The Curse of the Child Star

Haim latest among many 80s teen celebs to meet bad ends
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2010 4:35 AM CST
The Curse of the Child Star
This undated publicity image provided by A&E shows actor Corey Haim, left, who appeared in the A&E reality TV show "The Two Coreys" with his friend Corey Feldman.   (AP Photo/Courtesy AETN, L. Pief Weyman)

When Corey Haim died of a suspected overdose yesterday, he joined a long line of child stars with tragic adult lives. Eighties TV seems especially cursed: Andrew Koenig from Growing Pains killed himself last month, Diff'rent Strokes' Dana Plato robbed a video store at gunpoint and later ODed on Vicodin, and many of the decade's former stars who remain alive are racking up arrest records and rehab stints.

Jodi Sweetin, Stephanie from Full House, went on meth benders even while on the book tour for her memoir about finally being sober. Corey Feldman was arrested twice for heroin possession, Koenig's Growing Pains co-star Tracey Gold severely injured her child by crashing her SUV while driving drunk, and Eight Is Enough's Adam Rich broke into a pharmacy to steal drugs. But the problem didn't start in the eighties, Andrew Brown notes in the Telegraph: 1940s child star Bobbie Driscoll died of a likely heroin overdose in a Lower East Side tenement at age 31.

(Read more Corey Haim stories.)

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