HOLLYWOOD -- Many former child stars of the 1980s have taken to Twitter and to their blogs to express sympathy over the death of former teen actor and heartthrob Corey Haim, who died today at age 38.
Haim's death seems to have touched a nerve with former child actors who rose to fame in the 1980s and came of age at the same time Haim went from "Lost Boy" to struggling adult actor, beaten down by years of drug addiction and money woes.
Iconic stars of the era, such as Ralph Macchio ("The Karate Kid") and Melissa Gilbert ("Little House on the Prairie") have all taken to Twitter to voice their feelings. Haim reportedly dated actress Alyssa Milano during his meteoric rise to fame. Milano wrote on her Twitter page this morning, "Just woke up to the sad, sad news that Corey Haim passed away. RIP sweet boy." Actress Christina Applegate also tweeted her reaction. "My thoughts go out to Corey's family and friends today. So sad."
While both actresses are former child stars -- Applegate played Kelly Bundy on "Married with Children" while Milano played Samantha Micelli on "Who's the Boss?" -- both have made the tough transition to adult acting careers.
The struggles of other former child actors including Andrew Koenig and Mackenzie Phillips in recent months have spotlighted the difficultly of life after fame: Depression, drug abuse and in some cases, suicide.
The young actor garnered positive reviews for the film "Lucas" in 1986 but Hollywood struck gold by pairing him with fellow child star Corey Feldman in such films as "The Lost Boys" and "License to Drive."
Haim's career stalled in the 1990s. He appearing in just a few straight-to-video releases and focused on a music career. In the 2000s, fans were shocked to see the actor looking overweight with blurred features, talking frankly about losing his money, his career and his fight with cocaine and painkillers.
On the reality show "My Two Coreys," Haim appeared emotional and distraught much of the time and desperate to reignite his career. In one episode, Haim cried when he was informed by Feldman that there would be a sequel to the smash star-making 1987 film "The Lost Boys" - and that Haim would not be a part of it. After negotiating a role in the film, the actor was struggled with lines and battled drug abuse during filming.
Feldman posted a statement on his blog calling the former co-star would a brother and best friend and "a tragic loss of a wonderful, beautiful, tormented soul."