The name Corey Haim was certainly a familiar one in Hollywood circles and among hordes of screaming teenage girls in the '80s. Indeed, back then the young actor was a pretty big deal, having starred in a number of notable films such as Lucas, Silver Bullet, Murphy's Romance, License to Drive, Dream a Little Dream, and Snowboard Academy.
However, to this day, he is perhaps most recognized for his involvement in The Lost Boys with fellow entertainer Corey Feldman — a part that really solidified his status as a sought-after '80s star. Watch the duo, later known as The Two Coreys, doing their thing in the trailer below:
Looking at his career, it may have seemed like Corey Haim was one of the luckiest guys alive. He attracted millions of fans with his trademark lopsided smile, charisma and raw talent, soon becoming one of the most highly paid teenagers in the world. Yet, we now know that his actual experiences in Hollywood were far from picture-perfect.
On March 10, 2010, Corey Haim was found unresponsive at the age of 38-years-old in an Oakwood apartment in California. After being rushed to hospital, he was pronounced dead — his struggling heart and pneumonia symptoms being named factors in his passing. Yet, how did it all come to this? How did Corey Haim's life become so tragic? Read on below.
The Tragic Life Of Corey Haim
The Pressures Of Fame & Struggles With Addiction
Following a stellar career during the '80s, as with many good things in life, Corey Haim's fame started to wane when the '90s dawned. Shedding the teen heartthrob status, as many stars before him had also done, the actor struggled to accept his dwindling appeal and turned to substance abuse.
By this point, he had already admitted numerous times that he had suffered from alcohol and drug addiction after being first introduced to the substances on the set of Lucas in 1985. Years later he revealed:
"I lived in LA in the 80s, which was not the best place to be. I did cocaine for about a year and a half, then it led to crack."
Following a period riding that drug-fuelled train, Corey became determined to disassociate himself with narcotics, going to rehab and attempting to salvage his wholesome reputation. In fact, he even set up an advice line for teenagers, 1–800 C-O-R-E-Y.
However, all of this was a mere facade and he later admitted to being high while providing youngsters with verbal assistance. His addiction issues were so critical beneath the surface that co-star and former girlfriend Nicole Eggert once recalled working with him in the day, and spending nights by his side in hospital:
"[He was] hooked up to an IV, begging doctors for a different prescription, then going back to work again the next day."
Once revelations of his drug taking and marijuana smoking publicly resurfaced, his core appeal dropped once more and he re-entered rehab once again.
A Hard Battle With Prescription Drugs
However, such was the tragedy of his addiction that entering rehabilitation again in the early '90s only spiralled him further out of control. Doctors put him on prescription drugs (notably Valium) and months later, he admitted to taking over 85 pills a day. He gained over 200 lbs as a result and suffered a stroke, recounting the struggles later to a British newspaper in 2004:
"I started on the downers which were a hell of a lot better than the uppers because I was a nervous wreck. But one led to two, two led to four, four led to eight, until at the end it was about 85 a day—the doctors could not believe I was taking that much. And that was just the Valium—I’m not talking about the other pills I went through."
Corey Haim ended up entering rehab fifteen times over the course of his life.
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Disorientated, Unintelligible and Abandoned
As the public eye focused more and more on Corey Haim's tragic life, he failed to land roles. By 1996, he also almost went broke after failing to disclose his drug addition on the set of film Paradise Bar. He was sued for $375,000 for incorrectly specified information on an insurance form, forcing him to file for bankruptcy in 1997.
As the Millennium swung around, Haim was reportedly suicidal. Later, his on-screen partner Corey Feldman recalled:
"He made so many attempts at suicide. He's OD'd so many times. I mean, I can't begin to tell you, having him foaming at the mouth, coming downstairs and finding him that way and drooling and not able to speak, and me, having to put charcoal down his throat so that he could breathe."
"I Have An Addiction To Pretty Much Everything"
Ballooning to over 300 pounds, it appeared that there was no salvation for Corey Haim. And appearing on Larry King Live, the tragic actor was the first to admit this. Speaking about staying out of the spotlight for three and half years, huddled away in his small apartment, he said:
"I didn't like looking in the mirror anymore. I couldn't do it. And tying my shoe was impossible anyway, because I couldn't honestly rest my arms. I think I have an addiction to pretty much everything. I mean, I have to be very careful with myself as far as that goes... I'll probably be a chronic relapser for the rest of my life."
Allegations Of Sexual Abuse
By 2004 though, Haim seemed to have finally overcome his dangerous drug habit, moving in with his mother in Toronto and reassuring people that he was clean, sober and happy. Two years later and it seemed that his career was slowly getting back on track and together with his on-screen partner Corey Feldman, they were offered a reality show titled The Two Coreys. At the time, he even said:
"I want to be the guy they talk about when they talk about comebacks. I want people to learn from me, see I'm human, and understand that I make mistakes just like they do, but it doesn't have to consume you. You've got to walk through the raindrops, and that's what I'm trying to do."
Sadly, a positive and successful comeback was not in the cards for Haim. When the first episode of The Two Coreys aired, the public became away of another layer of tragedy concerning the actor — sexual abuse.
Speaking directly to Feldman in the very first episode, Haim admitted that he had been sexually abused at 14 by one of his friend's acquaintances. The news spread like wildfire and shocked the industry, causing a huge rift between the two Coreys. Haim claimed:
"I was very, very awake and very ashamed of what was going on, how I put it, I was just ... coming into Hollywood, man, just a horny little kid, like on drugs, getting fed drugs, man, by vampires."
Coreyography Reveals Haim Was Abused By A 'Hollywood Mogul'
A year after Corey Feldman finally lost his former partner in 2010, he went on to publicly claim that a "Hollywood mogul" had in fact preyed on Haim for years. And he admitted to also being a victim of pedophilia.
Detailing the horrendous sexual abuse they both suffered as young actors in the industry, he wrote in Coreyography: A Memoir:
"The man told Haim that sex between men and boys was normal in Hollywood, saying that 'all the guys in the entertainment world do it."
In his memoir, Feldman discussed the sickening environment at the heart of Hollywood, which saw numerous children subjected to sexual abuse and then promptly silenced. And now, years on and well into 2016, it appears that these claims are finally being tackled head-on.
In September, new reports from Los Angeles have put forward claims that the man who abused the Corey twosome, as well as dozens of other young boys, is known to the police and is about to be made public. Finally, after decades Corey Haim and many others may be getting closer to getting some kind of justice.