Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Yesterday, here in Knoxville, they buried the young actor Brad Renfro. He was only 25. They found him dead in his home last week. The autopsy results are still pending.

Somewhere in my piles and piles of books is an elementary school annual with his picture in it. My son used to play basketball after school with him and they would sometimes ride bikes together.

I didn't realize who he was until after The Client came out and my son told me. Years later I asked my son why he stopped hanging out with Brad and he told me that Brad had a wild side that he just wasn't comfortable with. Even in elementary school he was already smoking and to my kids that was a big deal.

Brad struggled for years with alcohol and drugs and got into trouble many times. We would follow the news reports and shake our heads. Not in judgement, at least I like to think so, mainly just feeling sorrow. How can you not feel sorry for someone so young.

While Brad was being buried the news channels broke the story that another young actor, Heath Ledger was found dead ,in a New York apartment, with pills scattered around him. They think it was an accidental overdose or maybe suicide. Both young men left behind young children who will never know their fathers. How very sad. They were both talented and gifted actors.

So many of our young people today want to live a Hollywood type lifestyle. I read recently about a survey that has been give to high school age teens since the 60's. They ask students what they would like to be when they grow up. Formerly the answers were along the lines of doctor, teacher, nurse, engineer, etc. The most recent surveys given report that the number one answer now is...famous. They just want to be famous. How profoundly sad is that? With the advent of the Internet and especially You Tube many kids have posted some disturbing content just to get noticed. In a way bizarrely fulfilling that desire.

Right now the media can't seem to get enough of Brittney Spears. Reportedly they have already written her obituary. Even Dr. Phil, according to her family, "sold her out". Maybe if we quit buying the magazines, watching the shows or stopped clicking on the links. I don't know, but at least it is something. Maybe just pray for them.

Pics: Top: Brad Renfro. Middle: Heath with his daughter Matilda Bottom: Heath Ledger Not my pics of course.


Christine said...

I just heard about all of this. How sad. I do feel bad about Brittney Spears. I can't imagine having people following me around constantly and documenting my every move. I wish the news showed more role models for our kids to look up to.

Shop girl said...

It's a very sad time for these talented people. As for Brittney, there are other places to live. She doesn't have to drive around all night...she makes the choices.
If she is on drugs then the drugs are making her choices. I to wish the news would not show her...if they wouldn't put her on the air she would have no reason to be out.
If she has as much money as they say she does, things can be delivered. California loves home delivery. Hugs, Mary

Carrie J said...

Mary, I agree. It seems logical that she would do that but I don't think logic is something she is using. She needs somebody that really cares about her and not her money to step up and say enough. If I were her mom I would be trying to get control of her somehow, to heck with all her money and fame, if she is dead it isn't going to do her any good anyway, get her away somewhere where they can't find her and get her some help.

Sonny said...

Her mom had to be the one who pushed her hard while she was younger. She was a fter all a stage mom. When Meaghan was doing pageants I saw some some very controlling women who PUSHED their daughters and said some very mean things to these little girls. Things like "Why did I spend all this money if all you were going to do was tromp across that stage like a fat cow? Your smile was hideous. You choked up their. Even that little B***** with buckteeth looked better than you did>" I was so happy when she decided to not to do them anymore. Not all women are warm nurturing mothers. They believe their child is the best and push that child to achieve where these women failed. It is a sad thing when you child is a paycheck instead of the "apple of your eye".These kids grow up with a void that they fill anyway they can. Some of the girls Meaghan competed agaist have gone off the deep end similar to Brittany . I know one of them is now on the verge of being an alcoholic and smokes in public with her mom. She is 16 and I know of several boys who claim to have had sex with her.Another is 15 a highschool dropout with 1 kid and another on the way.
Not only the famous have these issues they just have paparazzi to document ever misstep they make. These young actors should listen to Drew Barrymore when she talks about her young life as an addict.

Carrie J said...

I have seen a few moms like those. That is why I refused to put my girls in those even when there was scholarship money offered. I just knew that we couldn't compete with $500 dresses for a 3 year old etc. I'm proud of Meaghan for her involvement in sports. That is a real accomplishment. IMO