USA TODAY and TMZ report that Brad Renfro, who played Duane Wilson in the CI episode "Watch," is dead:
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 Brad Renfro found dead
TMZ is reporting that 25-year-old actor Brad Renfro was found dead at his Los Angeles home this morning. Renfro, who made his film debut in The Client, had a history of drug abuse and run-ins with the law.
The cause of his death has not yet been determined.
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
Here's the AP story on Mr. Renfro's death. I'm saddened by his death, but I have to confess that given his troubled past I'm not surprised. He looked older than his years.
Troubled Actor Brad Renfro Dies at 25 Tuesday January 15 8:49 PM ET
Actor Brad Renfro, whose career began promisingly with a childhood role in "The Client" but rapidly faded as he struggled with drugs and alcohol, was found dead Tuesday in his home. He was 25.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at 9 a.m., said Craig Harvey, chief investigator for the Los Angeles County coroner's office. The cause of death was not immediately determined, Harvey said, but an autopsy could be conducted as early as Wednesday.
Renfro had reportedly been drinking with friends the evening before his death, Harvey said.
Renfro's lawyer, Richard Kaplan, said he did not know whether the death was connected to any problems with addiction.
"He was working hard on his sobriety," Kaplan said. "He was doing well. He was a nice person."
The actor served 10 days in jail in May 2006 after pleading no contest to driving while intoxicated and guilty to attempted possession of heroin.
The latter charge stemmed from his arrest in Los Angeles' Skid Row area, when he attempted to buy heroin from an undercover officer in 2005.
For several years he was better known for that drug bust and the resulting criminal case than for acting.
After one court appearance, he talked to reporters about drug rehabilitation, saying he was "tired of paying the consequences" for drinking and drug use and eager to get clean.
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Renfro's film career began when he was 12, acting opposite Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in "The Client." His other credits included "Sleepers," "Deuces Wild," "Apt Pupil" and "The Jacket."
January 17, 2008 Brad Renfro, Who Portrayed Witness in ‘The Client,’ Dies at 25 By MATT ZOLLER SEITZ 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.
Mr. Renfro’s girlfriend discovered his body. The cause of death was not immediately determined, Craig Harvey, chief investigator for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, told The Associated Press. An autopsy was planned.
In recent years Mr. Renfro was known as much for his legal troubles as for his acting. He was charged with marijuana and cocaine possession in 1998, avoiding jail because of a plea bargain, according to The A.P. In 2005 Mr. Renfro, an admitted heroin and methadone user, was photographed being arrested by police officers during a Christmas sweep of Skid Row in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to three years’ probation for attempted possession of heroin and entered a drug rehabilitation program.
His career was short but busy and varied. He was plucked from obscurity to play a frightened but resilient witness opposite Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in “The Client,” an adaptation of a John Grisham best seller.
In a 1994 profile of Mr. Renfro in The New York Times, Joel Schumacher, director of “The Client,” said he had been looking for “a tough and savvy survivor, a kid with an authentic Southern accent, a kid from a trailer park, like the character in the movie.”
He found Mr. Renfro, then all of 10, through the police department in Knoxville, Tenn. Mr. Renfro, who was born in Knoxville, had a reputation there as a troublemaker and had recently played a drug dealer in a school production of an antidrug play. The film’s casting director, Mali Finn, said she had intended to let Mr. Renfro audition for 10 to 15 minutes but ended up letting the tape run for an hour.
Mr. Schumacher told The Times that when he viewed the tape, “I was struck by the maturity and sadness of his eyes,” adding: “I couldn’t believe a 10-year-old that good-looking and smart who had a difficult life could actually act on the screen. It was too good to believe.”
Over the next decade 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 frankness.
As Todd Bowden, the title character of “Apt Pupil,” a Stephen King adaptation by the filmmaker Bryan Singer, Mr. Renfro answered the spidery malevolence of his co-star Ian McKellen with a roiling, implosive blankness. Janet Maslin wrote in The Times that Mr. Renfro “put a diabolically wholesome face on Todd’s budding viciousness.”
In the 2001 Larry Clark drama “Bully,” about bored, amoral teenagers drawn into a murder conspiracy, Mr. Renfro played Marty Puccio, a sexually confused surfer seeking revenge against the title character (Nick Stahl), his peer group’s abusive leader.
In the profile published before “The Client” opened, Mr. Renfro, then 12, was asked how appearing in the film would change his life. “I’ll always be Brad Renfro, born on July 25, 1982,” he said. “Nothing’s going to change that. It won’t be any different.”
Home World U.S. N.Y. / Region Business Technology Science Health Sports Opinion Arts Style Travel Jobs Real Estate Automobiles Back to Top Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
The former child star, who seemed back on track after years trying to stay clean and sober, died of an accidental heroin overdose, the Los Angeles coroner announced Friday.
