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Featured Memorial | Brad Renfro

Brad Renfro Obituary

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Actor Brad Renfro, whose career began promisingly with a childhood role in "The Client" but rapidly faded as he struggled with drugs and alcohol, was found dead Tuesday in his home. He was 25.

The cause of death was not immediately determined, but an autopsy could be conducted as early as Wednesday, said Craig Harvey, chief investigator for the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Renfro reportedly had been drinking with friends the evening before his death, Harvey said.

Renfro's lawyer, Richard Kaplan, said he did not know whether the death was connected to any problems with addiction.

"He was working hard on his sobriety," Kaplan said. "He was doing well. He was a nice person."

Renfro's film career began when he was 12, acting opposite Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in "The Client." His other credits included "Sleepers," "Deuces Wild," "Apt Pupil" and "The Jacket."

Renfro recently completed a role in "The Informers," a film adaptation of a Bret Easton Ellis novel that stars Winona Ryder, Brandon Routh and Billy Bob Thornton.

"Brad was an exceptionally talented young actor and our time spent with him was thoroughly enjoyable," Marco Weber, president of the film's production house, Senator Entertainment, said in a statement.

For several years, Renfro was better known for his legal troubles than for his acting.

The actor served 10 days in jail in May 2006 after pleading no contest to driving while intoxicated and guilty to attempted possession of heroin.

The latter charge was related to his arrest in Los Angeles' Skid Row area, when he tried to buy heroin from an undercover officer in 2005.

Other run-ins with the law included a 1998 charge of cocaine and marijuana possession, for which he avoided jail time in a plea deal.

He was also placed on probation in January 2001 and ordered to pay $4,000 for repairs to a 45-foot (13.7-meter) yacht he and a friend tried to steal in Florida. He was ordered into an alcohol rehabilitation program in March 2002 for violating his probation in the case.

He was arrested again in May 2001 and charged with underage drinking, which violated terms of his probation.

After one court appearance, Renfro talked to reporters about drug rehabilitation, saying he was "tired of paying the consequences" for drinking and drug use and eager to get clean.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

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Published online on January 18, 2008 courtesy of Stevens Mortuary.
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