Corey Haim Passes Away at Age 38
by Britt Hayes
Actor Corey Haim was found unresponsive in his Burbank apartment this morning as a result of a possible unintentional drug overdose. He was rushed to nearby Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. Attempts to resuscitate him failed, and he was pronounced dead at 2:15 this morning.
Haim was one half of the “two Coreys” with friend and fellow child actor, Corey Feldman. They starred together in the film that made them both famous – The Lost Boys. But before The Lost Boys, Haim got his start on the Canadian television show The Edison Twins, followed by films like Secret Admirer, Silver Bullet, and my favorite: the 1986 tearjerker, Lucas.
In Lucas, Haim played the titular character – a scrawny, endearing nerd whose two best friends Cappie (The captain of the football team who sees past Lucas’ exterior, what are the odds?) and school newcomer Maggie (Who Lucas is in love with), fall in love with each other. Cappie becomes Lucas’ rival, and Lucas has to prove himself against Cappie in the big football game at the end. I won’t spoil the end for you, but this film pioneered the epic “slow clap” and will have you bawling for days.
After Lucas, Haim teamed up with Feldman for their most notorious film, The Lost Boys, co-starring Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Jami Gertz, Edward Hermann, and Alex Winter. The Lost Boys is a classic horror film that we all know and cherish, and although Haim and Feldman’s roles are small, they are iconic. Haim plays younger brother Sam to Jason Patric’s Mike, who falls in with a group of biker vampires and falls in love with the beautiful Star. Sam befriends Edgar and Alan Frog (Feldman and Jamison Newlander), brothers who are obsessed with comic books and claim to be vampire-hunters. The three friends band together to help Mike defeat the vampires, led by David (Kiefer Sutherland with a wicked mullet).
Following The Lost Boys, Haim and Feldman starred in an additional 8 movies together, including Dream a Little Dream, License to Drive, National Lampoon’s Last Resort (One of my late-night favorites as a kid. It’s a terrible film, but I loved it because it had nudity and I wasn’t supposed to watch it), and the recent direct-to-DVD sequel, Lost Boys: The Tribe.
Haim and Feldman also starred together in a short-lived A&E Network series, The Two Coreys, focusing on the trials and tribulations of their adult friendship. Sadly, both stars had become former child star stereotypes and succumbed to drug addictions. Feldman gained sobriety, but Haim continued to relapse time after time. At his worst, Haim was volatile and weighed 302 pounds, but during a 2007 interview with CNN‘s Larry King, Haim said he was back down to 150 pounds and surrounded by a network of support, and admitted “I think I have an addiction to pretty much everything,” and said he was “a chronic relapser” for the rest of his life.
Soon after, Haim and Feldman parted ways again. Feldman and his wife shunned Haim and his lifestyle, and the two friends were inevitably at odds once more. There’s been no word on whether Haim and Feldman were talking again before Haim’s overdose and untimely death.
I can sit here and continue to recount his film roles and his fights with Feldman, like I have above. But every other site seems to have that market cornered. Truth be told, I’m genuinely sad about his passing. When I was a little girl, my mom bought me magazines like Tiger Beat and Bop. Inside were interviews with dreamy teen idols and fact sheets on them including their favorite ice cream and color. In these pages, I fell even deeper in love with heartthrobs like the Savage brothers (Ben and Fred!), Rider Strong, Devon Sawa, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, and yes, Corey Haim. I, like most other girls, called Haim “the cute Corey”. For some reason there was an aversion to Corey Feldman. Watching his stints on VH1 shows over the years, that aversion makes perfect sense. I think we all knew there was a douchey evil that lurked within Mr. Feldman.
Hidden between the pages of those hallowed teen magazines were fold out posters you could tape to your wall. Sometimes at the grocery store, I’d do the forbidden and peek at the posters when deciding which magazine to buy. I hated the Lawrence brothers (Joey and Matthew), but I loved the Savage brothers and Corey Haim. I could never have too many posters of him. My mom made fun of me for liking him. I think She was more interested in Brad Pitt. Hanging up those posters was like a ritual to me. You had to take the poster out of the magazine slowly, freeing it from the staples that bound the pages together, working carefully so as not to rip the face of your future husband. I realize that by spilling my guts to you guys about these teen magazines, you’ll probably end up teasing me mercilessly, but this was me at age 10. No excuses.
Within months of starting this new obsession, my walls were covered with posters of these boys. I would sit in front of my vanity, put on my makeup, and pretend that I was getting ready to meet them. When I met them, I thought, I would have all these things I planned on saying that would instantly woo them. They would fall head over heels for me, and naturally, they’d ask me to marry them. On the top of my soon-to-be list was Corey Haim. I knew what food he liked, his favorite books, and the smells he hated. Looking back on this now, I realize I was something of a miniature stalker, and these magazines probably aren’t very healthy for little girls. They seem to cultivate and perpetuate the stereotypical female and male roles, but when you’re 10 years old, feminist ideals seem awfully grown up and boring.
I would take quizzes to see who I was most compatible with, then I’d peek at the answers so I could change my own, and thus become matched romantically by this official teen magazine score card with my ideal mate. What color of lipstick do you wear? I might answer pink, but if the proper answer to win Corey was the appalling “Coral”, I’d change my mind for him. I was into Paula Abdul, but if his answer was Michael Jackson, I’d make that my answer too. There was plenty of time to really get to know each other after we were married, right? After all, Tiger Beat was THE foremost authority on dreamboats like Corey, and if they said we were a match, we must have been a match. I don’t know what kind of logic this was, but it seemed cement to me at the time.
My posters were all covered with lipstick kisses, circling the heads of Corey and Ben and Fred like little halos. I would get dressed up and sing Paula Abdul ballads to them using my hairbrush as a microphone. I would give them private concerts, showcasing my incredible singing and dancing talents, and dedicating every song to them. Afterwards, I’d kiss them good night and go to bed, snuggled close to my teddy bear. Our love was an innocent love.
As the years went on and the posters came down, replaced by Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails, Tori Amos, Courtney Love, and Shirley Manson, I never forgot my first love. I watched him resurface in the news, addicted to drugs and not looking so hot. My heart broke a little for him, and for me, and for all the girls who pledged their undying love to Corey posters. I wanted him to get better and be the same Corey I knew and loved, but coming from a family filled with addicts and alcoholics, I knew this wasn’t likely. Stories like his only end in heartbreak.
Corey Haim was more than just a child actor turned bad. He was the first childhood love of many girls. No one deserves to die alone, in a shitty Burbank apartment complex, of an overdose. Those drugs were his mortal enemy, and they took his life. I know too well from personal experience what it feels like to lose a loved one to addiction, to find their body laying on a floor, alone, dead from the one thing you couldn’t save them from: themselves. I may not have known Corey Haim very well outside of his likes and dislikes, but I’m well-acquainted with his addiction and the end result – and those things are spoken in a universal language.
RIP, Corey Haim. You will be missed.
And now, back to regularly scheduled programming.