Canadian actor Corey Haim was a star in the 1980s with several movie titles to his name, such as Murphy’s Romance, The Lost Boys, License to Drive, Dream a Little Dream, and Lucas. He started acting pretty early in life and was considered to be a rather promising artist with a lot of potential, according to Biography. However, he faced issues with drug addiction, and his life was tragically cut short in 2010. Corey was just 38 when he passed away. The actor was widely seen as a heartthrob, and he became a popular figure in the ’80s for his charismatic presence on-screen and his acting skills. He was also praised for the fact that he portrayed several complex characters early in his career.
As far as Corey Haim’s career is concerned, many would say that The Lost Boys was one of his most popular roles of all time. The vampire-themed film also had actor Corey Feldman in an important role alongside Haim. The actor’s stardom, his difficult early years, his relationship with his co-star Feldman, and Haim’s struggle with addiction and fame are all topics worth diving into. Here is a rare glimpse into the actor’s difficult and tragic life.
Corey Haim’s parents divorced when he was young
Corey Ian Haim was born to Judy and Bernie Haim on December 23, 1971, in Toronto, Ontario. The family was from a modest background, and according to Biography, Corey was shy and kept to himself. Acting lessons were a way for the reticent Haim to open up a little more and feel more confident around others. As Haim tried to figure out where his interests lay, becoming involved with several activities including acting and sports, his parents went through a divorce.
This was hard for Haim to witness, and he ended up focusing more on the work he had at hand to cope with his loss. What became obvious later was the fact that Haim’s childhood was made more complicated by his status as a child actor. That meant he would face a number of traumatic incidents that shaped his future.
Corey Haim suffered abuse
Corey Haim suffered more than one tragic experience in his childhood. He was molested when he was 11 years old, according to his co-star Corey Feldman (via The Hollywood Reporter). Feldman said in 2016, six years after Haim’s death, that he couldn’t name names because doing so would put him in legal trouble. Feldman added that Haim suffered worse abuse than he did and that each knew what the other was going through.
However, Feldman changed his stance in 2020 and accused actor Charlie Sheen of being inappropriate with Haim while working on the 1986 film Lucas. He also said there were other individuals involved, according to Entertainment Weekly. For his part, Sheen fought back and denied the allegations. "These sick, twisted and outlandish allegations never occurred. Period," Sheen stated. Haim’s mother, Judy, said in 2017 that actor Dominick Brascia was the one who had hurt her son on the set of Lucas.
What is clear is that Haim was impacted by everything he went through as a child. On suffering abuse, Haim once said (via People), "I was very, very awake and very ashamed of what was going on, how I put it, I was just … coming into Hollywood, man […] I have come to terms with this a long time ago but obviously not [totally]. Stuff happens when you are a kid, it scars you inside for life."
Corey Haim wasn’t keen on acting
Corey Haim wasn’t keen on joining the acting industry. Per Biography, Haim was more intrigued by hockey than acting and wanted to pursue the sport professionally. However, when he witnessed his older sister started trying her luck in auditions, he figured it wouldn’t hurt to attempt acting himself. Haim managed to get noticed quick, landing a breakthrough role on the Canadian show The Edison Twins.
Haim may not have anticipated it, but his roles earned him positive reviews. According to The Guardian, his performance in Lucas earned him praise from the Chicago-Sun Times‘ critic Roger Ebert, who wrote, "Haim … does not give one of those cute little boy performances that get on your nerves. He creates one of the most three-dimensional, complicated, interesting characters of any age in any recent movie." Ebert added that if the young Haim could live up to the potential he had already displayed, he’d get far in his acting career and wouldn’t fade from public memory. "He is that good," Ebert emphasized.
Corey Haim was ten when he started performing
Corey Haim was undeniably charming in front of the camera. As illustrated by Biography, he was doing commercials when he was only ten years old. The Edison Twins, in which Haim had his first major role,was on the air from 1982 to 1986. The children’s show revolved around child prodigies who embarked on adventures together, using science to get through the things they encountered.
