Top 5 Teenage Sensation Failures
Parents want their kids to be able to make their dreams come true. Sure, every kid wishes to be famous, but very few actually achieve their dream. Unfortunately for those select few kids who do hit it big, their stars tend to fade quickly. Some turn to a self-destructive lifestyle when they realize they were nothing more than a marketing ploy that used up its 15 minutes of fame.
As awesome as it would be to have your kid become famous so you could exploit him or her for your booze budget, the kid’s livelihood is probably more important. The rise and fall of fame can take a huge toll on teenage sensations and some haven’t been so lucky.
Take these five failed child stars as an example of what shouldn’t happen to your kid:
5. Corey Haim
You may remember him as the 80’s teenage heart throb that starred in such films as Lucas and The Lost Boys. However, as he learned to love the spotlight, he learned to love marijuana and cocaine as well. Haim would go to rehab a whopping 15 times during his lifetime before dying from an overdose of prescription drugs at the age of 38.
4. Bobby Driscoll
This cute kid hit it big at the age of 9 by co-starring in three of Disney’s biggest movies at the time: Song of the South, So Dear to My Heart, and Treasure Island. However, after breaking out in severe acne, offers for work declined and he turned to narcotics. After completing a stint in rehab, he traveled to New York City in an attempt to succeed as an artist with Andy Warhol. His efforts were unsuccessful and he subsequently lost contact with those he knew. His body was found in an abandoned factory and was buried in an unmarked grave; it was identified a year and a half later thanks to a fingerprint on file.
3. Dana Plato
Dana played Kimberly Drummond on the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes as a teenager and became a television sensation along with her co-stars Todd Bridges and Gary Coleman. Her problems with alcohol and prescription drugs began at the age of 14 during her time on the show. After leaving the show, she turned to posing for Playboy and starring in low-budget films that could easily be mistaken for soft core pornography. She was convicted of armed robbery and of forging prescriptions for Valium before committing suicide at the age of 34.
2. Scotty Beckett
Scotty Beckett entered show business at the age of 3 in 1932 appearing in the movie Gallant Lady and went on to co-star in the television series Our Gang until 1935. From there, he earned some prominent roles in Hollywood’s biggest films throughout the 1940’s. His first run-in with the law came at the age of 19 when he was arrested for drunk driving. The last decade of his young life was filled with alcohol abuse, drug use, violence, and numerous arrests. After suffering a severe beating, he checked into a hospice and overdosed on prescription medication. He was 38 years old.
1. Brad Renfro
Brad Renfro started a very promising career in 1994, starring alongside Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in The Client. The following year, he starred alongside Jonathan Taylor Thomas in Tom and Huck and won Hollywood Reporter’s Young Star Award twice. At the age of 18, Renfro was arrested for possession of marijuana and cocaine; he avoided jail time and landed probation instead. He was subsequently arrested for grand theft, public intoxication, and possession of heroin. Renfro was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment from a heroin overdose at the age of 25.
What’s the lesson to be learned from these five tragedies: be ready to support your kid 100% if you want to encourage them to reach for the stars. Otherwise, crush their dreams and bring them back to reality. That way if your child screws up, you can teach them how to handle their problems correctly by easing them into alcohol instead of having them figure it out for themselves and overdose on some crazy expensive shit you’ve only ever heard of.