Renfro's body was found by his girlfriend in his Los Angeles home on the morning of Jan. 15. Paramedics pronounced him dead upon their arrival.
Friends of the 25-year-old actor said he was drinking the night before his body was discovered, but according to a brief statement issued by the coroner's office it was "acute heroin/morphine intoxication" that killed Renfro.
Renfro made his big-screen debut opposite Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon in the adaptation of the John Grisham bestseller The Client when he was 12. Other early credits included Huckleberry Finn in the Disney's Tom and Huck, the crime drama Sleepers and the Stephen King-based thriller Apt Pupil, with Ian McKellen.
"It was obvious to everyone that he was the sweetest, most incredibly gifted young actor to come along for some time," Sarandon said Wednesday in remembrance of her onetime costar. "My heart goes out to the family for their tragic loss."
Over the years, Renfro continued to work steadily but never regained the same buzz factor, as his substance-abuse problems frequently outweighed all other publicity. His first arrest came at age 15 in his native Tennessee, followed by a string of busts in the intervening decade. Renfro served jail time in Florida and California and bounced in and out of treatment.
In December 2005, he was busted by L.A. police during a sting operation on the city's notorious Skid Row. He pleaded guilty to attempted possession of heroin and was sentenced to rehab and three years' probation.
Renfro tried to stay sober and kept working. He played a troubled murder suspect in a 2006 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and he appeared in the 2005 time-travel thriller The Jacket with Adrien Brody.
Shortly before his death he wrapped shooting on the feature adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel The Informers, costarring Winona Ryder, Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke and Brandon Routh.
Speaking to reporters in April 2006, the actor expressed optimism about his chances of staying clean with the help of a treatment program.
"It wasn't as bad as I had feared it would be," he said of completing a court-ordered detox program.
"It's helped me greatly. It's definitely been an eye-opener...I'm going to stay clean, and in turn, it will help me spiritually and with work.
"It's going to help me in all phases of my life."
Copyright 2008 E! Entertainment Television, Inc. All rights reserved.
Post by diablodeblanco on Feb 14, 2008 15:20:13 GMT -5
I just watched "The Brave One" on dvd and noticed two LOCI actors in it. The man had played in the first episode. He was the guy from the gang of thieves who they interrogated. He wore glasses. The woman was from the episode Ill Bred. She played the murderer.
BTW-- I liked the movie. Jodie Foster is one of my favs.
TV Squad revisits Andrew McCarthy. Here's the relevant CI excerpt--more at the highlighted link:
McCarthy scored critically on Broadway in the Tony-winning play Side Man, and while in New York he did a Law and Order, then a Law and Order: SVU. But in 2003, something went awry and Andrew was fired from a gig on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Producer Dick Wolf said McCarthy was responsible for a tiff with actor Vincent D'onofrio. McCarthy shot back, saying, "I was fired because I refused to allow a fellow actor to threaten me with physical violence, bully me and try to direct me." Whatever the bad blood at the time, it's now all in the past. Just last week, McCarthy starred in an episode of L&O: CI as an over-ambitious A.D.A.
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
From the Los Angeles Times Eric Roberts proves resilient in 'The Dark Knight' The actor returns to the mainstream in his bad guy role. By Steve Appleford Special to The Times
July 22, 2008
The Joker isn't the only villain turning Gotham City upside down in "The Dark Knight." Audiences should also beware of a sharp-dressed crime boss named Salvatore Maroni, played with tough, smirking cool by actor Eric Roberts, who, in a career that has spanned three decades, has certainly seen some dark moments of his own.
His part as Maroni is small but crucial, with Roberts as an unctuous urban menace who tangles with Batman, the Joker and D.A. Harvey Dent. "The Dark Knight" is an unexpected coup for Roberts, returning him to mainstream glory after years in the relative obscurity of B-movies and TV guest roles.
"It's a great dramatic film, with a bunch of great actors," said Roberts, who spent five months on the shoot in Chicago and London. "I would get through working in the morning, and I would sit on the set all day, because it was that exciting to me."
On a recent Saturday, Roberts was in good spirits as he relaxed with his wife, Eliza, over lunch at a favorite neighborhood spot in Sherman Oaks. His hair was streaked with gray, but he otherwise seemed the same wiry, charismatic figure he's often been onscreen. With age has come an ease with a career that has charted terrific highs as well as profound lows.
But Roberts is undoubtedly on an upswing with "Dark Knight." He recalled that during a long day on the set outside London in 2007, Heath Ledger was smoldering through three pages of near-monologue as the Joker addressed a room crowded with bad guys, coming across as simultaneously threatening, charming and insane. Then came a moment when Ledger had a break to chat briefly with Roberts. "How am I doing?" he remembered Ledger asking him, before adding with a wicked grin, "You know, it's hard."
