The pressures put on child stars are enormous, and not all child actors can handle the stress, particularly if they don’t have the loving support of a sane family.
Unfortunately, bright lights, fame and fortune sometimes come at a high price for such young blood.
Here are some of those tragic young souls who lost their way, and in some cases, found their way back, in the midst of the crazy that is Tinsel Town.
1. Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin got his start in Hollywood in 1988’s “Rocket Gibraltar,” but rose to stardom in “Home Alone,” the wildly popular and highest-grossing movie of 1990, in which he played darling Kevin McCallister who cleverly fought the bad guys after being left… home alone.
Just as Culkin was hitting adolescence in 1995, allegations arose that his father, Kit Culkin, was mismanaging his fortune. A nasty custody battle ensued as his parents greedily fought for control of the child and his fortune. If that won’t destroy a kid, what will?
Culkin was arrested in Oklahoma in 2004 after police found 17.3 grams (just over half an ounce) of pot, along with a couple of prescription drugs for which he had no prescription. He received a one-year deferred sentence on each count and paid $540 in court costs.
Although nearly 60 percent of Americans have smoked pot at one time or another, Culkin was demonized for his drug use, maybe because too many people had trouble separating the flesh-and-blood, 24-year-old human Macaulay from his precocious 8-year-old character Kevin.
At any rate, Culkin, now 33, can be seen these days performing with his Velvet Underground cover band, “Pizza Underground,” which features lyric changes that have to do with… pizza. We hope he’ll find his way back to the silver screen someday soon.