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Brad Renfro 1982-2008
 


Country : Knoxville, Tennessee
Profession : Actor
Date of birth : 1982-07-25
Date of death : 2008-01-15
Cause of Death : Overdose

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brad_renfro

Brad Barron Renfro (July 25, 1982 – January 15, 2008) was an American actor. He made his film debut in 1994 in the title role of The Client. He acted in 21 films, several short films, and one television episode during his career. Much of his later career was marred by a pattern of substance abuse. He died January 15, 2008 from an overdose of heroin.

Early life and career

Brad Renfro was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Angela and Mark Renfro, who was a factory worker. He was raised from the age of five by his paternal grandmother, Joanne Barron Renfro, a church secretary.

Renfro was discovered by Mali Finn, a casting director for Joel Schumacher, when he was 10. His only previous acting experience had been as a dealer in an anti-drugs workshop school production. Cast by Finn for Schumacher's The Client, Renfro acted alongside Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. Based on the bestselling John Grisham novel, it became one of the top-grossing films of 1994. In 1995, he won Hollywood Reporter's "Young Star" award, and was nominated as one of People's "Top 30 Under 30." That year, he played Huckleberry "Huck" Finn in 1995's Tom and Huck with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. He also won a second "Young Star" award, as well as the "Young Artist" award, for his performance in The Cure.

In 1996, he was cast in Sleepers, based on the novel by Lorenzo Carcaterra. The film was directed by Barry Levinson and also starred Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman and Brad Pitt.

In 1998, he starred opposite Ian McKellen in Apt Pupil, directed by Bryan Singer. That same year, he played Leon S. Kennedy in a live-action preview of Resident Evil 2. Renfro went on to act in other films, including 2001's Ghost World and Bully, 2002's Confessions of an American Girl (in which he played a gay teenager), and 2005's The Jacket. He also appeared in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and completed filming on the film The Informers, co-starring Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder and Billy Bob Thornton.

Renfro was the cousin of Jesse Hasek, lead singer of the band 10 Years, and was featured in the first version of their video for the song "Wasteland". He fathered a son named Yamato Renfro, born in 2003. The boy lives in Japan with his mother.

Arrest and rehabilitation

In December 2005, he was arrested by LAPD officers during an undercover drug sweep of downtown's skid row and was charged with attempted possession of heroin. A photograph showing him in handcuffs made the front page of the Los Angeles Times. Renfro admitted to a detective that he was using heroin and methadone. In court, he pleaded guilty to the charges, and was sentenced to three years' probation. In 2006, he spent 10 days in jail for convictions of driving while under the influence and attempted heroin possession.

Death

Renfro was found dead on January 15, 2008 in his Los Angeles apartment. On February 8, 2008, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office ruled that Renfro's death was accidental, attributing it to acute heroin/morphine intoxication. His body was returned to East Tennessee, where he was buried on January 22, 2008 north of Knoxville, at Red House Cemetery in the small community of Blaine.

Less than two weeks later, his grandmother Joanne – who had raised him and accompanied him regularly during his early acting career – died at her home at the age of 76. Local officials stated that she died of natural causes.

Filmography

Year

Film

Role

1994

The Client

Mark Sway

1995

Tom and Huck

Huckleberry Finn

The Cure

Erik

1996

Sleepers

Young Michael Sullivan

1997

Telling Lies in America

Karchy Jonas

1998

Apt Pupil

Todd Bowden

1999

2 Little, 2 Late

Jimmy Walsh

2000

Skipped Parts

Dothan Talbot

2001

The Theory of the Leisure Class

Billy

Happy Campers

Wichita

Bully

Marty Puccio

Tart

William Sellers

Ghost World

Josh

2002

American Girl

Jay Grubb

Deuces Wild

Bobby

2003

The Job

Troy Riverside

2004

Hollywood Flies

Jamie

Mummy an' the Armadillo

Wyatte

2005

The Jacket

The Stranger

2006

10th and Wolf

Vincent

2009

The Informers

Jack

Honors

Occasion

Year

Award

Movie

Movie year

Honour

Sedona International Film Festival

2004

Director's Choice Award for Most Spirited Rising Performer

Won

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films

1999

Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor

Apt Pupil

1998

Nominated

Tokyo International Film Festival

1998

Best Actor Award

Apt Pupil

1998

Won

Young Artist Award

1996

Young Artist Award for Best Young Leading Actor in a Feature Film

The Cure

1995

Won — Shared with Joseph Mazzello

Young Artist Award

1995

Young Artist Award for Best Performance by a Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture

The Client

1994

Won

YoungStar Awards

1997

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama Film

Sleepers

1996

Nominated

YoungStar Awards

1996

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy Film

Tom and Huck

1995

Nominated

YoungStar Awards

1995

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama Film

The Cure

1995

Won

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