Brad Renfro made his film debut when he was 12, in The Client, one of the top grossing films of 1994. Renfro went on to act in several other films, but by 1998, he started to make headlines for trouble with the law instead of for his movie successes. Arrests for drugs and other offenses culminated on January 15, 2008, when Renfro was found dead at his home from a heroin overdose.
Actor. Brad Barron Renfro was born July 25, 1982, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was the son of Angela and Mark Renfro, who worked in a blueprint factory. After his parents divorced in 1987, Renfo was raised in East Knoxville by his grandmother, Joanne Renfro, a church secretary. His mother remarried and moved to Michigan. Renfro was ten when he was discovered by casting director Mali Finn, thanks to a tip from a Knoxville police officer. Renfo had just played a drug dealer in a school production about the dangers of drugs, sponsored by Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE).
Renfro made his film debut when he was 12, opposite Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in The Client, directed by Joel Schumacher. It became one of the top grossing films of 1994 and Susan Sarandon was nominated for an Oscar. Renfro also played Huck Finn in Tom and Huck (1995) with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. In 1996 he was cast as the young Michael Sullivan for Sleepers. The film was based on the story of Lorenzo Carcaterra's childhood in Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan and the highly traumatic time he spent in a juvenile detention centre.
Renfro went on to act in other films, including Apt Pupil (1998), Deuces Wild (2002) Ghost World (2001), Bully (2001), Deuces Wild (2002) and The Jacket (2005) with Keira Knightley and Adrien Brody. He also appeared in an episode of TV's Law & Order: Criminal Intent in January 2006. He also had a role in the movie The Informers, a film adaptation of a Bret Easton Ellis novel that stars Winona Ryder and Billy Bob Thornton.
For several years, however, Renfro was better known for his trouble with the law than for acting. In 1998, Renfro was charged with cocaine and marijuana possession, but avoided jail time in a plea deal. Two years later, Renfro and a friend tried to steal a 45- yacht in Florida. He was placed on probation and ordered to pay $4,000 for repairs. In 2001, Renfro was ordered into alcohol rehabilitation for underage drinking and violating the terms of his probation. After one court appearance, Renfro talked to reporters about rehabilitation, saying he was "tired of paying the consequences" for drinking and drug use and eager to get clean. However, in 2005, he was arrested in L.A.'s Skid Row area for attempting to buy heroin from an undercover officer. He served 10 days in jail in May 2006.
Actor Brad Renfro, best known for his role in the legal thriller The Client (1994) was found dead on January 15, 2008 at his home in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Coroner's office ruled that Renfro's death was accidental heroin overdose. He was 25 years old.
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