Dead Rebels

tributes to cultural martyrs

Dead Child Star Scandals: Small Stars, Big Problems…Then They Die!

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Article by Jacklyn Moore. Jacklyn Moore is the webmaster and content provider for child-stars.com.

Celebrities must deal with a lot of complicated issues as a result of being in the public eye. But, it is more alarming when child stars are forced to handle mature subjects at a young age.

Unfortunately, living in the spotlight is not always an ideal place. Over the years, there has been no shortage of child star scandals and here you will read about some of the most outrageous stories involving young celebrities, all of which have been displayed on the pages of popular magazines and TV shows.

Gary Coleman became an instant child star in the role of Arnold. But the monetary success Coleman garnered from the show was soon lost. In 1989, he sued both his parents and ex-manager for stealing his trust fund. By 1999, he had filed for bankruptcy.

In 1998, he was charged with assault for punching a woman who asked for his autograph. He was also involved in a car accident in 2008 when he hit a man in a parking lot; apparently the two of them had argued over a photo that was taken of Coleman. See here for more of Gary Coleman's Biography.

Dana Plato may be the saddest story of the three child stars on Different Strokes. After she left the show, her career dropped, and she appeared in low-budget films and soft-core pornography.

At an early age, she had developed drug and alcohol problems, and at 14, she overdosed on Valium. She was on the show till 1984, when producers let her go because she became pregnant.

In 1988, her life was a mess; her mother passed away and her marriage started to fall apart. She was arrested in Las Vegas after attempting a hold-up, and was arrested again in 1992 for violating her probation.

Plato's troubles came to an end when she died of an overdose at the age of 35.

River Phoenix is another young celebrity whose life was cut short. His image was clean because his use of drugs was relatively unknown. When he died, the media cited it as shocking and tragic. Phoenix once said during an interview that "...drugs aren't just done by bad guys and sleaze-bags; it's an universal disease" (People Magazine, Nov. 1993).

On the evening of October 30, 1993, Phoenix became ill after reportedly taking a combination of drugs. He collapsed outside The Viper Room in Hollywood. He was taken to the hospital but could not be revived. He was only 23 years old.

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