Corey Haim: A Textbook Young Hollywood Downfall
By Mike Hess Posted Mar 10th 2010 01:08PM
As the headlines of "Corey Haim Dead" blared this morning, it became quite apparent that his story is one that has become all too tragically common these days. The actor, who with his floppy hair, freckled looks and sly grin shot to stardom in the '80s and quickly became the teen heartthrob of his times (essentially the Robert Pattinson of 1988), was on top of the world at a very young age. Then, like countless others who were thrust into the spotlight during their teen years, his coming-of-age adult years were a rocky transition, and he eventually succumbed to the pitfalls of fame, fortune and personal demons. All of the warning signs were there, and sadly, this story is being written because it all played out like it has before: Kid actor turned troubled adult, eventually leading to an all-too-sad passing.
Haim's mid-'80s catapult onto the A-list was a meteoric one. The Canadian-born actor graced the screen at the age of 13 in 'Murphy's Romance,' and his freckly face and doe-eyed charm quickly became synonymous with his name. A year later, he was the little geek that you just had to root for in 'Lucas,' and after that, his career -- and life -- kicked into overdrive.
'The Lost Boys' will likely be the movie that most will recognize Haim for. It was a pop culture vampire film that everyone was talking about (again, Robert Pattinson, anyone?) and had a lineup of some of Hollywood's most promising faces. Other starring roles, in 'License to Drive' and 'Dream a Little Dream,' soon followed, but the infamy was already there for Haim.
His fame, it turns out, wouldn't sustain and eventually resulted in a downward spiral seen in Hollywood countless times before. Haim's battle with drugs became tabloid fodder, eventually leading to a tell-all retelling of his troubles in a 2001 'E! True Hollywood Story.'
"I lived in LA in the 80s, which was not the best place to be ... I did cocaine for about a year and a half, then it led to crack," Haim told the UK Guardian in 2004. "[I] started on the downers, which were a hell of a lot better than the uppers, because I was a nervous wreck ... But one led to two, two led to four, four led to eight, until at the end it was about 85 a day. The doctors could not believe I was taking that much. And that was just the Valium -- I'm not talking about the other pills I went through."
Already deep in the trenches of addiction, Haim began to slip even further from fame. Film work was almost non-existent for most of the 2000s, and in 2007, he signed up for a reality show with a familiar friend, fellow 80s teen idol Corey Feldman, Haim's co-star in his most well-known films. Much of the focus of 'The Two Coreys' was on Haim's demons, which frequently led to all-out brawls between the two. Their friendship was never repaired, and the show eventually ended because the two couldn't work out their differences.
Once the show ended, Haim did his best to get his life and career back on track. In February 2008, he bought a full-page ad in the trade publication Variety that read: "This is not a stunt. I'm back. I'm ready to work. I'm ready to make amends." Haim then scored a role in 'Crank 2,' and according to IMDB.com, has seven films either in pre- or post production.
Sadly, like many who have come before him, those films will now be part of his posthumous filmography.
Remembering Corey Haim
From 'The Lost Boys' to 'Lucas,' Corey Haim made a big impression during his early years. PopEater takes a look back at his storied career >>>
Warner Bros./Getty Images
Warner Bros./Getty Images
Remembering Corey Haim
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