It’s only March, and Corey Haim is the third Former Child Star to die this year… I’m sitting at the office, trying not to openly cry at the thought of yet another great child actor who was simply used up and cast into the wind.
I’m not sure who to blame for all the pint size stars who end up struggling as adults. Is it the studios, the agents, the parents? Who was supposed to be taking care of these people, protecting them, making sure they were raised right? It seems as if the only child stars who turned out OK were the ones in John Hughes movies. He obviously treated those kids with respect and took care of them. All the others were just used up while they were cute and then tossed aside.
The hardest part about being a kid actor is you’re expected to work like an adult, behave like an adult, but still be cute like a kid. People get greedy. They are in charge of you. They don’t always do what’s in your best interest. Thankfully, these days in America, there’s some safeguards put into place to at least protect kids money, although there are ways around it. But when you’re a kid and you’ve got a tonne of money and then it’s all gone, it’s hard to go out and get a real job. Someone like Corey Haim or Macaulay Culkin can’t just go down to the local McDonald’s and get a minimum wage job. Well, they could. If they’d get hired. But then when you do get hired, it’s for the freak factor. But, after a while, the boss gets mad, because while you’re busy signing autographs, nobody is flipping those burgers. So then the boss gets mad and fires you. So now you can’t even keep a minimum wage job. No wonder some of those Former Child Stars turned to porn….
I hope no other Former Child Stars die this year. It’s making me nervous…. How many of us are going to just wind up as some byline about the trappings of fame as a youngster. Maybe more people should be working out what to do to help these kids, instead of just writing about them after they’re dead.
RIP Corey. You will be missed.