Powered by i.TV
April 21, 2014

Former TV Child Stars Do the Craziest Things

by Daynah Burnett, posted Dec 22nd 2009 10:00AM
Brian BonsallMaybe it's all that pressure to be super-cute and squeaky-clean, but it seems like when child stars go bad, they go really, really bad. Whether it's drugs, porn or whatever it is Gary Coleman does, we combed TV history to compile a list of child stars who have fallen the farthest.Maybe it's all that pressure to be super-cute and squeaky-clean, but it seems like when child stars go bad, they go really, really bad. Whether it's drugs, porn or whatever it is Gary Coleman does, we combed TV history to compile a list of child stars who have fallen the farthest.

Dustin Diamond
Ugh. Who knew such a lovable dork would grow up to be such a repulsive attention-seeker? Watching Screech these days is worse than watching his endless pining for Lisa at Bayside High. Between his alleged money troubles, failed publicity stunts and uber-icky "leaked" sex tape, Diamond's loser-riffic legacy has a become blight on the otherwise perfect '90s kitsch that is 'Saved by the Bell.'

Mackenzie PhillipsMackenzie Phillips
With an impressive celebrity pedigree (she's the daughter of The Mamas & the Papas' John Phillips), her superstar status was all but guaranteed when she starred in the hit sitcom 'One Day at a Time.' But early fame quickly took its toll, and she began abusing drugs and alcohol to the point that she was eventually fired from the show. From there, Phillips' life reads like a story that's both heartbreaking and cringe-worthy: multiple near-fatal overdoses, a lifetime of heroine abuse, and a years-long mutually consensual sexual relationship with her father.

Gary Coleman
After years of playing the cutest (and luckiest) Harlem-born orphan on 'Diff'rent Strokes,' Gary Coleman receded into obscurity, and even worked as, perhaps, the world's least-intimidating security guard. But Coleman's troubles run deeper than just not getting work: His wife Shannon Price claims he has anger issues, which is not surprising after his pleading no contest to assault charges for face-punching a woman who reportedly mocked him while he shopped for a bullet-proof vest. Okay, so maybe he's a little bit intimidating.

Brian BonsallBrian Bonsall
Once the youngest (and arguably most adorable) member of the Keaton clan on '80s sitcom staple 'Family Ties,' Brian Bonsall has since lost the bowl cut and become a very bad boy. With a litany of assault and drug-related charges that stem back to 2001, Bonsall's most recent run-in with the law was a result of a bar fight that allegedly ended with him clobbering a guy with a broken stool.

Leif Garrett
Bit parts in films preceded his leap to fame working on 'Family' and appearing as Tony Randall's son on 'The Odd Couple.' Back then, Leif was oh-so-dreamy, and launched a singing career that banked largely on the appeal of his blue eyes rather than his musical talent. But at just 17 years old his career came to an abrupt end when, while driving under the influence of qualudes, he paralyzed his best friend. His conscience and career never recovered. From there, Garrett has been in and out of rehab, struggling with drug addiction and even served time for possession of heroin.

Jodie SweetinJodie Sweetin
On a show as saccharin as 'Full House,' there had to be at least one troublemaker among the Tanner family, and it looks like that title easily goes to Jodie Sweetin. According to her memoir 'Unsweetined,' she was just 14 when she took her first drink at her TV big sis Candace Cameron's 1996 wedding, and from there things just spiraled into a full-blown addiction to crystal meth by 2004. After reportedly going through recovery, Sweetin still hid her drug addiction from her friends, family and even her LAPD husband for years, until she came clean, figuratively and literally, in 2009.

Danny Bonaduce
Possibly the granddaddy of child stars rum amok, Danny Bonaduce was the mouthy middle child of 'The Partridge Family,' but he'd grow into something of a caricature of himself: Red-haired and gravel-voiced, Bonaduce still manages to annoy others without, it seems, his even trying. His memoir, 'Random Acts of Badness,' chronicles a history of cocaine possession charges, failed rehab stints and heavy steroid use, but Bonaduce's lowest moment has to be his 1991 arrest for assaulting a transvestite prostitute because he wanted a refund. You're a class act, Danny!

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Follow Us

From Our Partners