Former teen idol Leif Garrett’s life took a horrible downward spiral – this is him now

In the heyday of his acting career, Leif Garrett captured the hearts of numerous young fans before transitioning to a thriving music career. At the tender age of five, he made a memorable debut in the sixth highest-grossing film of 1969, “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” setting the stage for what seemed to be a promising future in the industry.

Following his breakout role, Garrett became the sleepy-eyed heartthrob in “Walking Tall” and its sequels, and he joined the cast of Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic 1983 film, “The Outsiders,” alongside other teenage sensations like Matt Dillon, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, and Tom Cruise.

Beyond his filmography, Garrett graced various TV series, including “Family,” “The Odd Couple” (1974), “Wonder Woman” (1978), and “CHiPs” (1979). However, he decided to explore his musical talents, leading to the release of his debut album, “Leif Garrett,” in 1977.

The album’s success propelled him into the music scene, and his subsequent experiences, such as a helicopter ride into a theater in Sydney, Australia, showcased his newfound stardom.

Despite the glamour, Garrett faced challenges like the transition to adulthood and managerial issues. In an interview, he lamented not receiving singing lessons before recording, expressing dissatisfaction with certain tracks that didn’t truly represent him.

As fame soared, Garrett’s personal life took a tumultuous turn. Struggling with substance abuse, he was involved in a 1979 car crash that left his friend paraplegic. His encounters with renowned figures like Queen’s band members and Freddie Mercury introduced him to a world of excess, influencing his choices as a young celebrity.

Legal troubles, stints in rehab, and coerced appearances on reality TV followed, with Garrett claiming manipulation by producers on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” Despite the setbacks, he eventually embraced sobriety, marking a turning point in his life.

Reflecting on the past, Garrett acknowledged the enduring support of his dedicated fan base. Legal issues, relapses, and a 90-day jail sentence punctuated his journey to recovery, compounded by personal challenges, such as his mother’s battle with stage IV lung cancer.

Now 61 and sober, Garrett appreciates the unique connection he maintains with fans who have preserved letters and memories from their youth. Despite the rollercoaster of fame, he remains grateful for the opportunity to continue doing what he loves and getting paid for it.

Leif Garrett’s story, filled with highs and lows, underscores the complexities of fame and the resilience required to navigate its challenges.

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