Childhood actors capture the hearts of millions of people with their cute looks and mischievous antics. Some of them had a difficult time transitioning to adulthood. Who hasn’t heard of their favorite actor struggling to find roles as an adult, sometimes even falling drug and alcohol addiction along the way? Others met their deaths in more sinister ways.
Sweet ‘Alfalfa’ Was a Rough Punk
Carl Switzer Better was probably best known for playing the iconic Alfalfa in the Our Gang television series during the 1930s and 40s. Once a freckle-faced youngster, Carl had financial troubles later in his life. This culminated in his death at the age of 31 in 1959. The story goes that he was roughing someone up for owing him money before he was shot in the groin with fatal results.
Abusive Drunk Father Took ‘Ducky’s’ Life
Tiny Judith Barsi, who played Thea in Jaws: The Revenge, was also the original voice behind Ducky of Land Before Time movies and appeared in dozens of commercials and television shows. Her home life was not so innocent and idyllic, though. Judy’s father, Jozsef, drank too much, leading to his family suffering abuse at his hand. In 1988, he fatally shot Judy and her mother before setting the house on fire and shooting himself.
Twilight Zone Comes to Life
Steven Spielberg’s 1983 movie adaptation of television series, The Twilight Zone, was directly responsible for the deaths of two youngsters: Renee Shen-Yi Chen and Myca Dinh Le, ages six and seven respectively. In violation of child labor laws involving night time work and using pyrotechnics on the set, Renee was crushed and Myca decapitated when a helicopter spun out of control. Its rear rotor was blasted off due to the effects of the pyrotechnics.
Rebelling Without a Cause
Rebel without a Cause, that iconic film from 1955, spawned two stars: James Dean and Sal Mineo. Aged 16 when he played Plato, a youth that idolized James Dean’s character, his role earned Sal a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Although he was typecast by this role, as so many other child actors, Sal’s career seemed to be looking up by 1975. In February of the following year, though, he was stabbed to death during a robbery by a pizza delivery driver.
Just because a person is a famous actor, they are not immune to bizarre and catastrophic deaths.