Corey Haim: The Lost Boy

About Corey Haim:

"This is not a stunt. I'm back. I'm ready to work. I'm ready to make amends."


Corey Ian Haim (December 23, 1971 – March 10, 2010) was a Canadian actor, known for a 1980s Hollywood career as a teen idol. He starred in a number of films, such as Lucas, Silver Bullet, Murphy's Romance, License to Drive, Dream a Little Dream, and Snowboard Academy. His best-known role was alongside Corey Feldman in The Lost Boys, which made Haim a household name.

Haim's early success led to money and fame. He had difficulties breaking away from his experience as a teen actor, and was troubled by drug addiction throughout his later career. He died of pneumonia on March 10, 2010.

Early Life:
Haim was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Judy, an Israeli-born data processor, and Bernie Haim, who worked in sales. When Haim was eleven, his parents divorced after eighteen years of marriage. He had an older sister, Carol, and a younger half-brother, Daniel Lee, from his father's second marriage. Haim was Jewish.


Growing up in Willowdale, Toronto, he was enrolled in drama lessons in improv and mime by his mother to help him overcome his shyness, and accidentally fell into the film industry after accompanying Carol to her auditions. Not particularly interested in acting, Haim participated in other activities, such as ice hockey, playing music on his keyboard and collecting comic books. His skills on the ice led to his being scouted for the AA Thunderbirds hockey team.

Controversies:

1. Early Teen Drinking:
Haim was already drinking beer in his early teens on the set of Lucas in 1985, and a year later, he tried marijuana on the set of The Lost Boys. "I lived in LA in the 80s, which was not the best place to be," Haim said.

"I did cocaine for about a year and a half, then it led to crack." He later said that License To Drive was his "breaking point" for becoming addicted."

2. Substance Abuse Program:
On his return from a Hawaiian family vacation in May 1989, Haim told the press that he had been clean for a month after going cold turkey without the help of a substance abuse program. "I wanted to be clean for me, not for anyone else" Haim said, disclosing that he had "gotten out of whack" and that "as far as it goes, it's the crowd you hang out with. I wasn't speaking to my mom, I hadn't gone to school in four and a half months." He added: 


"It's scary to come back down to earth" after having been dependent on narcotics, but "it's just something I had to do." 

Haim said he would be in school before going before the cameras in four months for Mark Rocco's Blue Moon. The film was never made.

3. Drug Advice Line:
In November 1989, fresh out of the first of fifteen stints in rehab, Haim released a self-promotional video documentary entitled Corey Haim: Me, Myself, and I, which followed a day in his life. Heavily scripted, Haim's monologues to camera were nevertheless unfocused and suggested that he was under the influence during filming. It has been considered the "worst movie ever" by X-Entertainment. "Well, as far as my fans out there, being, and like 'help Corey,' you know, 'where's our Corey,' you know and the whole misconception thing, from the people out there. Um, you know, they have every right to feel the way they do and things are great with me, as you see, I'm very, good shape now and on the ball. Things are happening."


In a further attempt to regain his wholesome image, Haim set up a pre-recorded drug advice line for teens: 1–800 C-O-R-E-Y. He admitted on The Arsenio Hall Show that he was high while giving the advice.

4. Smoking Marijuana:
Fellow Lost Boys actor Brooke McCarter began managing Haim in an effort to keep him clean. McCarter was dating Oscar-winning producer Julia Phillips, who termed the assignment "babysitting". In her memoir, Phillips recalled Haim's asking her permission to take out her daughter, and the moral conflict she experienced while smoking marijuana in front of him, saying: "Mixed feelings about Corey. Love him. Detest him too, or at least the manipulative part that knew how to make people twice his age snap to. Are you really only eighteen? Who writes your dialogue?


5. Drug  Addiction:
In 1990, Haim co-starred with Patricia Arquette in the sci-fi actioner Prayer of the Rollerboys, performing many of his own stunts in a tale of a teen who goes undercover to expose a racist gang leader. However, as his problems with drugs continued, Haim began to lose his core audience. His performances suffered, and his film career in the 1990s declined into direct-to-video releases as his habit ruined his ability to work. Watchers director Jon Hess recalled: "Certainly people knew about his addiction. To see somebody so young and with so much talent already be chased by those demons was hard."


As stories of his drug use continued to spread, Haim experienced a public fall from grace, unusual for the time in its intense press exposure. His misadventures were afforded a level of attention comparable to that of teen stars such as Lindsay Lohan in the digital media age.

