Former Child Stars Who Hit Rock Bottom

By Michael Avery in Entertainment On 17th September 2015


Corey Feldman was not only well known for his acting in the '80s, he was considered iconic. Feldman appeared on over 100 TV commercials and 50 TV shows in his youth, which is a lot for anyone to handle, especially for someone who began his entertainment career at the tender age of 3. Feldman was better known for his film roles however, which began at age 13 when audiences noticed him in the movies Gremlins, The Goonies, and Stand By Me. At 15, Feldman began his decline by legally emancipating himself from his parents, Sheila and Robert Feldman. While Feldman at the time stated that he was worth $1 million dollars, a court ordered look into his bank statements turned up the much less $40,000. Feldman, a teenager on his own in Hollywood, suffered through a growing drug addiction that ended in a 1990 heroin arrest. Today, Feldman is still acting, recently appearing in an episode of Celebrity Wife-Swap, and was also given the Paws of Fame award for his dedication to animal rights.


Lindsay Lohan has experienced both critical highs and lows as a child star, followed by a very well-documented period of substance abuse and legal troubles. Lohan's first critical success came at the age of 11 in the Disney live-action remake of The Parent Trap. Continuing her upward trend, Lohan followed up ‘Trap with Freaky Friday, Herbie: Fully Loaded, and her beloved role in Mean Girls. But Lohan began losing film roles during her spiral downward in 2007, when she entered the Promises Treatment Center for a DUI. Lohan, sadly, was back in the spotlight just two weeks later when she was arrested for cocaine possession and another DUI. Lohan, despite trouble with substance abuse, has stayed in the limelight, appearing in Playboy, attempting a career in fashion, and having completed the eight part docu-drama Lindsay for the O Channel.

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Macaulay Culkin, best known for his role as Kevin McCallister from the first two Home Alone flicks from the '90s, has been regarded as the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple. Though Culkin experienced a cascade of success with his comedic family films, audiences were taken aback during his dark dramatic turn and critical box office failure in The Good Son. Culkin claimed he was retiring from the film industry when he turned 14, but has gone on to star in the movies Party Monster and Saved! In ‘07, Culkin was arrested in Oklahoma City for possession of controlled substances and briefly jailed. In ‘14, Culkin's comedy rock band Pizza Underground went on an American tour, but it was cancelled five months in.


Amanda Bynes rose to fame during her time playing various roles on the '90s kid sketch-comedy show All That. At 13 years old, Bynes started heading The Amanda Show for Nickelodeon, and her success only grew out from there. Bynes left TV and quickly found her largest film success in the 2006 comedy She's The Man. Though Bynes followed She's The Man up with a role in Hairspray, she later stated that she was retiring because she didn't love acting anymorechanging her mind and appearing in more movies after the fact. Since 2012, Bynes has seen countless run-ins with the law, including being arrested for a DUI, side swiping a police car, and two hit-and-run incidents, both settled out of court. After Bynes' trouble with the law, the child star enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, but was expelled in 2014.

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Dustin Diamond, better known as "Screech" from Saved By The Bell, seems to have seen more downs than ups. After 12 years on the show, Diamond decided to focus his talents on stand-up comedy in 2000, when Saved by the Bell finally ended. In 2006, Diamond released a scandalous sex tape titled Screeched - Saved By The Smell, later admitting to Oprah that it wasn't him in the video, but instead a lookalike stunt double. Attempting another grab at fame, Diamond was featured in reality shows The Weakest Link and Celebrity Boxing 2. In the latter, he lost to Ron "Horshack" Palillo. In 2015, Diamond was sentenced to four months in jail for stabbing a man during a Christmas Night bar fight in Wisconsin.


First hitting the acting scene at five years old with a role in the sitcom Valerie, Jodie Sweetin was eventually best known more for her role as Stephanie Tanner on Full House. She fell into substance abuse after that show wrapped because she was, in her words, "bored." Sweetin has since been open with the public in a memoir about her teenage struggle with alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine. Sweetin, following two divorces throughout her 20s, stated that her rock bottom was driving while drunk with her infant daughter in the car. Sweetin has married for a third time, hosted the show Pants Off Dance Off, and is scheduled to guest star in the upcoming Netflix sequel to Full House, Fuller House.


The son of a film-set doctor and an entertainment agent, Jake Lloyd grew up around movie sets. Lloyd entered the movie business with a role in the Schwarzenegger-led Jingle All The Way. In 1999, Lloyd found international fame when George Lucas cast him as 10 year old Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Lloyd still attends fan conventions, despite the decision he made to retire from acting in 2001, citing schoolyard bullying for his role in Star Wars. In 2015, Lloyd was arrested for reckless driving, driving without a license, and resisting arrest. After his arrest, Lloyd's mother stated that the child star suffered from schizophrenia, and had been struggling with those conditions recently due to not taking his medication.


Shia Labeouf found early success with a short-lived TV career on the Disney show Even Stevens before going on to star in the films Holes and Disturbia. However, it wasn't until Labeouf's turn in $3 billion box office franchise,Transformers, that he became a household name. Since 2005, Leboeuf has been involved in a series of odd events in his life such as road rage, assault with a deadly weapon, and getting arrested for refusing to leave a Walgreens in Chicago. Labeouf's disorderly conduct culminated when he was thrown out of the musical Cabaret on Broadway, then fired from the stage production of Orphans after repeatedly stalking co-star Alec Baldwin home. Recently, Labeouf has branched out in his art, appearing in everything from the David Ayer-helmed tank-thriller Fury, to the Sia music video Elastic Heart.