Who Was Corey Haim?
Corey Haim earned acclaim for early acting roles in films like Firstborn, A Time to Live, Silver Bullet and Lucas. In 1987, he featured in the teen vampire film The Lost Boys, which marked his first pairing with Corey Feldman. His fame waning in the 1990s, Haim struggled with addiction.
Corey Ian Haim was born on December 23, 1971, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the son of middle-class parents Judy and Bernie Haim. A shy child, he was encouraged to take acting classes to help develop his confidence. More interested in sports and comic books—he was considering a career as a professional hockey player—Haim at first didn't see a future in acting. However, after watching his older sister, Carol, audition for roles, Corey decided to try his hand at landing a professional gig.
Haim began appearing in commercials by age 10, and he soon scored his first big role on the Canadian series The Edison Twins, which aired from 1982 to 1986. In the meantime, his parents divorced. Haim took the separation hard, clinging to his professional life.
Breakout Roles: 'Firstborn' and 'A Time to Live'
Haim made his big-screen debut in Firstborn (1984), garnering a Young Artist Award nomination for his work alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. A slew of roles followed in 1985: Along with minor parts in Secret Admirer and Murphy's Romance, Haim starred in Stephen King's Silver Bullet, as a paraplegic, and the TV film A Time to Live, as a boy with muscular dystrophy, for which he claimed a Young Artist win. During this time, Haim and his family decided to move to Los Angeles to further his film career.
'Lucas' and 'The Lost Boys'
Haim garnered more acclaim after taking on the title role in the teen dramedy Lucas (1986), which included fellow up-and-comers Charlie Sheen and Winona Ryder in the cast. The young actor also had his first encounter with drugs and alcohol around this time, later confessing to tabloid magazines that he began drinking beer on the Lucas set. This would begin an ugly spiral into drug addiction that led to marijuana, cocaine and eventually crack.
Haim's attempt to return to television in the mismatched-roommate series Roomies, alongside Burt Young, lasted all of eight episodes in 1987. However, that same year he enjoyed a featured role in the Joel Schumacher vampire film The Lost Boys, which also starred Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman. A hit with fans and critics, the film launched Haim into the realm of teen heartthrob, along with his new friend Feldman, with whom he would go on to star in seven separate features.
In 1988, Haim joined Feldman for the teen comedy License to Drive, before starring the horror film Watchers. Haim and Feldman next appeared together in Dream a Little Dream (1989), with Jason Robards. That same year, in response to speculations about his heavy drug use, Haim released a video documentary about his life entitled Corey Haim: Me, Myself, and I. The film portrayed a squeaky-clean Haim engaging in wholesome, family-friendly activities and speculating about his future aspirations.
Haim continued to star in films like Prayer of the Rollerboys (1990) and Dream Machine (1990), but his fame waned as the decade progressed, and, after another spell in rehab, he was placed on prescription drugs. This led to a more serious addiction to Valium—Haim later said he was taking upwards of 85 pills per day—and a serious weight gain. The actor claimed he weighed nearly 300 pounds at one point, and reportedly also suffered a stroke.
'The Two Coreys'
After more than a decade of roles in straight-to-video releases like Dream a Little Dream 2 (1995) and The Backlot Murders (2002), Haim signed on for the A&E series The Two Coreys, which investigated the modern lives of Feldman and Haim. Debuting in 2007, the reality show featured the longtime friends and co-stars discussing their problems and checkered pasts with a therapist, and attempting to revive their shattered friendship. The Two Coreys aired for 19 episodes before its cancellation in 2008.
Death and Later News
On March 10, 2010, Haim was found unresponsive in an Oakwood, California, apartment. He was then rushed to a Burbank, California, hospital, where he was officially declared dead. He was 38 years old. Some initially suspected he had overdosed on drugs, but an investigation into his death revealed that he had died of natural causes. A heart problem and pneumonia were among the contributing factors in his death.
In later years, Feldman elaborated on how both he and his friend endured sexual assault as teenagers in Hollywood, first discussed in The Two Coreys. In 2017, reports surfaced that Charlie Sheen had forced himself on her son while filming Lucas, a charge the actor vehemently denied. Haim's mother later accused actor Dominick Brascia of being the one who abused her son.
In early 2017, Lifetime presented the original movie A Tale of Two Coreys, a dramatized version of the lives of Haim and Feldman through their rise to fame as Hollywood heartthrobs and drug-fueled struggles to find stability.
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