It could seem like a dream come true to have a life as a child actor. In comparison to other kids of their age, they enjoy much more exciting summer vacations and parties. However, it might be challenging to move on from adolescence, which was defined by superstardom, to adulthood. Hollywood is a challenging environment, and fame can fade.
When you think about it, it’s truly astounding how many people who were child actors become criminals. Some of these former celebrities suffered from drug and alcohol issues as a result of their unusual upbringing in the spotlight. In other instances, their criminal experiences appeared to be the result of severe mental illness.
Here is a list of 20 well-known young people who, for various reasons, got into all kinds of legal issues. A couple of them even ended their lives after going through rounds of problems with the law. Fortunately, one or two of them managed to get things back in order and went on to have successful careers that they still enjoy today.
#1 Bug Hall
Source: Weatherford Police Department
American actor Brandon “Bug” Hall was born on February 4, 1985. He gained notoriety for his portrayals of Alfalfa Switzer in “The Little Rascals” (1994) and Buster Stupid in “The Stupids” as a young child (1996). In 2020, he was arrested for huffing an air-duster.
#2 Dustin Diamond
Source: Ozaukee County Jail / Fair Use
Dustin Neil Diamond was an American actor and stand-up comedian who died on February 1, 2021. He is best known for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers in the “Saved by the Bell” series. In 2015, he was given a four-month prison term for stabbing a guy during a bar fight in Wisconsin.
#3 Brad Renfro
Source: Fort Lauderdale PD / Fair Use
American actor Brad Barron Renfro was born on July 25, 1982, and passed away on January 15, 2008. At the age of 11, he made his acting debut as the star of “The Client” (1994). He later made an appearance in 21 feature films and received numerous honors.
After he and a friend tried to steal a yacht in Fort Lauderdale in 2000, Brad Renfro was charged with grand theft. In 2008, at the age of 25, he overdosed on heroin and passed away.
#4 David Henrie
Source: Getty Images
Actor and director David Clayton Henrie was born in the United States on July 11, 1989. He is well known for his role as the future Luke Mosby in “How I Met Your Mother.” In 2010, David Henrie was detained for reportedly starting a fight.
#5 Macaulay Culkin
Source: Oklahoma PD / Fair Use
Macaulay Macaulay Culkin Culkin is an American actor and musician who was born Macaulay Carson Culkin on August 26, 1980. Culkin gained notoriety as a young actor playing Kevin McCallister in the first two installments of the “Home Alone” movie series.
In 2004, Macaulay Culkin was jailed for marijuana possession. He was in Oklahoma when his friend was arrested for a traffic violation.
#6 Mischa Barton
Source: LAPD / Fair Use
Mischa Anne Marsden Barton, a British-American actress who was born on January 24, 1986, works in cinema, television, and theater. She played the lead in “Lawn Dogs,” her first significant cinematic role (1997). She made appearances in well-known films like “The Sixth Sense” and the romantic comedy “Notting Hill” (1999). Mischa Barton was arrested for driving under the influence in 2007.
#7 Orlando Brown
Orlando Brown (born December 4, 1987) is an American actor, rapper, and singer. He is best known for playing Eddie Thomas in “That’s So Raven,”. And he was arrested in connection with his 2011 DUI.
#8 David Faustino
Source: New Smyrna Beach PD / Fair Use
David Anthony Faustino, an American actor, and radio host was born on March 3, 1974. He is best known for playing Bud Bundy on the Fox sitcom “Married… with Children.” He was detained for drug offenses in 2007.
#9 Omar Gooding
Source: Getty Images
Omar Miles Gooding Sr., popularly known by his stage name Big O, is an American actor, comedian, and rapper who was born on October 19, 1976. The actor of “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” allegedly had a DUI arrest in 2013.
#10 Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Dee Lohan, an American actress, singer, songwriter, producer, and businesswoman, was born on July 2, 1986. Her breakthrough appeared in the Walt Disney movie “The Parent Trap”.
She’s been taken into custody several times. In 2007, she was detained several times for DUI, and in 2011, she was accused of grand theft.
#11 Haley Joel Osment
Source: L.A. Sheriff / Fair Use
American actor Haley Joel Osment was born on April 10, 1988. Osment began acting as a young actor, and his performance in the drama-comedy movie “Forrest Gump” (1994) earned him a Young Artist Award. His big break came with the release of “The Sixth Sense,” a psychological thriller (1999). In 2006, he was detained for DUI and drug possession.
#12 Brian Bonsall
Source: Boulder PD / Fair Use
Born on December 3, 1981, Brian Eric Bonsall is an American rock musician, vocalist, guitarist, and former child actress. He is best known for his role as Andrew “Andy” Keaton, the youngest child on the NBC sitcom “Family Ties” from 1986 until 1989
He’s been detained quite a lot. In addition to being charged with assault in 2007 for allegedly beating a friend in the head with a broken wooden stool, he was also jailed in 2010 for using marijuana.
#13 Jake Lloyd
Source: Charleston PD / Fair Use
Jake Matthew Lloyd, commonly known by his stage name Jake Broadbent, was a former actor who represented a young Anakin Skywalker in the 1999 film “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and Jamie Langston in “Jingle All the Way.” Jake Matthew Lloyd was born on March 5, 1989. After reportedly leading South Carolina police officers on a high-speed chase, he was apprehended in 2015.
#14 Amanda Bynes
Actress Amanda Laura Bynes was born in the United States on April 3, 1986. She is most recognized for her roles in television and movies from the 1990s to the present. With her role in its spin-off series “The Amanda Show” (1999–2002), Bynes made a breakthrough and won numerous awards.
In 2012, she was given a DUI charge. She reportedly hit a stopped police car when driving in Los Angeles.
#15 Tom Guiry
Source: Houston PD / Fair Use
Source: Getty Images
Lalaine Vergara-Paras, an American actress, singer, and bassist, was born on June 3, 1987. She is well-known for her roles as Abby Ramirez in “You Wish!” and Miranda Sanchez in “Lizzie McGuire.” In 2007, she admitted to having crystal meth in her possession. She reportedly had to complete a substance abuse program.
#17 Gary Coleman
Source: Utah County PD / Fair Use
American actor and comedian Gary Wayne Coleman was born on February 8, 1968, and passed away on May 28, 2010. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Coleman was the highest-paid child actor on television. He came in #1 place on a list of the “100 Greatest Kid Stars” on VH1.
In 2010, Gary Coleman was arrested on a warrant related to a complaint of domestic assault.
#18 Shia LaBeouf
Source: Austin Police Dept. / Fair Use
Shia LaBeouf, an American actor, performance artist, and director, was born on June 11, 1986. In the Disney Channel series “Even Stevens,” he portrayed Louis Stevens.
In Chicago, Shia LaBeouf was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing in 2007, and in Austin, Texas, he was detained for public intoxication in 2015.
#19 Leif Garrett
Source: LA County Sheriff / Fair Use
Leif Garrett, an American musician, actor, and television host was born on November 8, 1961. After working as a child actor, he rose to fame as a teen idol in music in the 1970s. Leif Garrett has a history of being taken into custody, most recently in 2006 for heroin possession.
#20 Edward Furlong
Source: LA County Sheriff / Fair Use
American actor Edward Walter Furlong was born on August 2, 1977. For his ground-breaking performance as John Connor in James Cameron’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” at the age of 13, he received the Saturn and MTV Movie Awards.
He was arrested for public intoxication in 2004. He was reportedly trying to free lobsters from a tank inside a grocery store.