Corey Haim reached peak popularity in the late 1980s, appearing in The Lost Boys,
License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream. His friendship and on-screen
collaboration with actor Corey Feldman was widely publicized during the late
1980s and the pair were dubbed "the two Coreys". Both starred in a number of
widely released and financially successful films,
Corey Haim's career took a different direction in the 1990s when he appeared in numerous direct-to-video films and had an on-going battle with drugs as well as numerous problems in his personal and professional life. In August 2001, Haim suffered a drug induced stroke and briefly fell into a coma. After being in and out of rehab fifteen times, he is reported to have been drug free since 2004.
Corey Haim was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Bernie Haim, a Francophone Jewish-Canadian sales representative, and Judy, an Israeli-born computer operator. Haim was enlisted in acting lessons by his mother in an attempt to help him overcome his shyness. Haim, not particularly fascinated by acting, practiced other hobbies such as ice hockey, playing music on his keyboard and collecting comic books.
It was actually his older sister, Carol, who got him initially interested in the notion of acting. She brought him along when auditioning for a film role. At a young age, Haim would appear in several television commercials. At 11, his parents divorced after 18 years of marriage.
Haim first broke into mainstream acting playing the role of Larry in the Canadian family oriented comedy television series, The Edison Twins, which ran from 1982 through until 1986. Haim made his first theatrical appearance in the 1984 film, Firstborn, which also starred now well-known actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr.
In 1985, Corey Haim appeared in minor roles in Secret Admirer and Murphy's Romance and starred in the leading role in a film version of Stephen King's novella, Silver Bullet, playing a a paralytic boy alongside actor Gary Busey. Haim started to make a name for himself in the industry, notably by earning his first Young Artist Award as an Exceptional Young Actor Starring in a Television Special or Movie of the Week for the television movie A Time to Live.
Corey Haim's major break was in 1986, billed as the main star alongside Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen and Winona Ryder in the popular film Lucas. Haim would receive a nomination for an Exceptional Performance by a Young Actor Starring in a Feature Film - Comedy or Drama at the Young Artist Awards for his role as the title character. Film critic Roger Ebert raved about Haim's performance, commenting that he "creates one of the most three-dimensional, complicated, interesting characters of any age in any recent movie. If he can continue to act this well, he will never become a half-forgotten child star, but will continue to grow into an important actor. He is that good." Following the success of Lucas, Haim starred in the 1987 television series, Roomies.
Haim had a large role in Joel Schumacher's vampire film, The Lost Boys, alongside Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland. The film, which made $32,222,567 domestically, was well received and Haim, as well as gaining more renown, formed his famous partnership with fellow teenage actor Corey Feldman. The performance also earned him another Young Artist Award nomination as Best Young Male Superstar in a Motion Picture.
In 1988, Corey Haim starred in two more widely released films, License to Drive, a financially successful teen comedy which again co-starred Corey Feldman as well as a young Heather Graham and the horror film based on the Dean R. Koontz novel Watchers, which was a financial disappointment. Haim won his second Young Artist Award, tying Corey Feldman for the Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Fantasy award for License to Drive.
The two Coreys had become a popular on screen collaboration, following two successful films the pair would meet again in 1989, when Haim appeared in the film Dream a Little Dream. The film received mixed reviews and grossed only $5,552,441, notably less than Haim's previous affairs. Despite it's failure at the box office, the film gained some what of a cult following. That same year, amid much-publicized rumors of a serious drug problem, Haim released a self-promotional video documentary entitled Corey Haim: Me, Myself, and I in an attempt to challenge these rumors which were proving to be detrimental to his image and his creditability as a teenage role model. In the video he is shown taking part in wholesome family activities and discussing his career and ambitions.
His next film, The Dream Machine was the first of many direct-to-video films that Haim would make in the 1990s. His last theatrical release would come in 1991, the film Prayer of the Rollerboys was only released in 60 theatres and had a low box office gross. Haim dated several high-profile actresses during the early part of the 1990s, including Alyssa Milano whom was seen with Haim as early as 1987, Nicole Eggert and Victoria Beckham. He was briefly engaged to Eggert. Although he had a steady amount of low-budget work in the early to mid-1990s, drug addiction was beginning to seriously impede his career.
