Each year thousands of young people make their way to sunny California, hoping for a miracle. And Hollywood has the power to perform miracles, transforming a nobody into a star.

In many cases, the benefit is just a mirage, here today, gone tomorrow.

As easy as it might be to become famous in showbiz, it’s just as easy to be forgotten the next day.

This takes a tremendous toll on those affected by the fickle character of fame. Those who pay the highest price are the child actors who grow up being rich and famous only to discover nobody gives a damn about them anymore once the show made them famous ends.

Here are ten kids whose lives were destroyed by the fame they once had. And lost.

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10 Jodie Sweetin

Jodie Sweetin was such a cute girl she made a few commercials while in kindergarten.

She was a natural in front of the camera, and by the age of five, she got a significant role in ABC’s hit series Full House. Jodie spent her childhood being little Stephanie Tanner, a position she played until 1995.

She was only 13 at the time, and the only life she had ever known ended, leaving Jodie disoriented and unable to settle into the quiet life of a typical teenager.

By the age of 14, she was an alcoholic, and one year later, she was into drugs. Any drugs – meth, ecstasy, cocaine – anything that would fill the void in her life.

That was her life until 2008 when she managed to get sober, and it must be said Jodie Sweetin was lucky. Some never tend to turn their lives around.

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9 Macaulay Culkin

One of the best-known child stars of all times, Macaulay Culkin is also sadly known for the ugly downturn his life took when he grew up.

The world fell in love with the cute 10-year old Home Alone star, and Macaulay Culkin got to make movie after movie.

By the time he became a teenager, Hollywood had dropped him like a hot potato as he wasn’t the same cute kid anymore. The media painfully chronicled his downward spiral.

Culkin’s drug addiction got him arrested a couple of times; his health deteriorated so bad at times, many thought his end was near.

However, all is not lost for Macaulay Culkin, as it was announced he was part of the cast for American Horror Story’s 10th season, scheduled to air in 2021.

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8 Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes had a prolific career back when she was a child. She appeared in the All That comedy series when she was ten, and three years later, she had her show, The Amanda Show.

After a couple of successful big-screen movies, Amanda Bynes found herself out of work by turning 20.

What followed are years of substance abuse, several police incidents, and some pretty severe mental health issues.

At one point, she claimed on Twitter she had a microchip in her head, which made her do certain things. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her parents were awarded conservatorship over her affairs.

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7 Jaimee Foxworth

Born in 1979, Jaimee Foxworth became a celebrity at the age of 10 when she was cast as the youngest child of the Winslow couple in the hugely-popular Family Matters show.

Things were great for four years until the producers decided to write her character off.

Nobody knows exactly why, probably because they had to make some budget cuts. The fact is Foxworth had to deal with the status of a former celebrity at the age of 14.

Like many others, she turned to drugs and alcohol for support, then tried her luck in the porn industry.

Today she’s back to being virtually unknown and fully embraces her has-been status. At least, she gets invited to some lame reality show once in a while.



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6 Corey Haim

Canadian-born Corey Haim became a movie star while in his early teens. His breakthrough movie, Lucas (1986), a rom-com that gained him notoriety by 15.

That was followed by a couple of more notable films and many flops, B-movies released directly to the video.

Haim got involved with drugs, especially prescription pills, which slowly but surely ruined his health.

He died in 2010, aged 38, and the official cause was listed as pneumonia, although he had severe health issues, including an enlarged heart.

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5 Haley Joel Osment

Haley Joel Osment got an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor when he was a pre-teen for his excellent performance in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller film The Sixth Sense (1999).

Two years later, he starred in Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. His career peaked in his mid-teens, and although he has made a few movies later in life, those were mostly B-movies.

One look at his photos, and it’s easy to see he let himself go, and the drugs and alcohol surely don’t help.

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4 Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O’Neal got her big break when she was ten and not only because her father was Ryan O’Neal.

The girl who starred opposite her dad in Paper Moon (1973) had inherited the talent along with the name. Unfortunately, her adult life was a total mess.

As her career dwindled, she developed a cocaine addiction, which got so bad she even lost custody of the three kids she had with former tennis champion John McEnroe.

And older did not mean wiser for Tatum O’Neal, who was arrested for drug possession in 2008, at the age of 45.

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3 Jeremy Jackson

Everybody remembers Baywatch for its babes. For Jeremy Jackson, who played Hobbie Buchannon, it was the chance of a lifetime. He thought he’d made it big and started acting accordingly.

As a result, his life started unraveling very early in his career, which turned out to be relatively short-lived.

As his life spiraled out of control during the later seasons of Baywatch, no wonder he didn’t get any other offers when the show ended. His life has been a mess so far. In 2017 he was sentenced to 270 days in hail for a stabbing incident.

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2 Edward Furlong

The boy who rose to fame with his role in Terminator 2 seemed to have a bright future ahead of him, as he had both talent and looks. However, Edward Furlong’s career all but ended in the early 2000s.

The actor was heavily into drugs at the time and was charged with domestic violence several times. Nothing remains of the handsome boy from the Terminator movie, not even the looks.

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1 Jake Lloyd

One of the saddest stories in Hollywood. You might not remember his name, but you will instantly recognize the face of young Anakin Skywalker from the 1999 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

Whatever happened to that boy, you’ll ask yourself. Nothing good. As he put it, he retired from acting in 2001 because he was bullied at school.

By the time he became an adult, he was into drugs and alcohol, got into jail for a drunk-driving arrest, and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. Last we heard of him; he was in a psychiatric facility.

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