The curse of the child star appears to be very real in Hollywood. It is quite common to hear stories of many getting into trouble with drugs, falling into disagreements with their families, and sometimes losing their lives all too early.
According to psychologist Ginger Clark, an associate professor of clinical education at the University of Southern California, “If you don’t have a really stable parental unit [where childhood stars are concerned] that’s seeing limits ahead of time, then the roles get flipped easily and the child becomes the parent. They’re not ready for the responsibility. And you can see kids spin out a little bit.”
The following slideshow features a number of stars who did indeed spin out of control, others who were the wrong place at the wrong time, and a few who battled illness.
Regardless of how they died, each of these stars should have lived much longer and graced us with their talents.
#1 – River Phoenix
Died in 1993 at age 23 after speedballing cocaine and morphine.