As Corey Haim's problems started to become more apparent, his career began a downward trajectory. He continued making direct to video films, including Blown Away (also starring Corey Feldman), The Double 0 Kid and Oh, What a Night. His Blown Away co-star and former girlfriend, Nicole Eggert, commented that "Haim was so messed up on drugs that it would mean waiting hours between scenes. A fouróweek shoot turned into a couple of months". In 1993, Haim was charged for pulling out a fake handgun during a dispute with his business manager, although the charges were later reduced from felony to misdemeanor. Later that year he stared in a full motion video game called Double Switch, which was released for the Sega CD and later for the Sega Saturn, as well as for the home computer. The next two years Haim would release low budget sequels to two of his older films, in 1994, Fast Getaway II was released along with National Lampoon's Last Resort, the following year, releasing Life 101 and another sequel, Dream a Little Dream 2 with Corey Feldman, none achieved any huge success.
In 1996 Corey Haim celebrated his engagement to Holly Fields, which did not last, as well as starring in four more direct to video films; Snowboard Academy, Busted with Corey Feldman (their last film collaboration), Demolition High and Fever Lake but further problems arose when he was sued by Lloyds of London for $375,000 after pulling out of the film Paradise Bar because of drug problems, which he had failed to mention on the insurance form. After releasing both Never Too Late and the sequel to Demolition High, Demolition University which he also produced, he filed for bankruptcy in 1997. According to the bankruptcy report, he had $100,000 outstanding to the IRS, $100,000 in debts, and his assets included $100 dollars cash, $750 dollars worth of clothing, a red 1987 BMW and a $31,000 pension fund.
In 1999, Corey Haim was again involved in controversy, as a string of allegations arose with then girlfriend Cindy Guyer, a former Playboy model. Haim's film roles were scarce since 1997, and apart from playing a minor role in a television version of Merlin, Haim would not work as an actor again until 2000.
Haim returned to the industry with a major role in another direct to video film, Without Malice, with Jennifer Beals and Craig Sheffer. The next year, he appeared in the film The Back Lot Murders alongside Priscilla Barnes. He became the subject of an E! True Hollywood Story in 2001, which detailed the extent of his drug addiction. Corey Feldman, who had overcome his own drug habit, spoke of how he had tried to intervene with the troubled actor. At this stage, Haim was living with his mother in a sparsely furnished one-bedroom apartment over a garage in Santa Monica. On August 10 2001, Haim suffered a drug induced stroke. He was found by his mother, who franticly called an ambulance. Haim was rushed to the UCLA medical center, where he briefly fell into a coma. A family friend would later comment that "He looked like he was already dead by the time the ambulance got there." He had to leave the hospital early because he had no health insurance. Haim's last major appearence was a cameo role in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. The film is about a former child star who did not live a normal childhood; it featured a range of other former child stars, including Haim's old friend Corey Feldman.
"I was working on The Lost Boys (1987) when I smoked my first joint. But a year before that, I was starting to drink beer on the set of the film Lucas (1986). I lived in Los Angeles in the '80s, which was not the best place to be. I did cocaine for about a year and a half, then it led to crack. I started on the downers which were a hell of a lot better than the uppers because I was a nervous wreck. But one led to two, two led to four, four led to eight, until at the end it was about 85 a day - the doctors could not believe I was taking that much. And that was just the valium - I'm not talking about the other pills I went through".
Having been in and out of rehab over fifteen times, Haim appeared to have finally gotten rid of his drug habit by 2004, after resettling in Toronto. The Irish band, The Thrills, released a single, "Whatever happened to Corey Haim?", in September 2004. In response to an investigation by The Sun newspaper during the single's release into what exactly had happened to Haim, he responded: "I'm clean, sober, humble and happy". Haim is optimistic of returning to the film industry and has an ambition to be nominated for an Academy Award.
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