6. Hancock Park:
In December 1992, Haim partnered in a lease-option on a 1922 Hancock Park mansion with his business manager, a party promoter named Michael Bass who had served two years in jail after a conviction for fraud. The 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) house was valued at $1.35M. Haim said: "I love Hancock Park, and I'm not the only actor who feels that way. Kiefer Sutherland also just got a house around here." Bass rushed through the deal in order to hold a fund-raiser at the house to buy toys for Russian children, later revealed to be a scam. Haim lived at the house with Bass and his mother.


In February 1993, Bass reported to police that Haim had threatened him during an argument, and Haim was arrested. According to Haim's publicist at the time, he was shooting BB guns at a target in his backyard while trying to fire Bass, who refused to accept that he was being let go. Initially investigated as a terrorist threat (a felony), Haim's charge was downgraded to the misdemeanor of exhibiting a replica handgun in a threatening manner. Feldman posted Haim's $250 bail. Bass gave a statement affirming that Haim remained under contract to him for a further 18 months.

7. Sued by Lloyds of London:
Haim nearly went broke after he pulled out of the film Paradise Bar in 1996. He was sued by Lloyds of London for $375,000 for failing to disclose his drug addiction as a pre-existing medical condition on the insurance form. Haim filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 1997. According to the bankruptcy report, he owed $100,000 to the IRS, and had $100,000 in outstanding debts. His listed assets included $100 in cash, the red 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider featured in Corey Haim: Me, Myself, and I, $750 worth of clothing, a $31,000 pension fund, and royalty rights worth $7,500. At this point, the film roles evaporated.


8. Footage Leaked:
In 1999, Haim shot a troubled low-budget independent film called Universal Groove in Montreal, using then-emerging digital technology. He played a film director interacting with eight characters over the course of one night on the techno club scene. Haim's return to Canada was newsworthy, with the shoot garnering local press interest and reporters from People magazine visiting the set. However, the film experienced fatal post-production problems, and stolen footage was leaked on the internet. Over eight years later, the filmmakers finally self-released a reconstructed version of the film online.


9. Sexual Abused:
In the first episode of the second season of The Two Coreys, Haim confronted Feldman, saying he had been sexually abused at the age of 14 by one of Feldman's acquaintances. Declining to identify his molester, a 42-year-old man, Haim claimed that a rape situation had continued for two years with Feldman's knowledge. He later stated: "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." The unexpected confession led to a further rift between Haim and Feldman, and the now unscripted show continued to expose the darker side of their lives as teen stars.


10. Fifteen Time Rehab Visit:
Haim wound up entering rehab fifteen times for his drug addiction, though despite reports, he did not suffer a drug induced stroke or fall into a coma according to Judy Haim. On August 10, 2001, Haim's mother found him unconscious at his Los Angeles bungalow. He was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center where doctors managed to stabilize him. Two weeks earlier, from July 23, 2001, Haim had spent some time in Sherman Oaks Hospital. He did not have health insurance, and was left gaunt and debilitated. Forced to foot the medical bills, he attempted to support himself by selling clumps of his hair and an extracted molar on eBay. The tooth reached $150 before being pulled from the listings in line with eBay's restrictions on the sale of body parts.


11. True Hollywood Story:
In 2001, Haim was the subject of an E! True Hollywood Story. Airing on October 17, it showed him living in a spartan apartment above a garage in Santa Monica with his mother. Haim was disoriented and unintelligible for some of his interviews. He was seen compiling a promotional clip reel for casting agents, and a pawnbroker recalled his begging for $3 to buy a slice of pizza. Feldman, himself now clean, spoke on the program about his attempts to help Haim kick the habit, and moved him into his house in October 2001. Aged 29, Haim spent four days at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch with Feldman.


12. Friendship Problem:
 In December that year, Haim began taping a reality show titled The Two Coreys, which reunited him with Feldman. Both were credited as executive producers, and had a measure of creative input. The show premiered on the A&E Network on July 29, 2007, with a second season starting on June 22, 2008. At its advent, Haim bought himself and Feldman matching Tiffany rings, "for our show, for life, for everything. Matching actor-buddy rings."


The show's premise revolved around Haim living in Feldman's house with Feldman and Feldman's wife, while trying to get his career back on track. The dynamics of the threesome were conceived in the style of the film You, Me and Dupree. Footage showed the ravages of Haim's habit on his body, and his appearance was unrecognizable from his younger self. Although acknowledged as partially scripted, the show eventually took on a darker life of its own after Haim relapsed and his prescription drug abuse became apparent. The disintegrating relationship between the former best friends prompted a six-month hiatus before the second season.

13. Relationships:
Haim never married or had any children. He was involved with Who's the Boss actress Alyssa Milano from 1987 to 1990, and her parents, together with his manager at the time, unsuccessfully tried to get Haim help for his addiction.


