he filmed The Two Coreys with his teenage film co-star Corey Haim in 2008, he was sober, but Haim relapsed which caused him to end the friendship
Corey has continued to tell their story in his 2013 memoir Coreyography and even released a documentary called My Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys in 2020
His father served as his manager but after one of his assistants molested him and introduced him to drugs, the actor legally emancipated from his parents when he was 15 years old.
His addiction also developed at this point. While he was filming Stand By Me in 1986, he was introduced to alcohol and marijuana. By the time he had filmed The Lost Boys in 1987, he became addicted to cocaine, and also used mushrooms and acid.
Eventually, he got hooked on heroin. The actor was arrested three times on drug charges before he checked into rehab in 1990.
While he reportedly got clean by 1995, his former co-star and best friend, Corey Haim, wasn’t able to escape addiction.
The two launched a reality series called The Two Coreys in 2008 and even discussed the number of times they had allegedly been sexually assaulted as child stars.
Unfortunately, Haim had relapsed partway into the second season and Corey broke contact with him.
‘As a friend and somebody that cares deeply about the guy, I am not going to watch him destroy himself,’ he told People.
Haim passed away in 2010 after overdosing on a combination of Valium, Soma, Vicodin and Xanax.
Corey has continued to tell their story in his 2013 memoir, Coreyography, and even released a documentary called My Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys in 2020.