Roberts should know. In the 1980s, he spent his first decade as a movie actor enjoying the same kind of accolades for disturbing, difficult performances that Ledger is now receiving posthumously as the Joker. In 1983, Roberts played a different kind of psychopath in Bob Fosse's "Star 80," as the murdering husband to Playmate Dorothy Stratten, delivering an intense, layered performance as a young man who was frighteningly fervent, yet almost sympathetic. There was an Oscar nomination for 1985's "Runaway Train" and acclaimed roles in "The Pope of Greenwich Village" and other films.
Most were not box-office hits, but Roberts seemed headed into a future as his generation's Robert De Niro. It didn't happen. There have been other memorable performances -- as a dying AIDS patient in "It's My Party" in 1996, a flamboyant speed dealer in 2002's "Spun," a disturbingly pleasant death row inmate on HBO's "Oz" -- but also an endless series of roles in low-rent productions.
"This past 15 years, I made 120 movies, and I probably haven't seen 60 of them," admitted Roberts, 52. "But I've had a great time. I also don't have to die for my work anymore. I have never been more miserable or unhappy as when I shot 'Star 80' -- as a person, just because of where I had to go every day."
Acting has always been in his blood. He was raised by his acting-coach father in Atlanta, then studied drama as a teenager in London. One of his younger sisters is, of course, Julia Roberts, the Oscar-winning movie star. And now his daughter, Emma Roberts ("Unfabulous"), is fully established in the family business, appearing on the August cover of Vanity Fair.
"Isn't that cool?" said Roberts with a smile. "It's a beautiful cover, isn't it?"
They've never discussed acting much, Roberts said, and the last year has been busy for both of them. (Emma, 17, lives with her mother in Calabasas.)
His dream had once been to be "the greatest character actor of my generation," he said. But Roberts was dismayed after losing the 1985 supporting actor Oscar to Don Ameche ("Cocoon"). He told his agent to begin accepting any part, any time. It's a story he's repeated often in interviews over the years, sounding like either revisionism or surrender, and he's aware that many assume other reasons behind his career trajectory.
Until the early '90s, there were issues with cocaine and a couple of arrests. There was also a prolonged battle over visitation rights regarding Emma, all uncomfortable headlines. "I earned probably every negative thing said about me," Roberts said, noting that those days are more than a decade behind him. "I've had people say to me, 'It's such a shame what happened to your career.' I just smile and say I've had a blast. I really have."
He also never stopped working. This last year, Roberts had a recurring part in NBC's popular "Heroes," and he got a pop culture boost in 2004 when he appeared in the music video for the Killers' rock hit "Mr. Brightside." Roberts is shooting "Shannon's Rainbow," a children's film. "The Dark Knight" hasn't yet yielded a dramatic shift in the quality of jobs offered him, and he sounded prepared to keep things in perspective even if it does.
"At the risk of sounding like an obnoxious actor, I have a great life," Roberts said. As for the future of his career, "I'm not going to be the next thing," he said without noticeable regret. "I don't have hope, I just have patience."
The actor Christopher Evan Welch, who was terrific as the schizophrenic eye doctor in SEE ME, is profiled in the July 17, 2008 issue of BACK STAGE EAST, the actors' newspaper. He's had a thriving theatrical career, and comments:
"But you have to be very careful with television. You can become trapped and typecast. Becaus of the kind of actor I am, and the fact that I'm weird-looking, LAW AND ORDER has me pegged as "nerdy psycho." Three times on LAW AND ORDER I've played psycho of the week."
Post by annabelleleigh on Feb 21, 2009 15:00:40 GMT -5
Is he cast in "Lady's Man"?
Raul Esparza to Appear on Future Law & Order: Criminal Intent Episode
February 20, 2009 by Broadway World News Desk
"Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Raul Esparza has booked an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent that starts shooting next week, the magazine's web site notes that "He'll play a shady district attorney in a Goren-centric episode." No air date has been set for the episode.
Currently starring in SPEED-THE-PLOW on Broadway, Raul Esparza's other credits include: The Homecoming (Tony nom., Drama Desk Award), Company (2007 Tony nom.; Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards), Taboo (Tony nom., Drama Desk Award), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Show (Theatre World Award).
Off-Broadway he's appeared in The Normal Heart; Comedians; tick, tick...BOOM! (Obie Award, Drama Desk nom.). Regional: Company (Cincinnati Playhouse); Sunday in the Park With George and Merrily We Roll Along (Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration); Slaughterhouse-Five and Fur (Steppenwolf); Cry, the Beloved Country, Richard II and A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre); The Washington-Sarajevo Talks (Victory Gardens); Arcadia and What the Butler Saw (Meadowbrook Theatre); Messiah (National Jewish Theater); Mixed Blessings (Coconut Grove Playhouse). HOLA José Ferrer Acting Award. 2006 Sundance Theatre Lab."