Nothing is more depressing than seeing a celebrity publicly squash all her career potential in a haze of psychosis or addiction. But sadly, though this is not a group anyone wants to be a part of, there are far too many stars out there who’ve gone awry in a whirlwind of excess. Sometimes the best solution is to call out the troubled ones by keeping an eye on them via a “death watch” list.
Oh, LiLo. You came into this industry with so much promise. Rather than step into Jodie Foster’s shoes, you’ve slipped into Judy Garland’s. Or Liza Minelli’s, or … oh, you get the point. Lohan is this generation’s unfortunate poster child for a star gone so wrong, it’s likely her comeback will be too delayed after all that probation and rehab visitation. While we’re still rooting for the girl, she tops this list.
It’s hard to be respected as a rocker without a little sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll thrown into the mix. But there’s a difference between Joan Jett and, well, Love. It’s bad enough that she figured out a way to expose her crazy, most notably through Twitter, but her recent “photo” leaks are just reason #128 why she makes the list.
You know you’ve earned a spot here when you’ve found your way to VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. London was once known as Griffin on Party of Five (his twin brother is Jason London, from the film Dazed and Confused), and now he’s the “kidnapping victim” who was recently forced to trip the light fantastic with his captors. As a result, the long-struggling drug addict finds himself struggling again. At least he’s trying, though, so he shouldn’t be on this list for too long.
Because we didn’t buy her “it was my friend’s bag” or her “I thought my cocaine was gum” excuses, either. When Hilton isn’t making police logs with drug busts and drunk-driving arrests, she usually has trouble following her in the form of boyfriends (her beau as of fall 2010, Cy Waits, was arrested for a hit-and-run accident in September) and home invasions (another man was arrested for trespassing on her property this month), among other things. When there’s so much controversy swirling around you constantly, you have to be monitored.
He’s been quiet for the latter part of 2010, which is likely an effort to avoid any further verbal tirades or rants he won’t be able to come back from. Not that Gibson hasn’t come back from controversy before (who knew he would be responsible for bringing the term “sugartits” to the forefront?), but his anger may have gotten the best of him and his career now. After displaying the absolute worst in himself in highly publicized recorded phone conversations with his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, Gibson clearly has a lot to sort out before he makes it off this list and back onto the A one.
Leaving Bobby Brown was a great start; it was a perfect way for Houston to shed that dead weight and finally kick her terrible drug habit. We thought her 2009 comeback tour was another great leap forward. Then the reviews came in, and all of a sudden it seemed Houston might still have a problem; here’s hoping it just never resurfaces as a drug issue again. She will always retain her “diva” title—she just needs to be watched to keep that legacy intact as much as possible.
When you’re known more for your consistent rehab returns than you are for your acting roles (he was Grease’s Kenickie, for goodness’ sake!), you make this list. Sure, Conaway may never regain the popularity he had during his Taxi days, but he can certainly get his life back if he just seriously commits to getting clean and sober, once and for all.
This is not a fixed list. For every River Phoenix, there’s a Robert Downey Jr. Even Britney Spears has managed to climb out of her personal chaos and regain control of her life, including landing her very own, super-successful Glee special. Let’s be honest—anyone who can come back from an off-the-rails, umbrella-wielding, head-shaving debacle should be an inspiration to everyone listed here.
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons