15 Worst Transitions From Child Star To Adult Celebrity

15 Worst Transitions from Child Star to Adult Celebrity

The pressures of Hollywood can be overwhelming to most adult celebrities, add those same pressures to the shoulders of a child and the results are often disastrous. From coping with their public image, to being exposed to a lifestyle of excess, to just trying to grow up and live life under the scrutiny of the media, the former child stars on this list had a rough time growing up due to their celebrity. Drugs, alcohol, failed careers, psych treatments, and even death, the consequences can be dire!

Check out the 15 worst transitions from child star to adult celebrity

Lindsay Lohan

***File Photo*** wenn pf Photo: WENN

Li-Lo’s immediate rise to fame began with her debut in The Parent Trap (1998) at the age of 12. The Disney star’s popularity soon skyrocketed after the success of her films Freaky Friday, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, and Mean Girls, the latter film representing the apex of her promise as a movie star. Her career and image took a huge hit in 2006 as Lohan became a tabloid staple for her heavy partying, drug use, DUI and drug arrests, jail time, and multiple stints in rehab. Apparent plastic surgery along with Lohan’s drug abuse took its toll on her appearance, taking the life out of this once-shining star’s face. Lindsay made it known to Oprah in a August 2013 interview that she is ready to make a comeback but only time will tell if she can get her act together.

Corey Feldman

Corey Feldman WENN PFPhoto: WENN

As a child, Corey Feldman appeared to have the makings of a stellar acting career. Feldman became widely recognized when he starred in iconic ’80s films The Goonies, Stand By Me and The Lost Boys at age 16. Feldman wasn’t nearly as successful going into adulthood; he battled drug abuse in the ’90s and hasn’t appeared in any large scale films since the 1989’s The Burbs and a voice acting role in the 1993 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. Since then, his career has consisted mainly of horribly bad B movies, a laughable music career, and an eccentric public persona that has made him a reality TV star and comedy punch line. His last prominent project was his reality show the Two Coreys which he starred alongside his childhood friend and former heartthrob, the late Corey Haim.

Corey Haim

Corey Haim WENN PFPhoto: WENN

Though his career began at the age of 13 in the 1984 film Firstborn, the late Corey Haim is best known for his role alongside Corey Feldman in the 1987 classic The Lost Boys, the gateway for his transition from child star to teen  idol. Haim’s life became a constant on-and-off-again struggle with drugs, marked by 15 trips to rehab. Drug addiction led to Haim repeatedly being dropped from productions and turbulence with long-time friend Corey Feldman whom he’d appeared with in more than seven films. Despite attempting a comeback, Haim continued to struggle with illicit and prescription drugs and suffered from heart problems due to his long running addiction. His health issues and attempts at reestablishing himself were documented on the reality series with Feldman, The Two Coreys. Sadly, the former heartthrob died on March 10, 2010 from pneumonia.


Amanda Bynes

  2011 MTV Movie Awards - ArrivalsPhoto: WENN

Up until a little over a year ago Amanda Bynes was a well-loved former child star. She carved out her place starring in Nickelodeon sketch comedy series All That and The Amanda Show and movies like What A Girl Wants and She’s the Man, but in 2012 Bynes was arrested for driving under the influence, charged for two hit and run incidents, and involved in three additional vehicle crimes, and that was just the tip of the iceberg! Her behavior became increasingly erratic as reports surfaced showing evidence of her possible mental health issues in 2013. Bynes was arrested in May for drug possession among other things. She was finally put under an involuntary psychiatric hold after setting a small fire to a driveway in California. The former child star is currently under a conservatorship as she receives treatment and deals with her unending legal woes.

Edward Furlong

Edward Furlong WENN PFPhoto: WENN

Most people know Edward Furlong for his tear-jerking performance as John Connor, a teenaged boy who befriends his machine body guard in the 1991 classic Terminator 2: Judgement Day. He became critically acclaimed for many of his childhood films and adult roles in American History X and Pecker, but long gone are the days of his promising acting career. Furlong’s career went on a decline post ’90s, consisting of mainly direct-to-DVD films and TV appearances. He has since struggled with drug and alcohol abuse that has led to multiple DUIs, possession, and domestic battery charges, including one in which he punched his now ex-wife Rachel Kneeland in the face, resulting in a restraining order. The violation of said restraining order sent the troubled actor to jail for the umpteenth time.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears WENN PF Photo: WENN

When she first stepped on the music scene, a 16-year-old Britney Spears emulated the picture of innocence (she was once even in girl group by the same name). Spears became the best-selling teenage artist of all time and has sold over 100 million albums to-date, but her transition into adulthood wasn’t the smoothest. Her fall from grace began back in 2001 after her bitter breakup from first love Justin Timberlake and rumors of her infidelity. Spears seemed to make some questionable choices when she married back-up dancer Kevin Federline in 2004 after a short courtship. Things hit the fan in 2007, following her divorce from K-Fed, when her increasingly erratic behavior led to her shaving her head, losing custody of her two sons, having multiple stints in rehab, and being placed under a conservatorship in 2008. The Princess of Pop has been able to recover from past struggles, but the stigma remains.

Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown PF WENN Photo: WENN

Bobby Brown is hardly thought of as a child star, but the controversial singer did indeed start his musical career at age 9 when he joined R&B group New Edition in 1978 (while they were called The Bricks). The group shot to fame in 1983 with their debut album Candygirl but behavioral problems would lead to a 16-year-old Brown being voted out of the band three years later. Brown took his talents solo and spawned a career that made him a multi-platinum selling artist, but his success was tempered by a growing alcohol addiction, and an eventual drug addiction that came to light during his marriage to Whitney Houston in 1992. Brown had multiple stints in rehab and was arrested several times for a variety of charges, some of which include DUI, assault and battery, drug possession and resisting arrest. His public image has yet to recover from all his personal struggles.

Miley Cyrus

                               2013 MTV Music Video AwardsPhoto: WENN

Miley Cyrus’ role as Hannah Montana on the hit Disney show of the same name shot her to stardom at a young age and spawned a franchise worth hundreds of millions of dollars in music, merchandise, and movies. Cyrus began to gradually mature her image, but in 2013 she shed her Disney persona completely when she chopped off her long locks and dyed them platinum blonde. The drastic ‘do ushered in a new era in Miley. Cyrus became the twerk queen, reintroducing the raunchy dance to the masses when she released a video of herself twerking in a unicorn onesie. Her latest controversy is appearing fully unclothed in her “Wrecking Ball” music video. It seems she really can’t be tamed.

Macaulay Culkin

Macauley Culkin PF WENNPhoto: WENN

Known as one of the most sucessful and iconic child stars of all time, Macaulay Culkin reached the peak of his career at the age of 10 for his starring role in Home Alone. Throughout his teenage years Culkin was the victim of a stressful financial and custodial dispute between his parents that resulted in early retirement from acting and estrangement from his father. His return to acting has since been marked by Indie films, and only six of them since 1994. Culkin has also had his issue with drugs. He was arrested for the possession of kush and two controlled substances in 2004. The years that followed have been marked by speculation of more serious drug use–particularly h-eroine– as Culkin has been spotted with a gaunt frame and disheveled appearance in many photos.

Todd Bridges

Todd Bridges WENN PF.  Photo: WENN

After a string of small appearances on television, Todd Bridges hit his mark in the long-running sitcom Diff’rent Strokes with his role as Willis Jackson at 12 years of age. At 15 Bridges began to experiment with drugs to cope with the pain of being molested several times when he was 11. His career lost steam following the show’s end 1986 and Bridges began to go deeper into drug addiction to coke and meth. He even became a drug dealer to support his habit. His lifestyle led to multiple drug arrests and an attempted murder charge. The former child star eventually rehabilitated himself and has been clean for 20 years. Bridges wrote a book titled Killing Willis in 2010 addressing the various struggles in his life.



Mary-Kate Olsen

Costume Institute Gala 2013 Photo: WENN

Mary-Kate is a far cry from her cutesy toddler beginnings as [one half of] Michelle on Full House. She may have shared the role with her twin sister Ashley but the two certainly don’t share the same persona today. While Ashley has stayed mostly under the radar, Mary-Kate was not so fortunate. She made headlines in 2004 for suffering from anorexia soon after turning 18. A near-fatal experience with the eating disorder resulted in weeks in rehabilitation. The star has since recovered but rumors also swirled that the eccentric star was battling a coke addiction. Rumors of drug addiction and trips to rehab still plague her today.

Danny Bonaduce

Danny Bonduce WENN pfPhoto: WENN

If viewers of the 1970 series The Partridge Family had any illusion that the stars of the show were anywhere near as perfect as their happy-go-lucky TV characters, they would know better after Danny Bonaduce. The red-headed actor played Danny Partridge when he was 11. The former child star’s luck didn’t last, however, as his career fizzled out after the show ended and gave way to a drug addiction when Bonaduce was 15. Going into adulthood, Bonaduce encountered a string of arrests on charges that include the beating of a transvestite and suspicion of coke possession. These days a beefed-up Bonaduce is a realty TV star known for his aggressive behavior and multiple stints in rehab, including one documented on his reality show Breaking Bonaduce.

Brad Renfro

"Sleepers" Los Angeles Premiere

Photo: WENN

After making his film debut in the 1994 film The Client, Brad Renfro became acclaimed actor at the age of 12. The handsome young actor led a fairly successful career, starring in Disney’s Tom and Huck, The Cure, and the ensemble cast feature Sleepers, but it didn’t last long. Renfro started a criminal record at 15 when he was arrested for coke and kush possession just months before the release of his last truly notable film Apt Pupil in 1998. The hearthrob made headlines over the next four years after being arrested multiple times for drug possession, attempted theft, DUI, and repeated violation of his probation. He continued to work, though sparsely, and in little known films. Renfro’s addiction eventually caught up to him in 2008 and he died all too soon from an overdose at the age of 25.

Jodie Sweetin

Jodie Sweetin wenn pf Photo: WENN

The appropriately named Jodie Sweetin made the climb to child star fame by charming viewers as the young Stephanie Tanner on the long-running Full House at the early age of 5, but things turned sour as she fell into alcohol and drug addiction when the show wrapped in 1995. In 2009, Sweetin penned her memoirs in which she chronicles her downward spiral and says she started using meth out of boredom. Her addiction also included coke and ecstasy. The Full House star has since made small appearances on reality TV and obscure films but never managed to make a comeback. Sweetin has two kids and three failed marriages and continues to struggle with staying clean.

River Phoenix

River Phoenix

Photo: WENN

As a child actor River Phoenix exhibited a maturity well beyond his years. Roles in Explorers and the wildly popular Stand By Me made him a notable figure in Hollywood while in his early teens, and soon gave way to more adult-oriented roles like Running on Empty, which earned him the Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor when he was 18. Phoenix’s delicate good looks and pervading angst made him a teen sensation while his performance in indie film My Own Private Idaho came highly praised by critics, demonstrating his promising future as an actor. Little did his adoring public know, River possessed very little desire to have a future as an actor and had trouble coping with the pressures of Hollywood, his squeaky-clean image, and his personal life that led him to a serious drug addiction. His battle with drugs only came to light in October 1993 when he died from a speedball overdose.


  • Umpire_Sam

    No Dana Plato ?

    No Gary Coleman ?

    No Anissa Jones ?

    • jasonwheeler97

      Judy Garland
      and a plethora of others that they missed, who might be even more messed up than many of these folks.

  • outrage

    This is stupid.

  • ***

    Yes, they missed some obvious choices and had too many more obscure selections.

  • Waste of time

    Maybe the good stuff was buried under all the ads on this page. Yikes.

  • Birdie

    This site is annoying with all the ads/plug ins and visual noise and the page gyrating around. On topic: maybe if I had finished the article I would have seen something worth reading. The first 11 choices were a big DUH.

    • Dave Blazer

      Worst website EVER ! ! ! I won’t be back.

    • What’s with Tommy Hilfiger hidden links starting from the 6th slide? Clicking on slides’ numbers, back or forward inevitably launches TH website on plaid blazer page. Are you kidding me? This site should be fined by Google. I won’t be back!

    • EFS

      God! How many ads can one site have??? Won’t be back.

      • Mz.Understood

        Seriously, is there one square inch that they missed?

        PS, Liho was ONLY a child star, she has done nothing since she was a teenager that has been worth watching. So she did not ‘transition’ to an adult celeb, she never made it.

    • EdWhoKnowsBest.

      This is a very good point which you all are making: These advertisers believe that they can just pound us to their benefit, but this is furthest from the truth. Ironically, they lose views from these sites.

    • Gibbet (BKoin)

      I was blacklisted and blocked from commenting by a non-moderator for heaven’s sake.

      “This message indicates that you’ve been blacklisted from commenting on the site in question, you can contact the website for more information on why you were blocked. Note that while Disqus offers many moderation tools, we do not moderate comments ourselves.”

  • COTY47


  • cangrande

    The really stupid thing about this article is you didn’t even include pictures of them as child stars. Seriously who manages the ‘editorial’ content on this site???

    • TheCur13

      This site is clearly just headlines to draw people into an advertisement hell, and the content is entirely besides the point.

  • brookefurr

    river phoenix’s transition to adult star worked ,he was nomiated for an oscar and other awards all as an adult. He only died from drugs,but his career was successful his whole life so this list is invaild.

    • Z_Lauren_Z

      Thanks for mentioning River – you are correct but I didn’t get that far because I didn’t want to watch a Video.

      Nice job Style Blazer

    • Mark C

      Oh wow, that’s just great — dropped dead of a drug overdose but at least he was nominated for an Oscar! What a success!

      • tom

        It’s an honor just to be nominated! lol

  • Rachel Lusby

    Bonaduce now lives in Seattle and has a radio show on a local rock station. He’s kind of funny, to be honest. And he takes jabs at himself and all the stupid stuff he’s done.

  • Fern

    lindsay’s lips!!! o….m….g…

  • franj

    river phoenix’s transtion was succesful tho…

  • Jibber Yoda

    if those are the worst transitions, than i’ll take half of them, cause
    frankly other than for the heroin addicts i see no problems with them.

    • Mark C

      You seriously are an idiot.

    • Goin Strongq

      “then” I’ll take half of them . . .

  • Jibber Yoda

    the media blows everything out of proportion and acts as a brainwashing
    tool for the harmful US war on drugs.

    • mike

      The old Roman trick of bread, wine and games no gets old and people are getting dumber and fatter.

  • Jibber Yoda

    and some coke does not make you or break you. and the mayor of toronto
    has better popularity rating than the us pres and way better than the us
    congress right now.

  • thegreatcorntrollio

    Any list without Leif Garrett or Jacko really isn’t a very good list.

  • jamesgang

    oh was there an article in that commercial? sorry musta missed it

  • pat

    Without this list of people tmz and all the other gossip companies wouldn’t exist…be happy they were crazy

  • Craig F

    Miley has never been arrested and she is more successful now than she was as a child star. Just because you don’t like her doesn’t mean other people don’t. She knows how to market herself and it’s working….

    • mike

      for now, however that 15 min. of fame clock is winding down for her, Timberfake and little Justine Beiber.

  • adana

    lol you changed it to adult celberity, it was adult star before. because a few of thes peoples careers went well .dying doesnt mean they didnt tranistion .All of these people are obviously celebrityies because your talking about them

  • Jerry Smith

    Styleblazer blows.

  • Z_Lauren_Z

    Here is the problem with your “article” most of these people did NOT transition at all from Child Celebrity to Adult Celebs.

  • DocHollywood_2

    I agree. It like my wife riding on a roller coasts and trying to put on eyeliner

  • Jaime Huffman

    What are some of the best transitions people have made from being child stars? Everyone has seen this list displayed on multiple websites. How much are we going to focus on everyone’s faults rather than focus on the good in people. Things like this do nothing to help anyone. Its a sad part of their lives and now ours for watching it.

  • boonethemoocherpogue

    When are people going to tell this tween that she is not attractive? #mileycyrus

  • wulfenstraat

    Pop-up ads make this site unreadable. Just too much interference. It’s like having somebody trying to get your attention while you’re trying to read. It’s annoying. I’m not going to be back. And I’ll never buy another Hilfiger article of clothing for the abuse they subjected me to on this site, constantly interfering with my reading. They should be made aware that this site is annoying their customers, not providing proper advertising to their customers.

  • namey

    Why keep saying arrested for Kush? lol. That’s like saying driving under the influence of Pabst Blue Ribbon or something. The law does not mention strains of pot.

  • April Ann Burke

    Yes totally annoying site>>>>> Leaving….. bye

  • MommaObama

    Getting herpes didn’t help Lohan any, either.

  • Draeneira

    I’m out of here! I only saw two of the 15, because this site is designed so f****ing horribly navigating through it is like taking a g**damn trip through internet hell! Whoever designed this monstrosity… F**K YOU!

  • BooBots

    This site is horrible! Nothing but chronic interference. Not worth it.

  • Rob

    This is what happens when d****** run a website. Although since they’re clearly d*******, they won’t look at feedback to better their website.

    • agrevsamle

      That’s why the chronicle is going down. Perfect example of libtartds runing business

      • mike

        Ah go watch Fox and idiots right wing nut.

  • jack

    Autoplay ads are the absolute worst! style_blazer is run by retarded apes.

  • One time viewer

    This site is annoying and I will never return. I hope the writer of this article feels good about pointing of the flaws and difficulties in other peoples’ lives. I also hope the universe responds accordingly.

  • Clett06

    Who wrote this crap!!! Shaks Mac is that a meal at McD’s? Miley Cyrus REALLY you mean the entertainer of the year of 2013. How can you already compare her as bad adult transision yet? Oh that’s right YOU CAN’T. Although she technically been an adult for about 2 years and again ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR. Take her off of this horrible list.

    • Goin Strongq

      Then, take her out of the public eye. Many have likely gone blind by casting eyes on her!

  • God

    This website is almost as bad as AIDS

  • Magik13

    This website sucks…so many ads and popups make it nearly impossible to read the articles. Poorly managed website. Good luck with that ! looks like you lost tons of eyeballs.