Lala Sloatman co-starred with Haim in Watchers (1988) and Dream a Little Dream (1989), and they dated on and off for two years at the peak of his fame.


He was engaged to Baywatch actress Nicole Eggert, with whom he starred in Blown Away (1992) and Just One of the Girls (1993). Eggert is credited with helping to save Haim's life at least once by taking him to hospital to detox during a "narcotic rush", although she herself has said:


"I spent a lot of nights in emergency rooms with him. I don't think that I saved his life, I just think that I was there for him."

Haim was in a relationship with Victoria Beckham in 1995, which ended on mutual terms.


Haim also had a short engagement to Holly Fields in 1996. She was left devastated by his passing and remembers Corey for his giving nature. "I remember one time Corey had spent the day at an autograph signing and even though he was completely broke at the time, when he got paid at the end of the day he went straight to Petco and blew all the cash on dog bones and toys. Then Corey went to an animal shelter in Anaheim and he handed out the bones to the dogs, he personally made sure that each and every dog had a bone and a toy. He was such a sweetheart like that and totally generous – to a fault."


Haim was engaged to model Cindy Guyer in 2000. Haim proposed to Guyer two days after they met at a Chicago autograph show. Haim had a year-long relationship with actress Tiffany Shepis, stating in October 2008 that the couple were engaged on May 9, 2009. Shepis moved Haim away to Arizona in 2008, where she "was trying to help him like everybody does, you know? He's a charming kid with a lot of issues.

14. Death Controversy:
The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office ruled that Haim's death was due to pneumonia. Prior to the official autopsy reports being released publicly, Haim's mother stated that the coroner had given her a "courtesy call" to state his preliminary findings that Haim died of pulmonary edema and was suffering from an enlarged heart and water in the lungs. Haim's agent discounted the possibility of an overdose, citing his recent drive toward clean living and affirming that he had been completely drug-free for two weeks. Haim's primary doctor confirmed to Drug Enforcement Administration investigators that Haim was addicted to pain medication.


In 2011, Feldman told ABC's Nightline that "there's one person to blame in the death of Corey Haim, and that person happens to be a Hollywood mogul". He claimed that the sexual abuse of Haim had contributed to his early death.

California's Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that his office was investigating Haim's death, saying an unauthorized prescription in his name had been found amongst fraudulent prescription pads ordered from San Diego. On March 17, 2010, Brown announced that an arrest was made in connection with the investigation, which involved doctor identity theft and up to 5,000 illegal prescriptions. While detailed information was not released, officials stated that Haim had obtained Oxycontin via a prescription drug ring. Records showed he had received thousands of pills over the last year of his life, using physicians at offices, urgent-care facilities and emergency rooms.


On March 25, 2010, approximately twenty doctors were subpoenaed in connection with Haim's case. Haim claimed to each that he was not seeing any other doctors, and many reported feeling "duped" by him. The doctors told state agents that Haim complained of shoulder pain arising from an accident while shooting a film in Canada. Brown confirmed that Haim had obtained prescriptions for pain medication pertaining to multiple injuries and depression, using his pharmacy visits to solicit additional medication or ask for refills before due dates had expired. Brown called Haim the "poster child" for prescription drug addiction.

On May 4, 2010, the L.A. County Coroner's office autopsy report revealed that Haim died of diffuse alveolar damage and pneumonia, together with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and coronary arteriosclerosis, ruled a natural death. As to speculation about whether drugs were involved, the Coroner stated: "the toxicology report revealed no significant contributing factor."

Death:
In the time leading up to his death, Haim shared a month-to-month rental located at the Oakwood Apartments between Burbank and the Hollywood Hills with his mother, who had breast cancer at the time. Christopher Ameruoso, Haim's neighbor for a year, said Haim sometimes could be seen wandering around the complex, "looking for companionship, looking for friends."


On March 10, 2010, after Haim's mother phoned 9-1-1, paramedics took Haim from their home to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where he was pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m. He was 38 years old. Los Angeles police stated that his death appeared to be an accidental overdose and that four bottles containing Valium, Vicodin, Soma (a muscle relaxant) and Haloperidol (an anti-psychotic) were retrieved, later confirmed as prescribed by a specialist, but that no illegal drugs were found at the scene. It emerged that Haim had used aliases to procure 553 prescription pills in the 32 days prior to his death, having "doctor-shopped" seven different physicians and used seven pharmacies to obtain the supply, which included 195 Valium, 149 Vicodin, 194 Soma and 15 Xanax.

