Fame – that feisty, fickle mistress. Where talent and hard work are not prerequisites and no guarantee of success. Where A listers are attending gala dinners one minute and the next are mincing around the docks, waving a sign that says “sailors, get it here”.
In honour of this often cruel yet always beguiling temptress (as well as feeding the lurid gluttony of those who glory in the downfall of others) this list contain such names that fell foul of Tinseltown, whose link to the silver screen simply became the chunky cathode ray sat in the corner of their living rooms.
Some of the names you’ll suddenly remember, some you’ve never forgotten, and some will make you wonder: “didn’t I see him down at the docks, toting a handmade sign inviting sailors to come and make friends?”
And so, off we go!
10. Corey Feldman
You might be inclined to laugh at this point but Corey Feldman was a child prodigy. An extremely talented and likeable actor who was equally adept in horror as he was in kid-friendly fare. His star shone bright in the 80′s as he appeared in hit film after hit film: The Goonies, Stand By Me, Gremlins, The Lost Boys, Friday the 13th part IV and The ‘Burbs.
Then, as Clifford the dragon said in those Listerine adverts: ‘poof!’ and it was gone. As soon as the 90′s dawned, he found himself in such turkeys as Meatballs 4 (as if one of these films wasn’t enough), Round Trip to Heaven, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Forever and a bit part in Loaded Weapon – titles that I don’t expect to be hitting BluRay in special edition format anytime soon. When your highpoint is voicing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle then you know you’re in trouble!.
Part of his spectacular crash was down to the career killing title ‘The Brat Pack’ – a 500 megaton thermonuclear bomb with a blast radius powerful enough to wipe out the career of any actor between 15 and 25 years of age. Part of it was due to being synonymous with Corey Haim and finding their appeal waning after a number of films together.
And part of it was down to that time-honoured cliche – drugs. Here was a young man with a track record that would make peers twice his age turn green with envy, where everyone wanted to be your friend and no one ever said ‘no’. Despite the well known dangers of drugs, it’s quite sobering to hear him say: ‘It did not feel like something that was going to take over my life and destroy it. It felt like a subtle flower instead of a manipulative demon. That’s the mystery of heroin’.
Perhaps saddest of all is seeing him desperately trying to gee up fan fervour for a new Friday the 13th film where he can reprise his role of Tommy Jarvis – a role he last played 28 years ago! It’s as if he’s hanging on to the last thread of his notoriety and trying to weave it into a new career. Let it go, man. Jason’s moved on, by 7 films, you should too.
This article was first posted on October 30, 2012