Growing Pains: The Trials and Tribulations of 1980s TV Child Stars

Andrew Koenig

In February, family and friends found "Growing Pains" actor Andrew Koenig's body in a Vancouver, British Columbia park, after he went missing for nearly two weeks.

His father Walter Koenig, an actor best known for his role as Chekov on "Star Trek," said his son killed himself after a liftetime suffering from depression.

Though the 80s made him a star, Koenig had been trying to escape his fame as "Growing Pains" goofball Richard "Boner" Stabone.

At the time of his disappearance, his father told ABC News: "He's been depressed. He's trying to get ahead in this business, and he's been working at it a long time."

The younger Koenig, who appeared on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and played The Joker in 2003's "Batman: Dead End," hated being known for his "Growing Pains" role and "Star Trek" connection, according to his friend, writer/producer Lance Miccio.

"When I introduced him to people, he said, 'Never say my dad's Chekov and never say I played Boner,'" Miccio told ABCNews.com. "He didn't want to be known as Boner his whole life. That's something that affected him."



Tracey Gold

Tracey Gold

Koenig's "Growing Pains" co-star, Tracey Gold, has also whethered the ups and downs of Hollywood. Gold rocketed to teen stardom after being cast as Carol Seaver in the series.

But while she thrived on TV, behind the scenes, Gold struggled with anorexia. In 1992, her mother, Bonnie Gold, told People magazine that she burst into tears when she visited her daughter on the "Growing Pains" set in 1985 and was shocked to find she had wasted away to 90 lbs.

After seeking treatment in the early '90s, Gold transitioned from "Growing Pains" to acting in TV movies. But in 2004, she was arrested for driving under the influence after she rolled her SUV, carrying her husband and her three young sons, down a California highway embankment.

Gold's 7-year-old son, Sage, sustained the worst injuries, a broken clavicle and a head wound. The actress spent five hours in prison before being released on $50,000 bail. Gold later plead guilty to a felony DUI charge and was sentenced to one month in a work release program, 240 hours of community service, and three years of probation.

MacKenzie Phillips

In September 2009, actress Mackenzie Phillips revealed to Oprah Winfrey that her rock star father, John Phillips, raped her at age 18, sparking a 10-year-long consensual sexual relationship. Phillips, 49, the former star of '70s-'80s sitcom "One Day at a Time," said she was first raped by her father, the lead singer of the Mamas and the Papas, in a hotel room while passed out after a drug binge. (She also has a history of substance abuse issues.)

MacKenzie Phillips



The relationship continued long after she married Jeff Sessler when she was 19-years-old, and ended only when she became pregnant and feared her father was the baby's father, Phillips said. Her father paid for an abortion. "I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my father," Phillips said on "Oprah," reading an excerpt from her new book, "High on Arrival." "I don't know how it started."



Corey Feldman

Corey Feldman

During the 1980s, television was Corey Feldman's oyster. After landing a starring role in a McDonald's commercial at age three, he appeared in dozens of television shows, including "Mork and Mindy," "One Day at a Time," "Cheers" and "Eight is Enough." Feldman successfully crossed over into film, co-starring in box office boons like '85's "The Goonies" and '86's "Stand By Me."

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