During this time, Haim also appeared in his first film, Firstborn, which was released in 1984 (via The Guardian). He was accompanied by Terri Garr, who played a divorced mother in the movie. Haim was also a part of the comedy Murphy’s Romance (1985) and worked with Sally Field.
Despite the fact that Haim was talented and great in front of the camera, his mother later lamented the fact that her son became a part of showbiz too early. She implied that if he hadn’t been an actor, he would have had a regular childhood. "He would have been in school, in Toronto, with his friends, playing hockey like he loved," she said (via People). "[It’s] not a good idea to put these young kids in these movies in Hollywood. Do it in the summertime, let them go to school, don’t go to Hollywood."
Corey Haim had an unpleasant experience while shooting Firstborn
Haim’s debut film, the thriller Firstborn, came to him when he was just 13 years old. According to The New Zealand Herald, things got off to a rough start when actor Peter Weller didn’t react well to Haim praising him. Weller slammed the boy against a wall, and the two were separated only after three crew members stepped in to intervene. For Haim, this unexpected incident was very scary, and it took him some time to get over it. Weller did later apologize for what happened and said he was too caught up in method acting.
According to The Independent, Firstborn failed to impress audiences despite the fact that it had two major stars, Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. Nonetheless, Haim got back on his feet after the movie and continued to pursue acting, building his portfolio and working on several projects.
Corey Haim became a heartthrob
Haim, per The Independent, had some minor roles in films like Murphy’s Romance and Secret Admirer before he took on a particularly complicated part (and his first leading role), portraying a paraplegic boy in Silver Bullet. He also got noticed for his work in a made-for-TV film called A Time to Live. For the latter, he won widespread appreciation and a Young Artist of the Year Award.
After that, Haim was praised by Ebert for Lucas and also won over young cinemagoers with his acting. This was followed by one of his most important films, The Lost Boys (1987), which earned him more love from audiences, even though critics weren’t too impressed. This was also the film that saw Corey Feldman and Haim team up together. Their pairing was enough of a hit for them to be later known as "The Two Coreys."
According to The Guardian, Feldman and Haim worked on many projects together as two stars who rose to fame early in their careers. In fact, they ultimately did ten films as well as a reality show together.
Corey Haim struggled with addiction
As with many stars, things inevitably went downhill for Corey Haim. As explained by The Guardian, the 1990s were a bad time for the actor, who struggled to stay relevant while also battling drug addiction. He worked on a video game called Double Switch, among other projects, but nothing seemed to help. Haim was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1997.
As the 2000s hit, the actor tried to rebuild his life and kick his drug habit. Unfortunately, he got hooked on prescription drugs. "I started on the downers which were a hell of a lot better than the uppers because I was a nervous wreck," Haim once explained. "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."
As per Biography, Haim’s journey with substance abuse was a long one. He was said to have first tried drugs as well as booze back when he was filming Lucas and eventually struggled to control his addiction as he experimented with several kinds of drugs.
Corey Haim tried to get clean
It’s not like Corey Haim didn’t try to seriously deal with his addiction issues. He worked hard on getting clean, visiting rehab and weaning himself off drugs. Sadly, he kept relapsing, caught up in a vicious cycle. According to Entertainment Weekly, Haim even made a film about himself titled Corey Haim: Me, Myself & I in 1989. The actor was dealing with rumors about his addiction to drugs and wanted to reach out to his fans and talk about it all. "Ten years from now I’m hopefully going to be in Tahiti or something, kicking back, like, in my huge mansion, if everything goes right," he said back then. "It’s all up to me."
Sadly, Haim was constantly struggling, repeatedly going back to rehab. According to Biography, his addiction to prescription drugs caused him to put on a lot of weight, and he allegedly also suffered a stroke. As per The Guardian, Haim’s mother tried to get her son back on track by asking him to move to Toronto and stay away from Hollywood. In 2004, a song called "Whatever Happened to Corey Haim?" was released by the Thrills. Even though it wasn’t directly connected to the actor, it got his attention, and he said in response, "I’m clean, sober, humble and happy." According to Corey Feldman, he and Haim weren’t treated well by others in the industry. Feldman said that the publicity in relation to their drug use was just an excuse to get them out of the limelight.
