The downward spiral of child actors

The Downward Spiral of Child Actors
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The downward spiral of child actors

Bobby Driscoll

An award-winning child actor who starred in several Disney productions, Bobby Driscoll was a highly regarded performer by age 13.

(Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Bobby Driscoll

Unfortunately, a bad case of acne led to fewer gigs and eventually a drug problem. By 18, Driscoll had been arrested for possession of marijuana and was unbankable in the eyes of entertainment executives.

(Photo by Walt Disney/Getty Images)

Jodie Sweetin

After spending her formative years as Stephanie Tanner on the sitcom Full House, Sweetin was not quite prepared for life away from the soundstage.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Jodie Sweetin

When the show wrapped after eight years of filming, she began experimenting with hard drugs—crystal meth, cocaine and ecstasy—and abused alcohol regularly, allegedly due to “boredom.”

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Danny Bonaduce

The sky seemed to be the limit for Bonaduce, who along with teen heartthrob David Cassidy was viewed as the breakout star of the hit ’70s sitcom The Partridge Family.

(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Danny Bonaduce

A 1991 arrest for beating up a transvestite prostitute could’ve been the end for Bonaduce, but he bounced back with a short-lived reality TV show entitled Breaking Bonaduce. We’re happy to report the actor has allegedly kicked his drug habit and is making waves as a radio host.

(Photo by Tom Briglia/FilmMagic)

Adam Rich

After four seasons as Nicholas Bradford on the late-’70s hit show Eight Is Enough, Adam Rich’s acting career slowed down significantly.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Adam Rich

He had a few bit parts on shows such as CHiPS and Baywatch, but his teen years were marked by drug abuse. At 17 years old, Rich dropped out of high school and soon thereafter nearly died of a Valium overdose.

(Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Adam Rich

He was arrested several times—for burglary and driving under the influence, among other charges—and spent time in rehab. Having happily turned his life around, Rich currently works in film and television marketing.

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Dana Plato

At age 14, Plato went from being a relatively unknown actress to starring on the hit ’70s sitcom Diff’rent Strokes.

(Photo by: Herb Ball/NBCU Photo Bank)

Dana Plato

While playing the role of Kimberly Drummond on the show, she reportedly drank and used drugs, and was fired when producers learned she’d (accidentally) gotten pregnant by her boyfriend. Unable to find much work after her departure, Plato made a living acting in soft-core porn films.

(Photo by: Frank Carroll/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Dana Plato

In 1991, the actress was arrested for robbing a Las Vegas video store with what turned out to be a pellet gun, and the following year was booked for forging a drug prescription. She died in 1995 at the age of 35 following an apparent suicide.

(Photo by: Herb Ball/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Corey Feldman and Corey Haim

Life looked promising for the two young stars known collectively as “the Two Coreys.” Feldman got his start in the hit ’80s films The Goonies and Stand By Me, while Haim made his mark in the movie Lucas.

(Photo by Jane O'neal/Warner Bros./Getty Images)

Corey Feldman and Corey Haim

They teamed up for 1987’s The Lost Boys and became nearly inseparable. They worked together and played together, which included an addition to heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs and alcohol.

Corey Haim and Corey Feldman

Haim, who was hooked on a variety of drugs by age 15, never successfully shook his drug past and died from pneumonia (stemming from years of drug abuse) in 2010. After his death, Feldman publicly stated that years of molestation by movie executives was the reason for their drug use.

(Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)

Actress Lindsay Lohan attends the premiere of 'The Parent Trap' on July 20, 1998 at Mann National Theater in Westwood, California.

Lindsay Lohan

The buxom redhead seemed destined for a successful career in Hollywood. Having starred in such box-office hits as The Parent Trap (1998), Freaky Friday (2003) and Mean Girls (2004), her professional life appeared to be on the upswing until her hard-partying ways set in.

(Photo by J. Shearer/WireImage)


By Dre Weston

Being a child star in Hollywood has numerous perks, including access to a ton of cash at a very early age. But what lurks behind the glitz and glamour is a dark side few young stars anticipate but many fall victim to. Today, looks back at fallen teen idols and child stars whose lives spiraled out of control.

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