7 Child Stars Who Went Off the Deep End

Reading Amanda Bynes’ Twitter feed is like watching bad reality TV. We shouldn’t look, but we can’t help ourselves.

In the throes of what can only be described as a meltdown (of what description, only she knows) you can’t help but wonder who is looking out for her, and when will she get help.  No matter how she protests that it has all been one great big publicity stunt, there are in fact times when there IS such a thing as bad publicity.  This is the woman who in recent months has called both Miley Cyrus and Drake ‘ugly,’ and said Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna because she wasn’t pretty enough — who has also been arrested for allegedly throwing a bong out her window.

As she is evicted from her New York apartment and her father hopes to stage an intervention, it is interesting to look back at the child stars who have walked this tragic line before her.

There is something almost inevitable about what Bynes is going through; we have seen it all before. Between the headlines and the gossip, underneath the scandal and the outrage, there are lessons to be learned and lives to be supported. Each star below had a moment where they shone, and then their light dimmed. The strong, like Drew Barrymore, come back from the darkness and regain their careers, their lives. The others… are not so lucky.

I really hope that Bynes gets the support she needs until her star shines again. For the right reasons.


  • Drew Barrymore 1 of 7
    1995 MTV Video Music Awards

    Being the granddaughter of screen legend John Barrymore, Drew was perhaps destined to be famous. After appearing in her first advertisement when she was just 11 months old, she went on to star in E.T. A turbulent childhood led to two stints in rehab by the age of 14. The following year she emancipated herself from her family and moved into her own apartment. Now a wildly successful actress, director, and producer, she wed Will Kopelman last year and they celebrated the birth of their daughter Olive last September. Cameron Diaz's best mate has come a long way from her troubled youth.


    Photo credit: PR photos

  • Corey Haim 2 of 7
    Creation Entertainment Presents Fangoria's 2009 Weekend Of Horrors - Day 2

    Corey Haim was already a teen heartthrob in the '80s, when he starred in the vampire-flick The Lost Boys. He spoke of that movie being "the best personal experience of my life," and the one where he bonded with Corey Feldman and then entered the Hollywood party scene. But making the transition from teen star to serious adult actor proved elusive and Haim began using drugs. He went on to enter rehab 15 times, but couldn't get to grips with his addictions. His film career declined through the '90s and eventually he was declared bankrupt. Sadly, he passed away in 2010 at age 38.


    Photo credit: PR photos

  • Lindsay Lohan 3 of 7
    Lindsay Lohan leaves Bar Deluxe in her new car

    Star of The Parent Trap and Mean Girls, Lohan was a bonafide star by 2004. Fresh-faced and smart she was destined for great things. Unfortunately, she has become known more for her personal life and rehab stints than her glittering early success. This began when studio executive James G Robinson made public a letter to Lohan, in which he claimed: "We are well aware that your ongoing all night heavy partying is the real reason for your so-called 'exhaustion'." Lohan became uninsurable in Hollywood and her career sank. Despite spending 84 minutes in jail, Lohan continued to abuse drugs and most recently has been in rehab for the umpteenth time. An appearance on Letterman showed how fragile she still is, and we can only hope we get to see her talent on screen again.


    Photo credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Brad Renfro 4 of 7
    "The Jacket" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

    Handsome Brad Renfro's first on-screen performance was in The Client with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones, and he held his own with these Hollywood heavyweights. He went on to star in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon and Brad Pitt. Yet his life descended into drug abuse and getting into trouble with the law. He died at age 25 in his Los Angeles apartment and leaves behind a son, being raised by his mother in Japan.


    Photo credit: PR photos

  • Corey Feldman 5 of 7
    "Step Brothers" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

    Star of The Lost Boys, Stand By Me, The Goonies and many more films, he was one of 'The two Coreys' that were the highest paid teen stars in Hollywood during the '80s. With the fame, came girls and parties. With the parties came drugs. Unlike his best friend, he was able to rise above his personal problems, and continued to work (after a 10-month stint in rehab in 1991). He is now a father of one, and continues to tour and release albums with his band Truth Movement.



    Photo credit: PR photos

  • Dana Plato 6 of 7
    dana plato

    Famous for playing the role of Kimberly Drummond on the hit show Diff'rent Strokes, Plato attempted to establish herself as a serious actress after the show ended, but was in the shadow of her sitcom career. She began using drugs at the age of 14. Broke and living in Vegas, in 1991 she held up a video store and was promptly arrested. She was given 5 years probation. In 1999 she claimed she had been sober for 10 years on the Howard Stern radio show and was frank, discussing her addictions and troubles. She died the following day, and her death was ruled as a suicide.

    Photo credit: Fan pop

  • Eddie Furlong 7 of 7
    2003 Teen People's "25 Hottest Stars Under 25" Party - Arrivals

    Star of Terminator 2 and American History X Edward Furlong never intended to become an actor, claiming acting was something he had 'fallen into.' His career has been plagued with alcoholism and drug abuse, and he hasn't had a hit film in over a decade. The father of one recently violated his probation and is currently behind bars, awaiting trial later this month.


    Photo credit: PR photos

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