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

But Feldman's success couldn't solve his problems. He worked constantly to escape parents who he claimed abused him, and at age 15, was granted legal emancipation from Sheila and Robert Feldman. Neverending exposure to the Hollywood lifestyle led to an appetite for drugs, and in 1990, Feldman was arrested for heroin possession -- twice. He went to rehab the following year.

"It took people a long, long time to forgive me. I was just a kid making mistakes like any other kid," he told the Phoenix New Times in 2000.

These days, Feldman's back on his feet. In 2002, he channeled his trials and tribulations in the business into a solo album, "Former Child Actor" and appeared on the first season of VH1's "The Surreal Life." He currently stars in the A&E reality TV series "The Two Coreys" with fellow '80s child star, Corey Haim.



Jodie Sweetin

Jodie Sweetin

"Full House" sweetheart Jodie Sweetin didn't grow up to resemble her goody-two-shoes character at all. At age 22, the star of the '80s and '90s sitcom developed a debilitating daily meth habit that she kept a secret from her then-husband, LAPD officer Shaun Holguin.

In 2005, after a night of partying landed her in the hospital, Sweetin sought treatment. Once sober, she divorced Holguin and married Cody Herpin, the father of her daughter Zoie.

But in November 2008, Sweetin split with Herpin. Last year, she came out with the book "unSweetined," in which she reveals she kept the meth, cocaine and ecstasy binges going while she claimed to be sober. In one passage, she talks about breaking into tears while addressing a crowd at Wisconsin's Marquette University about her "trials and tribulations."

"I talked about growing up on television and about how great my life was now that I was sober, and then midspeech I started to cry," Sweetin writes. "The crowd probably thought that the memories of hitting rock bottom were too much for me to handle. Or maybe they thought the tears were just a way for an actor to send a message that drugs are bad. I don't know what they thought."

"I know what they didn't think," she continues. "They didn't think I was coming down from a two-day bender of coke, meth, and ecstasy and they didn't think that I was lying to them with every sentence that came out of my mouth."



Dustin Diamond

Dustin Diamond

Who would've expected Screech to turn into a sexual freak? Dustin Diamond, who played the loveable nerd Samuel "Screech" Powers on "Saved by the Bell" and its precursor, "Good Morning Miss Bliss," through the late '80s and '90s, seemed allergic to scandal as a teen.

But in 2006, Diamond released a sex tape, "Screeched," aka "Saved By the Smell." It depicted the TV nerd in more detail than any fan wanted to see, and Diamond was panned for participating in the decidedly un-sexy endeavor.

His manager, Roger Paul, told the New York Daily News that he hoped the tape would raise Diamond's profile and help him get back into acting of the non-pornographic variety. Still, Diamond's relying on his past to get him through the present. Last year, he released "Behind the Bell," a book about his sitcom days in which he claims that drugs and sex were the rule on the "Saved by the Bell" set.



Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman

Plato's "Diff'rent Strokes" co-star, Gary Coleman, has seen his fair share of troubles. While he turned into a pop culture icon thanks to his signature line on the show, "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?," Coleman became infamous for his problems with the law.

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