Actor Corey Feldman starred in such iconic 1980s films as ‘Gremlins,’ ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Stand by Me’ and ‘The Lost Boys’ as a teenager, before his well-documented struggles with substance abuse.
Who Is Corey Feldman?
Born in 1971 in Los Angeles, actor Corey Feldman surfaced in his first TV commercial at age 3. After appearing on shows like Mork & Mindy, he became a fixture in iconic 1980s films like The Goonies and The Lost Boys, the latter marking the first of several roles alongside fellow teen heartthrob Corey Haim. Feldman struggled to regain his footing as he battled drug addiction in the late 1980s and '90s, later reuniting with Haim in 2007 for the reality show The Two Coreys. In 2013 he published his memoir, Coreyography.
Actor Corey Feldman was born on July 16, 1971, in Los Angeles, California. Feldman was the second of five children born to Sheila Feldman, a former Playboy bunny, and Bob Feldman, a songwriter and music producer. The cherubic-cheeked Feldman landed his first professional acting job in a McDonald's television commercial at the age of 3, launching his career as a child star.
Feldman worked ceaselessly throughout his youth, which he later said was his parents' choice and not his own. He appeared in more than 100 commercials and 50 television shows, including Mork & Mindy, Eight is Enough and Cheers. His burgeoning career also helped those of his parents, who went on to found their own talent agencies.
Film Stardom: 'Gremlins' to 'The Lost Boys'
Corey Feldman made his big screen debut in Born Again (1978), and he followed with another brief appearance in Time After Time (1979). His film career gained momentum in 1984 with Friday the 13th: Final Chapter, and soon he was starring in a string of beloved movies from the era, including Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985) and Stand by Me (1986).
In 1987, Feldman starred in The Lost Boys with fellow teen star Corey Haim. The film became a cult classic, and the two actors were hyped endlessly as co-teen heartthrobs. The two friends appeared in several films together before parting ways professionally in the 1990s, "tired of the 'Corey Mania,'" as Feldman later recalled.
Despite his professional success, Feldman's personal life was deeply troubled. He later claimed his parents beat him ("I couldn't be abused too badly when I was working because they didn't want me to have bruises," he later told an interviewer) and he became legally emancipated from them at the age of 15.
Feldman began drinking and smoking pot while filming Stand by Me, and his experimentation with drugs soon spiraled into full-blown addiction. In 1990, he was arrested for heroin possession, and following more drug arrests, he checked in for a 10-month stint in rehab in 1991. His marriage to actress Vanessa Marcil, whom he married in 1989, ended in divorce in 1993.
By the early 1990s, facing some $200,000 in legal and tax bills, Feldman worked to rebuild his life. He took a string of small parts in B movies and television shows, making his directing debut in 1997 with the raunchy comedy Busted. A self-taught musician, Feldman in 1994 released his first solo album, Love Left. He followed in 1999 with Still Searching for Soul, with his band, Truth Movement.
Not long after meeting student Susie Sprague at a nightclub, Feldman in October 2002 married his new love on the set of The Surreal Life, a reality television show that placed an assortment of past-their-prime celebrities in a house together. The wedding ceremony was officiated by both a rabbi (Feldman is Jewish) and fellow Surreal Life star MC Hammer. The couple had their first child, son Zen Scott Feldman, in August 2004.
'The Two Coreys'
In 2007, Corey Feldman and Corey Haim reunited for the A&E reality television series The Two Coreys. During the show, both men confessed that they had been sexually abused as boys. Haim relapsed into drug addiction shortly after that revelation, leading to a bitter on- and off-camera falling-out between the former friends. Feldman refused to continue filming until Haim sought treatment, and their friendship disintegrated.
Haim died in March 2010 at the age of 38. It was initially suspected he had overdosed on drugs, but an investigation into his death revealed that he had died of natural causes. "This is a tragic loss of a wonderful, beautiful, tormented soul, who will always be my brother, family, and best friend," Feldman said in a statement after Haim's death.
Back in the News
After enduring the loss of both his old friend and his wife—Susie filed for divorce in October 2009, citing irreconcilable differences—Feldman tried to press forward with his professional career. In 2012, he appeared in The Zombie King and on the British reality TV competition Skating With the Stars, and the following year he released his memoir, Coreyography. Feldman also found happiness in his domestic life, marrying girlfriend Courtney Anne Mitchell in 2016.
Around this time, the actor began speaking out more about sexual assault and other predatory behavior in Hollywood. In late 2017, he named two men who had taken advantage of him when he was younger, and said he would fulfill a promise to Haim by naming his old friend's assailant, as well.
In January 2018, Feldman saw the story of his life and shared experiences with Haim dramatized in the Lifetime original movie A Tale of Two Coreys.