The former teen idol had roles in iconic movies like Terminator 2: Judgement Day, American Heart, and Pet Sematary, but now Edward Furlong’s name is barely remembered.
The forgotten actor was on the road to becoming a huge star, with an enormous career ahead of him, but what happened to derail such a successful career?
He was first discovered in the early 90s, when he was cast as John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. He truly stole the show and held his own against Arnold, and managed to nab a few awards for being a breakthrough actor.
The 90s were his time to shine. It was like he couldn’t make a bad choice. He went right from Terminator to a bunch of super successful and critically acclaimed movies like Before and After with Meryl Streep and American Heart with Jeff Bridges. He was working with all these huge names so early in his career that people were assuming that his star was going to rise to unbelievable levels.
While he did dabble in music very briefly, it only really gained any traction in Japan. His album was called Hold on Tight and he was only 15 when it came out.
He was a talented actor though, that’s for sure, and his performance in American History X with Edward Norton truly proved that, but it would be one of his last big roles.
But as the 2000s rolled in, something changed. His story is one that is unfortunately very common with celebrities…
Alcoholism and drug addiction are so common among young celebrities that’s it’s easier to list all the people who didn’t deal with that. It was early in his career that Furlong started to struggle, and by October 2000 he had entered rehab.
That wasn’t even the first time that Furlong had been through a huge controversial event. When he was only 13 years old and on the set of Terminator he began a romantic relationship with his 26-year-old tutor.
They even moved in together and were in what he called a “quasi-spousal relationship” for his teen years. In 1994, California’s laws on rape changed, and technically their relationship was illegal. Furlong’s guardian tried to have Jacqueline Louise Dormac, the tutor, charged, but it was unsuccessful. Their relationship ended when Dormac sued Furlong for violent behavior.
Furlong would later wed Rachael Bella, and in 2006 they had a son. But this relationship didn’t last long. The drama of Furlong’s life led their son to test positive for cocaine and after their divorce he was restricted to supervised visits only.
He admitted in 2006 that he was “on and off” hard drugs. “I was a cocaine addict. It was really scary.”
However at the time he claimed to have been past that life, saying, “I don’t even think about [partying] anymore. It seems lonely now: running and clubbing and doing coke. I have nightmares about doing hard drugs. I’ll wake up and I’m like, ‘Did I relapse?’”
Unfortunately for Furlong, this wouldn’t be the end of his legal woes…
Furlong was not only restricted from seeing his son, but in 2009 following a “drug-fueled frenzy” that resulted in a physical assault against Bella, she had him committed to a mental ward, and obtained a restraining order against him.
He was said to have been leaving her aggressive voice mails threatening her “with chains and bats” and by refusing to offer her any financial support.
After this issue seemed to have been resolved, he once again violated the restraining order. He also fell behind in child support and the courts had to order him to give up 10% of his earnings.
By 2013, his luck hadn’t changes at all. He was now being sentenced to jail for violating probation and once again harassing his ex-girlfriend. He spent 61 days in jail, and also went to rehab for his drug addiction and was asked to undergo counselling.
Interestingly enough, this hasn’t really stopped his acting career. While he hasn’t been in anything incredibly notable in the last few years, he has been in at least one movie each year, even if it was just in small roles.
Hopefully the actor can get his life back on track and stay away from his former partners and drugs. It’s so sad to see such a talented person fall victim to addiction and let it completely derail their life.