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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Thursday June 20, 2013 08:10AM EDT
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- November 13, 2000
- Vol. 54
- No. 20
Back in Tune
After Drugs Ruined His Teen-Idol Career, Former Lost Boy Corey Feldman Hits a New High (Note) with His Band
Luckily even cautionary tales can have a hopeful epilogue. While still struggling to get better TV and film parts, Feldman has been clean and sober for almost 10 years and is now trying to put all those washed-up-child-star jokes behind him. "As with most people who hit success in their teens, he's had his scars, but he's basically a very soulful person," says friend Rick Springfield, his co-star in a 1998 TV movie.
He's also eager to prove himself as a musician. The newly formed Corey Feldman Band embarks on a month-long tour of 1,000- to 1,500-seat clubs Nov. 1, and, says Feldman, "I think people will be surprised."
It wouldn't be the first time. Though Feldman was a successful child star his life was in turmoil from early on. Born in Reseda, Calif., the second of four kids of entrepreneur Robert and his wife, Sheila, who divorced when he was 11, Feldman was acting not by choice, he says, but because his parents forced him to. He began smoking marijuana and drinking at 14, while making Stand by Me. At the same time, he says he discovered that his parents had spent all but $40,000 of the $1 million he had earned up till then. (Robert Feldman denies the allegations.)
Director-producer Richard Donner, who worked with Feldman on 1985's The Goonies and 1987's The Lost Boys, still recalls being stunned when he heard about Feldman's family life. "I never realized the degree Corey was suffering," he says. "He never let anybody know."
Though film roles for Feldman, who was granted legal emancipation at 15, kept coming, his drug problems got worse. When he was stopped in March 1990 for speeding, heroin and cocaine were found in his car. "I felt like the biggest scumball piece of crap," he says. Two drug arrests later, Feldman checked into a rehab center for 10 months in 1991. Meanwhile, his marriage to actress Vanessa Marcil, whom he met and wed in 1989, was falling apart. They divorced in 1993.
Determined to rebuild his life—and pay his $200,000 legal and tax bills—he worked on movies like Meatballs 4 and Bordello of Blood, which flopped, and two TV series that never took off. In debt and depressed, Feldman, a self-taught musician, poured his emotions into a self-financed, largely autobiographical 1999 album, Still Searching for Soul, with the band Truth Movement. Says his friend, Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott: "It was more of a statement than an attempt to crack the charts."
In a way, so is the tour. After it's over he'll return to his comfortable two-story home in the San Fernando Valley and continue recording a solo album. He is also trying to sell a TV talk show about relationship problems. Which is only fitting for someone who's definitely had his share. "I've had probably some of the darkest, most depressing times anybody could imagine, but in the end I'm a positive guy," says the actor, who dates a model-actress he won't name. "I'm happy and I'm positive about the future."
Julie K.L. Dam
Mark Dagostino in Los Angeles
- Mark Dagostino.
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