10 Child Stars Who Spectacularly Self Destructed

Child stars are a very peculiar phenomenon in all their forms, be it in music, movies or TV. We're quick to flock to them when they're cute and entertaining, but as they get older, life often doesn't tend to be so kind to them. This can be the result of a number of factors - a failure to adapt on their part, the influence of drugs and alcohol in the high-flying Hollywood circles, or the sheer fact that having the world's eyes on them at such a young age essentially deprives them of a proper childhood. Whatever the reason, these child stars - all actors, mostly in film - took a long leap off the deep end. Some were able to come back even stronger, while some regrettably never managed to return from the brink. Here are 10 child stars who spectacularly self-destructed...

10. Brad Renfro

Brad Renfro proved himself an enormously talented actor at a mere 12 years old when he starred in Joel Schumacher's John Grisham adaptation The Client, receiving wide acclaim for the role, and going on to become one of Hollywood's most prolific young performers. However, that all came to a half when, a few years later, Renfro was booked for carrying cannabis and cocaine. This kick-started a series of arrests during the remainder of his life that included trying to steal a yacht from Fort Lauderdale Harbour, public intoxication, driving without a license, and after failing to kick his drug habit, being arrested for heroin possession in late 2005. This recurred in 2006, and tragically, it all came to a head in 2008 when Renfro was found dead from an overdose of heroin. To the chagrin of many, Renfro was not included in the next year's "In Memoriam" Oscar segment, as though the Academy looked down their nose at the way he died.
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Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.