03/10/10 — Another sad tale: Behind the Hollywood glamour are stories of lost souls.

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Another sad tale: Behind the Hollywood glamour are stories of lost souls.

Another day and another story of a former child star who has died under mysterious circumstances.

Corey Haim has not been in the spotlight, not really, for years, after a somewhat hot streak as an young actor.

He was found this week, dead at 38. No news yet on the circumstances, but there are many who have suggested he has been in trouble for years.

And he is not alone.

There are many, many stories of young Hollywood stars who lose their signature roles and find that it is not so easy to capture the next gig or to build a career. They do not know how to handle the life change or how to shift gears and find a new job.

So for every dew-faced young ingenue, there are hundreds of almost famous or temporarily famous stars who end up as adults with nowhere to turn and no conception of how their lives turned into something less than wonderful.

And that is the sad and somewhat seedy world that so many people find themselves in in the entertainment business. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme for most, and fame can be fleeting and damaging when combined with the temptations of drugs and alcohol.

Many people who watch their performances forget they are real people with real lives and real feelings. And that can lead to even more disappointment when a popular performer is not popular anymore.

There are still plenty of parents who push their children into the entertainment business and then forget to pay attention to where it leads.

How sad we have so lost so much young talent simply because an industry used it up and because there is no real mechanism in place to protect these child stars after the spotlight has been turned off.

Published in Editorials on March 10, 2010 10:30 AM