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Destroyed By Fame! 10 Child Stars Who Flamed Out After Early Success

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Jun. 15 2017, Published 10:02 a.m. ET

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These stars won fame and fortune in their youth but their glorious heydays were brief — and they flamed out in dramatic fashion! Click through our gallery to learn what happened to them.

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Child Star Flame Out After Sudden Early Success
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Back in the ’80s, Corey Haim was one of the biggest teen stars of his generation. But in 2010, Haim died of pneumonia, penniless at the age of 38. Throughout his short but troubled life, the License to Drive actor had a crippling addiction to prescription painkillers.

Child Star Flame Out After Sudden Early Success
Source: Getty Images

Tattooed and unshaven in his 2009 mug shot, Brian Bonsall looked nothing like Andy Keaton, the cute kid he played in ’80s sitcom Family Ties. According to his lawyer, the former child star, now 35, has struggled with substance abuse issues.

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Child Star Flame Out After Sudden Early Success
Source: Getty Images

Even while playing clean-cut Kimberly Drummond on Diff’rent Strokes — as Gary Coleman’s on-screen sister — behind the scenes Dana Plato was getting high on Valium, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol. In later years, she was arrested for prescription fraud and robbing a video store, before overdosing on pills and committing suicide in 1999 at the age of 34.

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Child Star Flame Out After Sudden Early Success
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Amanda Bynes

If you had to pick a former child star who would become a drug addict and porn actress, Jaimee Foxworth, who played Judy Winslow on Family Matters, probably wouldn’t have been one of them. But she turned into both after she was written out of the show. Foxworth, 37, also appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to spill her secrets.

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Child Star Flame Out After Sudden Early Success

At the height of his fame, Gary Coleman had amassed an estimated $18 million fortune. But when he died in 2010 at 42, his name was usually the punch line to a joke. After Diff’rent Strokes, Coleman hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons — being broke, suing his parents, domestic violence charges and an arrest for assaulting a bus driver.

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Child Star Flame Out After Sudden Early Success
Source: Getty Images

The next chapter of Amanda Bynes’ life has yet to be written. But before the 31-year-old train wreck descended into bouts of erratic behavior, online spats with celebrities and DUI and drug arrests, she was best known as the Nickelodeon teen star of series like All That and The Amanda Show.

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Child Star Flame Out After Sudden Early Success
Source: Getty Images

Brad Renfro’s life and career was like a shooting star that burned brightly before fizzling out. He made a name for himself — at the age of 10 — playing the lead role opposite Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in The Client. Fifteen years later he overdosed on heroin and didn’t even get a mention during the “In Memoriam” segment of the Oscars.

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Starring as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sidekick in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a teenage Edward Furlong got a lot of fame and recognition. But as an adult, the self-confessed heroin and cocaine addict, 39, is better known for stints in rehab and run-ins with the law, which have seen him arrested several times on domestic violence charges.

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