January 16, 2008

Brad Renfro, 1982 - 2008.

Brad Renfro
Brad Renfro, the former child star who played a witness to a mob lawyer's suicide in the 1994 legal thriller The Client and a suburban youth tutored in evil by an elderly Nazi war criminal in the 1998 film Apt Pupil, was found dead Tuesday morning in his Los Angeles home. He was 25....

His career was short, but busy and varied.... Mr Renfro carved out a niche playing inarticulate, vulnerable, alienated youths in everything from glossy Hollywood blockbusters to hardscrabble independent dramas. His acting was naturalistic and emotionally transparent; he played humiliation and frustration with disarming and sometimes upsetting frankness.

Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Times.

See also: Bernard Weinraub's 1994 profile for the NYT and the Wikipedia entry.

Update, 1/18: "He longed to belong in the alien world which perhaps in the end overwhelmed him," writes Ian McKellen at his site. "He was only 25 and it is dreadful we shan't see all that he might have achieved."

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Posted by dwhudson at January 16, 2008 4:51 AM


Unbelievable!! Renfro's performance in Bully impressed me so much and prompted me to check out the rest of his work. So sad. Only 25.

Posted by: Maya at January 16, 2008 7:34 AM

Ugh, so sad indeed. Tragic.

Makes me hope the kid from There Will Be Blood, also "plucked from obscurity," goes back to being a kid and shows no interest in acting again. (Not necessarily a fair connection, but makes me worry.)

Posted by: Craig P at January 16, 2008 8:56 AM

I met Brad once back in high school. We are both from Knoxville, TN. He was a great guy and will be missed. Fame claims yet another victim....

Posted by: Leslie Beemer at January 16, 2008 11:37 AM

This is really sad..Such a young, good actor in the making.My blesssing to his family..
The Rebel

Posted by: Rebel at January 16, 2008 12:06 PM

What makes me sad is his age. He was 25. I'm 26. The young actors I watched when I was a kid are DYING. I'm not sure what to do with that.

Posted by: kid at January 16, 2008 1:37 PM