This month has been so busy, that I almost forgot to take a moment to remember the death anniversary of one of my all-time favorite actors.
Brad Renfro’s Big Bopper pics were once plastered upon all of my walls. He was the object of dozens of diary entries. He gave me hope that I would one day be discovered while shopping for peace sign earrings at Claires. His performance in Sleepeers was the reason I never tried to steal a hot dog cart from a vendor.
He first gained my attention as the kid who befriended an AIDS kid in “The Cure.”
He stole my heart as Huckleberry Finn starring opposite of Jonathon Taylor Thomas in the 1995 film “Tom and Huck.”
In 1998, when he began showing up in the news for accounts of drug use and theft, and he caused my heart to ache. By 2000, the tabloids portrayed him looking skungy and bloated-and helped to provide me with evidence that drugs could actually be really bad for you.
By 2005, it was pretty much common assumption that Brad Renfro had gone full-blown heroine junky.
It shouldn’t have been a huge surprise to me when he was found dead on January 15, 2005 from a heroine overdose-but it still affected me more deeply than any other celebrity death had at that point.
I felt that he had really let me down. I always hoped he would eventually turn things around.
He also proved that I haven’t always been the excellent judge of character that I pride myself on these days.
I recently found this tribute, written by me in the 6th grade.