Haim had been ill with flu-like symptoms for two days before his death. A doctor called on him and took his temperature, but did not suspect serious problems. At one stage, Haim woke his mother and said, "Mom, can you please come and lie next to me, I'm not feeling very good." After he attempted to walk around shortly after midnight, she saw him collapse. Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said: "As he got out of bed he felt a little weak and went down to the floor on his knees."

Interesting Facts & Achievements:
1. In 1995, Haim also unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Robin in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever.


2. He and Corey Feldman were known as "The Two Coreys" at the peak of their careers in the 80s.

3. Got into acting because his mom put him into acting lessons to help him deal with his shyness and it later became a career because his older sister Carol was auditioning for roles.


4. Ranked #8 on VH1's "100 Greatest Teen Stars"


5. Shared the screen with Corey Feldman in 7 movies to date.

6. Bill Egert's character, "Sean Haim", in the movie Detour (2002) was named after him, as Egert's favorite actor.

7. Ranked #26 on VH1's 100 Greatest Kid Stars.


8. In 2004, he became the subject of a single by the Irish band, The Thrills entitled "Whatever Happened To Corey Haim?"


The Story:

Sarah Jessica Parker remembered Haim's staying over many times with her and her then boyfriend Downey Jr. who taught him how to apply hair mousse, saying: "He was naturally gifted and a real charmer I adored him."

Haim recalled:

I was ten, and I'll never forget we went to like a crew party and my mom and dad were like dancing with other people and it was rocky; and I just started crying, whatever, and I remember Sarah pulling me outside with Robert. And Robert said, you're comin' to live with me. And the next thing I remember I was in their car and we were walking, we went back to their place, and in their bedroom upstairs in this New York loft, they just cleaned everything out and put a blue lightbulb in there for me and a mattress and everything, and I lived there for a month and a half two months, with him and Sarah.

In 1991, Haim starred in Dream Machine, which received a direct-to-video release, as did Oh, What a Night and The Double 0 Kid, in which the young Seth Green had a role. Green recalled his experiences working with Haim:


We started to shoot and he was complaining of stomach pains and eventually wound up leaving, we couldn't shoot anything and I was really upset. I was such a defender of him, then to have him act the way people were accusing him of was really disheartening. Then they reset everything to shoot and he was just immeasurably professional that day. Just all over the place, working way above and beyond, busting his ass, knew all his lines, hittin' his marks really sharp, and elevating it. As much as you could elevate The Double O Kid, elevating it. He was this duality of incredibly sweet and earnest professional who really loved performing, and this tortured drug addict that could be an entirely different person depending on where he was with his addiction.

In a 2004 interview published in The Sun, Haim said:

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.

Feldman later said of Haim: "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." Able to poke fun at himself, Haim made a cameo appearance in David Spade's Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, a film about a former child star, which included an array of actual former child stars, including Feldman. Haim also appeared in spoof horror movie The Back Lot Murders, alongside Priscilla Barnes.


Haim later spoke further on Larry King Live about his period out of the spotlight, stating that he did not leave his apartment for three and a half years, and ballooned to 302 pounds.

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.

By 2004, Haim appeared to have overcome his drug habit after his mother persuaded him to return to Toronto with her and resettle there. In response to a "where are they now?" query, he said: "I'm clean, sober, humble and happy.

On February 7, 2008, Haim ran a paid ad in the Hollywood trade publication Variety alongside a full-page photo, stating:


"This is not a stunt. I'm back. I'm ready to work. I'm ready to make amends"

Corey Feldman spoke with Larry King on the day of Haim's death, saying:

He was his own enemy. I mean, look, a lot of people that are artists tend to be their own worst enemy because we're passionate people... Most recently he's been, honestly, in the best frame of mind that he's ever been in, in the past year.

Feldman added that Haim had died "very destitute" and alone.


Haim died with very little money, and his mother initially announced that the cost of his funeral would be covered by public funds provided by the city of Toronto as is customary in destitute cases. However, city officials stated that no paperwork had been submitted by the family, who entreated fans to help provide for the burial in an online appeal for funds. A $20,000 contribution was made by a memorabilia site to which Haim had sold items over the years, but the company later canceled the cheque after it emerged that the funeral home had stepped in to cover the costs from the outset. Haim's personal effects were put up for auction on eBay by a cast member from A Time to Live, whose listings claimed that the family had asked him to sell the items as they needed money for burial expenses.


A private Jewish funeral ceremony took place on March 16, 2010, at Steeles Memorial Chapel, in Thornhill, Ontario. Both his parents attended, along with 200 friends and family. A dozen fans waited outside. In an open letter written to Haim on the day, Corey Feldman stated his wish to stay away to minimize publicity for the family, saying, "I always feared this day would come."


Haim was buried at Pardes Shalom Cemetery in Maple, Ontario.

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