Corey Haim was alone
In his later years, Corey Haim was alone a lot, per CNN. Feldman had stopped speaking to Haim at that point because of the actor’s issues with addiction. An unfortunate incident that involved Haim showing up to a set "under the influence" made Feldman conclude that it wasn’t wise to have the actor interacting with his family. For his part, Haim shot back, saying in 2008, "I will always love Corey Feldman, but I lost 105 percent respect for him and his wife."
In 2010, a neighbor told CNN that while Haim was perhaps looking healthier, he seemed to be lonesome. He said he occasionally spotted the actor in public, "looking for companionship, looking for friends."
According to People, Corey Feldman spoke about his friend in 2010, lashing out at many people who didn’t support Haim in the last 15 years of his life. He asked, "Where were all these people to lend a hand out, to reach out to him and say, you know, you’re a legend, you’re — you’re an amazingly talented, wonderful person who’s really never gone out of his way to hurt anybody other than himself?"
Corey Haim didn’t have great luck when it came to romantic relationships, either. One of his exes, actress Alyssa Milano, once said that she tried to support him and get him the help he needed, to no avail.
Corey Haim lost his money
Corey Haim, despite achieving success as an actor early in his career, didn’t have a lot of money at the end of his life. According to E! Online, the actor’s drug habit left him with little money. When Haim filed for bankruptcy in 1997, he only had a few assets he could claim, namely his BMW (which was ten years old), $100 in cash, and royalties that were worth somewhere around $7,500. That’s definitely not enough money to ensure any sort of financial security.
In 2010, Haim had been going through such tough times that his funeral was taken care of by a celebrity memorabilia organization that paid for the expenses. Even though Haim had tried to save his failing career, he simply hadn’t been able to salvage his finances and get back on his feet. In 2001, he even attempted to make some money by auctioning his hair and teeth on eBay. eBay took down Haim’s auctions because they violated the website’s policies that prohibit people from selling body parts.
Corey Haim tried to kill himself
Corey Haim battled drug addiction for the better part of his life, and he attempted suicide via drugs on more than one occasion. Corey Feldman admitted that his old friend and tried to intentionally overdose multiple times (via CBS News). "He made a lot of mistakes… He always tried to be the best person he could," Feldman said. Feldman also described in incident in which he found his friend foaming at the month because of an overdose, and he saved Haim by pouring charcoal into his mouth.
Before he died, Corey Haim was unwell and suffering from a bout of flu. He was living with his mom. When he passed away, speculation was rife, and there were rumors about suicide or a drug overdose, both of which were debunked later.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Corey Haim passed away at age 38
Corey Haim’s sudden death took many by surprise. The actor passed away in 2010, leaving many distraught. As per CNN, Haim’s mother called paramedics to their apartment during the early morning hours of March 10, after Haim had started to feel dizzy and later became unresponsive. No illegal drugs were found at Haim’s home, but there were a few prescription medicines.
Corey Feldman spoke about when he learned of his friend’s passing. "My eyes weren’t even open all the way when the tears started streaming down my face," Feldman said. He added that it was important for everyone to learn from what happened to his old friend. "We must all take this as a lesson in how we treat the people we share this world with while they are still here to make a difference. […] I hope the art Corey has left behind will be remembered as the passion of that for which he truly lived," he added.
Later, it was revealed that the actor had died of pneumonia and other "natural causes." He did not overdose. Haim, for his part, had been determined for a long time. He said, a few years before his passing, that he wanted people to remember him and learn from him whenever they mentioned comebacks: "You’ve got to walk through the raindrops, and that’s what I’m trying to do." Fans remembered the actor after his passing, honoring him on social media. According to Mashable, Facebook groups were created in Haim’s memory, and many fans mentioned loving the The Lost Boys.