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Child Actors Who Turned To Crime As Adults

Updated February 6, 2020 211.5k views15 items

The life of a child actor might seem like a dream come true. They have fame, fortune, and way more interesting summer vacations than other kids their age. But the transition from younger years marked by superstardom into adulthood can be difficult. Fame can fade, and Hollywood is a difficult place to succeed. Perhaps it's not surprising that there are some former child actors who committed crimes as they got older.

Sometimes, these former stars who broke the law struggled with drug and alcohol problems brought on by their unconventional upbringing in the spotlight. At other times, their criminal records seemed to stem from deep-seated mental illness. True, a few of these celebs may have gotten off easy compared to everyday members of the public. But the fact they all sat for mug shots and were charged with crimes proves that even celebrity kids turned criminals can’t escape the law.

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  • Joey Cramer

    Joey Cramer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Child Actors Who Turned To Crime As Adults
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Joey Cramer, who starred in Disney's 1986 movie Flight of the Navigator, was arrested in connection with a bank robbery in British Columbia in 2016. 

    Police said a man wearing a scraggly wig, a bandanna, sunglasses, and a dark jacket demanded money from a Sechelt, British Columbia bank on April 28, 2016. Despite the disguise, they found Cramer, who was then charged with robbery, disguise with intent to commit an indictable offense, failing to stop for a peace officer, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. 

    • Age: 47
    • Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada
    • Credits: Flight of the Navigator, The Runaway, I-Man, Stone Fox
  • Dustin Diamond Stabbed A Man I is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Child Actors Who Turned To Crime As Adults
    Photo: Rob DiCaterino / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Dustin Diamond is best known for his role as Screech in Saved by the Bell. He has been sued several times over the years for delinquent taxes, but his biggest run-in with the law came after a bar fight in 2014. Allegedly, the actor pulled a switchblade out and stabbed another man during the confrontation. He was later found guilty of two charges related to the incident, but was acquitted of the more serious felony accusation. After admitting to stabbing the man accidentally, Diamond was sentenced him to four months in jail and 15 months of probation.

    • Age: 43
    • Birthplace: San Jose, California, USA
    • Credits: Saved by the Bell, Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Big Brother

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  • Danny Bonaduce Beat Up A Prost is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Child Actors Who Turned To Crime As Adults
    Photo: Albert Domasin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Famous for playing Danny Partridge on The Partridge Family, Danny Bonaduce ran into a number of legal problems in the 1990s. He was arrested on March 31, 1991, in Phoenix, AZ, for violently beating and robbing Darius Barney. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges related to violence against the prostitute, and was ordered to pay the costs of Barney’s medical bills and face a lengthy period of probation.

    • Age: 61
    • Birthplace: Broomall, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Credits: The Partridge Family, Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling, Breaking Bonaduce

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  • Lillo Brancato Jr. Was Jailed  is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Child Actors Who Turned To Crime As Adults
    Photo: HBO

    Lillo Brancato Jr. had roles in shows including The Sopranos. He was arrested in 2005 following a shootout with an off-duty police officer, who had confronted him and another man attempting to enter a vacant house. During the shooting, police officer Daniel Enchategui was killed, and both assailants were critically wounded.

    Following a lengthy trial, Brancato, Jr. was acquitted of the murder of the officer, but was found guilty of first-degree attempted burglary and given a jail sentence of 10 years.

    • Age: 44
    • Birthplace: Bogotá, Colombia
    • Credits: The Sopranos, A Bronx Tale, The Adventures of Pluto Nash

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