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Brad Renfro Biography

Brad Renfro


Birth Name
Brad Barron Renfro


5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Biography
Brad Renfro was born on July 25, 1982 in Knoxville, Tennessee, to Angela Denise McCrory and Mark Renfro, a factory worker. He was discovered at age 10 by director Joel Schumacher and was cast in the motion picture The Client (1994), which starred Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. Although this would be his zenith, he went on to appear in other films, including The Cure (1995), Tom and Huck (1995), Sleepers (1996), and Apt Pupil (1998). Renfro won The Hollywood Reporter's Young Star Award in 1995 and was nominated as one of People magazine's "Top 30 Under 30," though addiction problems in his teens and early 20s led to several police arrests and hampered his career. He died of a drug overdose in January 2008, aged 25.

  • Half-sister: Haley Rose Olsen.
  • His father, Mark, a factory worker, split from his wife while Brad was a toddler.
  • Mother: Angela.
  • A proficient guitar player who listed Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page as his idol.
  • The Official Brad Renfro Fan Club 322 Foxboro Dr. Walnut, CA 91789-2032 USA.
  • Played in a school production sponsored by DARE, a program in which young people learn about the danger of drugs.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee: He struck a plea bargain on cocaine and marijuana charges and agreed to undergo random drug screening. [July 1998]
  • He was arrested in his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, when police pulled him over and allegedly found cocaine and marijuana in his pants and socks. [June 1998]
  • Arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a grand-theft charge for allegedly trying to steal a 45-foot yacht. He and a companion failed to untie the boat from the dock, causing damage to both the boat and the dock. [August 2000]
  • Sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to pay more than $4,000 for repairs on a yacht that he tried to steal in Fort Lauderdale. [January 2001]
  • While on probation in Florida, arrested May 16, 2001, for underage drinking as car was pulled over. Released from jail after $500 bond posted. [May 2001]
  • In Knoxville, Tennessee, was arrested and charged with public intoxication and driving without a license. He was stopped after a traffic violation near his house. [January 2002]
  • Ordered back to jail for remainder of probation by a Florida judge due to his drunk-driving arrest in January. [February 2002]
  • Until he was discovered and cast in The Client (1994), he attended Fountain City Elementary School in Knoxville, Tennesee.
  • Won the "Hollywood Reporter's Young Star Award" in 1995.
  • Raised by his grandmother, he was discovered by casting director Mali Finn, who was conducting a search for a kid to star in The Client (1994). Brad and his grandmother were flown to Hollywood for a screen test. Brad had never flown on a plane or stayed in a hotel before.
  • Cousin of Jesse Hasek, singer for the band 10 Years from Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • On December 22, 2005, he was arrested, together with 14 other suspects, during a random drug-sting operation in downtown Los Angeles while allegedly trying to buy heroin.
  • Had not acted for a year at the time of his arrest for attempting to buy heroin.
  • His family revealed a few days after his death that he had a son with an unknown woman. The mother and the child lived in Japan.
  • Auditioned for the part of Gabriel Martin in The Patriot (2000), which eventually went to Heath Ledger, who died from an overdose of prescription drugs on January 22, 2008, exactly one week after Brad's death.
  • His grandmother, who had taken care of Brad from an early age, died February 1, 2008, of natural causes. She was 76 years old.
  • He was discovered by casting director Mali Finn for the leading role in The Client (1994) when he was ten.
  • Ex-girlfriend Anne Bergstedt established a memorial fund after Renfro's January 15, 2008, death from an overdose.
  • Favorite actor was Steve McQueen.
  • His favorite of his own movies was Bully (2001).
  • Started playing guitar when he was 6 years old.
  • Once roomed with Mark Foster, founding member of the band Foster the People.
  • He was originally cast as Will Rollins in Freddy vs. Jason (2003), but was replaced by Jason Ritter less than a week before filming began.
  • Two days before his death he had "Fuck All Y'All" tattooed on his back.
  • Quotes
  • Everybody thinks I'm, like, a bad boy. I've had my day, but I just sit at home and play the blues mostly.
  • [a plea to his fans] If you've never tried drugs, DON'T. And if you have, pray.
  • I choose films for their artistic value. I don't need a mansion or a Jaguar. When I leave this Earth, I won't take any money with me. All I will leave behind will be my art.
  • The advice I have for people wanting to get into acting ... I would say, stay the hell away from the party scene. Anything you put in front of your goal, and especially something like that, whether it's too much gambling, too much food, too much (sic) cold beers on the weekend - anything that you put in front of the prize is going to end up getting in the way and hurting you in the end. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not lucky enough to traverse through things like that and come out of things on the other side. A lot of people don't make it. They don't live through it. (2007)

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