10 Best Wild Child Actors

Sunday, March 6 by Audrey Johnson

The ten best wild child actors displayed brilliant talent in front of cameras, but an uncanny ability for getting into trouble when they stopped rolling. Drugs, alcohol, homelessness, fights, arrests; these actors experienced it all. Some were able to pull themselves up and back onto screens while others drifted into the sunset of child actor has-beens.

  1. Drew Barrymore. She’s one of the few actresses who managed to parlay a child acting career into an adult one, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t hiccups along the way. Her alcohol and drug abuse started quite young, and at one point seemed on the verge of breaking her. Barrymore’s crazy childhood and obvious acting talent make her one of the ten best wild child actors.
  2. Corey Haim. This child actor was pretty open about his drug abuse before his surprising and tragic death in 2010. After having a few hits as a child he pretty much disappeared from the screen. For the children of the 80’s though, he is, and always will be, one crazy wild child actor.
  3. Jason Bateman. Like Barrymore, Bateman somehow managed to stay on the top despite his acting and drug abuse. During his youth his immense talent awed audiences while today it’s his dry humor that draws moviegoers to his films like moths to a flame. Due to his crazy teen years, Bateman is one of the best out-of-control actors of all time.
  4. Valerie Bertinelli. This recently-wed actress is famous for having been married to rock legend Eddie Van Halen and having one of the most public divorces in history. Despite reinventing herself time and again during her youth, Bertinelli never was able to shake her image of a wild child.
  5. Danny Bonaduce. Bonaduce is perhaps the best example of a good kid taking the wrong path. Alcohol and drug abuse and even homelessness mark this actor’s child, teen and young adult years. He is one of the wildest child actors of all time.
  6. Macaulay Culkin. His image as the beloved innocent child carried him along until his eighteenth birthday when he got married. The shortness of that marriage and the swiftness with which it was followed by an engagement peaked the public’s interest. But it was perhaps his arrest for posession of marijuana and prescription drugs that proved he was a wild one. Culkin is one of the best wild child actors of Hollywood, and not just for his on-screen antics.
  7. Shannen Doherty. This wild girl only became known as such during the height of her "Beverly Hills 902010" fame. Fights, month-long marriages and drunk driving arrests dotted her adulthood, making her as interesting to watch now as she was then. Doherty is one wild child actor!
  8. Dustin Diamond. Three years younger than the other “Saved by the Bell” cast members, Diamond was definitely the baby on the set. But when Dustin released a porn movie to raise enough funds to save his house, fans started to see him for the crazy guy he is.
  9. Brian Bonsall. Remember the youngest kid in “Family Ties”? Well, imagine him six feet tall with a tattoo around his neck. Now, imagine him being arrested for assaulting his girlfriend and a police officer. Yep, Bonsall is one crazy child actor, but that kid sure made audiences smile in the 80's.
  10. Jodie Sweetin. She was a sweetheart on camera, but when they stopped rolling she willingly delved into a nightmare lifestyle. Sweetin eventually opened up about her serious drug abuse, and what it took for her to become sober. Even so, Sweetin is one of the best crazy child actors.