  • Chris

    Drugs are bad mmmkay

  • cansadoll

    Terrible! This site is impossible to read an article on!!! Boo to the designers!

  • Sara Rothwell 29

    Glad to say I’ve matured better than all of these famous losers!

  • stacey

    can they not show the slide show completely above the fold? Have to scroll down each time?? Ads are crazy – too many

  • dragons3

    “heroine”? Seriously? Learn to spell!

    • Goin Strongq

      Maybe they were telling a story, and the “heroine” took “heroin?”

  • Nik

    as if the verizon/kohls/charmin/volkswagen ads weren’t ENOUGH there are two or three ads for THIS SITE ALSO POLLUTING THE PAGE. SERIOUSLY? oh yay here’s another ad for htc. BYE FOREVER, STYLEBLAZER.

  • Goin Strongq

    In response to “15 Worst Transitions from Child Star to Adult Celebrity”
    It took only the reading of the first sentence (which should be 2 sentences, BTW) to determine the non-legitimacy of the author of the article.
    If this is the best editing available on the site, it should close down immediately – to regroup and get it together!

  • Charles

    I hated this site~!

  • Nona Yer Bsns

    I am not a fan (or hater) of McCauley Caulkin, but for cryin’ out loud, why would the writer state he was busted for ‘kush’? Most people don’t know that the term is merely a type of pot. So, he was busted for pot. So what?

  • mike

    This mess is almost as bad as a late night informercial program.

  • tannerose5

    Where are the pictures?

  • Chicken Pickler

    Concur with the “crap website” consensus. Almost as bad as the examiner, but it’s just another garbage “other reading” link from a slightly more reputable site.

  • hermadite

    NOTE TO SENIOR CITIZENS: Child singing star BOBBY BREEN, a protoge of Eddie Cantor, grew up to become a professional shoplifter in Providence, RI and then slid down the slippery slide into obscurity, along with retired citizen in Florida’s warehouse for old timers. Too bad. He was cute as a youngster and had an engaging voice.

  • Juan T. Norelco

    This site sucks donkey balls.

  • Peter Thompson

    This is quite possibly the worst website on the internet. Aside from the shoddy journalism and ridiculous photos…the ads on this site are insane and incredibly distracting and slow. This site is 6% related (horrible) content and 94% ads. Garbage.

  • anonymous

    you need to post their pictures when they were young too! i don’t recognize some of these actors! lol

  • Heidi

    A shame that their parents never heard of birth control.

  • Edward Leslie

    Wow, you really get bombarded with pop up ads and this site moves at a snail’s pace. It took about a half hour to get through all the profiles. Brutal! They missed those two weaselly sons from Home Improvement who’s careers went off the rails when they didn’t have Tim Allen to lean on.

  • lostcause

    This website can blow it out their a$$. Whoever made this site should be hung. They are useless to the progress of humanity. OH THE STUPIDITY! How did I even get here? Damn you Montreal Gazette article:

    Legendary Montreal-born writer Mavis Gallant dead at age 91


  • Kidd

    Why is Amanda Bynes on this list? There is a big difference between developing a serious mental illness (not of her doing) and being a spoiled brat doing all the drugs and partying. Amanda’s family and police were aware Amanda was in serious trouble but nothing could be done until she became a real danger to herself and others. It’s really inappropriate and cruel to put her in this group.

  • Kidd

    Britney Spears does not belong on this list either. Like Amanda, Britney became mentally ill. Her family stepped and continues to care for Britney . Look at her now!

  • Kidd

    Instead of becoming the Diva she could/should have been Miley has become the Queen of Skanks. She has no idea people are laughing at how disgusting she has become. The novelty she first hit with the grossness has worn off. Miley’s latest stunt of putting the crotch of a thong thrown on stage in her mouth went beyond disgusting. For all she knows that crotch had been soaked in acid or something. The thong may have been covered in STD junk. Only the ones with perverted fetishes do that sort of thing.

  • Guest

    the home alone star does not look like a reck you people lie

  • Nauseous

    Absolutely lousy website.

  • N

    Hollywood does this. Takes these innocent children and then dumps them remorselessly. Their future is bleak from the minute they shoot to fame. Children cannot cope with fame and glory. Children should be allowed to be children.

  • Mia C

    Corey Haim was raped by a ghey man as a little kid. He couldn’t cope with that. Could anyone? Most child stars get s3xually abused in ghey Hollyweird. Not exactly hilarious to most people.

  • bubble

    I only see like one ad… I think most of you guys should really get a better ad blocker or something… just saying.

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