March 12, 2010
Posted: 02:58 PM ET
By Mayim Bialik, Ph.D.
Editor’s note: Mayim Bialik is best known for her lead role as Blossom Russo in the early-1990s NBC television sitcom 'Blossom.' After the series ended, she earned a degree in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and later, a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
Those who did not know Corey Haim may be shaking their heads today, dismissing him as just another troubled Hollywood actor who succumbed to the temptations of this industry (did they not feel the same way when Andrew Koenig passed away just weeks ago?); others will look for deeper meaning. Whatever the cause of his passing, anyone who knows what being a child actor is like knows that he received a lot of fame, a lot of money, and a lot of attention before he probably knew what to do with it.
As someone who knew Corey if only at publicity events we both attended for several years in the 1980s, I feel personal sadness for his family and loved ones. I watched the tabloids in the years I knew him and in the years since we stopped doing publicity together, and even when I was just 12 years old and he was 16, I had a sense that Corey was suffering from something; too much of something or not enough? I could not say then nor can I say now.
I do not claim to be any sort of expert on Hollywood child stars or what leads some of us astray, while others walk the straight and narrow. Do I have the magic formula for how not to have someone do drugs and drink and sleep around? I'm afraid not.
After "Blossom" ended, I craved "normalcy" and I left the industry to go to college and graduate school and to eventually start a family. And I won't lie: I used the services of a trained therapist to deconstruct the insanity that being told you are incredible and not knowing if you can believe it brings. The money, the fame, the attention; it's really all way too much for a little person, no matter how mature or precocious they seem. Many of us become actors because we need more of something; be it approval, love, adoration, or attention. Perhaps the industry is not always the best or only place to get those needs met.
I didn't really know Corey Haim. I didn't know what his home life was like. I don't know what his soul needed. But that's not what is important right now. What is important now is that his family gets the privacy and dignity that they need from the watchful eye of our industry to heal and grieve in private for the loss of their beloved son, brother, and friend. I wish them peace, and that his memory should only be for a blessing.
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