Corey Ian Haim (December 23, 1971 – March 10, 2010) was a Canadian actor, known for a 1980s Hollywood career as a teen idol. He starred in a number of films, such as Lucas, Silver Bullet, Murphy's Romance, License to Drive, Dream a Little Dream, and Snowboard Academy.
THE LOST BOYS
His best-known role was alongside Corey Feldman in The Lost Boys, which made Haim a household name.
THE TWO COREYS
Known as The Two Coreys, the duo became 1980s icons and appeared together in seven movies, later starring in the A and E American reality show The Two Coreys.
Haim's early success led to money and fame. He had difficulties breaking away from his experience as a teen actor, and was troubled by drug addiction throughout his later career. He died of pneumonia on March 10, 2010.
In the time leading up to his death, Haim shared a month-to-month rental located at the Oakwood Apartments between Burbank and the Hollywood Hills with his mother, who had breast cancer at the time. Christopher Ameruoso, Haim's neighbor for a year, said Haim sometimes could be seen wandering around the complex, "looking for companionship, looking for friends."
On March 10, 2010, after Haim's mother phoned 9-1-1, paramedics took Haim from their home to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where he was pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m. He was 38 years old. Los Angeles police stated that his death appeared to be an accidental overdose although no less than four different bottles containing Valium, Vicodin, Soma (a muscle relaxant) and Haloperidol (an anti-psychotic) were retrieved, later confirmed as needing to be prescribed by a specialist to acquire. It emerged that Haim had questionably used aliases to procure over 553 prescription pills in the 32 days prior to his death, having "doctor-shopped" seven different physicians and used seven pharmacies to obtain the supply, all of whom failed to do proper diligence, and which included 195 Valium, 149 Vicodin, 194 Soma and 15 Xanax.
Haim had been ill with flu-like symptoms for two days before his death. A doctor called on him and took his temperature, but did not suspect serious problems. At one stage, Haim woke his mother and said, "Mom, can you please come and lie next to me, I'm not feeling very good." After he attempted to walk around shortly after midnight, she saw him collapse. Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said: "As he got out of bed he felt a little weak and went down to the floor on his knees."
The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office ruled that Haim's death was due to drug induced pneumonia. Prior to the official autopsy reports being released publicly, Haim's mother stated that the coroner had given her a "courtesy call" to state his preliminary findings that Haim died of pulmonary edema and was suffering from an enlarged heart and water in the lungs, typical signs of drug abuse. Haim's agent discounted the possibility of an overdose, citing his recent drive toward clean living and affirming that he had been completely drug-free for two weeks. However Haim's primary doctor confirmed to Drug Enforcement Administration investigators that Haim was addicted to pain medication.
Haim's death was reported by the worldwide media. For the following week, it tracked amongst the top ten trending topics on Twitter. The 10-minute 9-1-1 call made by Haim's mother was leaked on the internet; in it she was heard saying, "Oh, my God. I think my son is dead," before following the dispatcher's instructions and administering CPR.
Corey Feldman spoke with Larry King on the day of Haim's death, saying:
He was his own enemy. I mean, look, a lot of people that are artists tend to be their own worst enemy because we're passionate people... Most recently he's been, honestly, in the best frame of mind that he's ever been in, in the past year...
Feldman added that Haim had died "very destitute" and alone.
In 2011, Feldman told ABC's Nightline that "there's one person to blame in the death of Corey Haim, and that person happens to be a Hollywood mogul." He claimed that the sexual abuse of Haim had contributed to his early death.
California's Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that his office was investigating Haim's death, saying an unauthorized prescription in his name had been found among fraudulent prescription pads ordered from San Diego. On March 17, 2010, Brown announced that an arrest was made in connection with the investigation, which involved doctor identity theft and up to 5,000 illegal prescriptions. While detailed information was not released, officials stated that Haim had obtained Oxycontin via a prescription drug ring. Records showed he had received thousands of pills over the last year of his life, using physicians at offices, urgent-care facilities and emergency rooms. On March 25, 2010, approximately twenty doctors were subpoenaed in connection with Haim's case. Haim claimed to each that he was not seeing any other doctors, and many reported feeling "duped" by him. The doctors told state agents that Haim complained of shoulder pain arising from an accident while shooting a film in Canada. Brown confirmed that Haim had obtained prescriptions for pain medication pertaining to multiple injuries and depression, using his pharmacy visits to solicit additional medication or ask for refills before due dates had expired. Brown called Haim the "poster child" for prescription drug addiction.
Haim died with very little money, and his mother initially announced that the cost of his funeral would be covered by public funds provided by the city of Toronto as is customary in destitute cases. However, city officials stated that no paperwork had been submitted by the family, who entreated fans to help provide for the burial in an online appeal for funds. A $20,000 contribution was made by a memorabilia site to which Haim had sold items over the years, but the company later canceled the check after it emerged that the funeral home had stepped in to cover the costs from the outset. Haim's personal effects were put up for auction on eBay by a cast member from A Time to Live, whose listings claimed that the family had asked him to sell the items as they needed money for burial expenses.
A private Jewish funeral ceremony took place on March 16, 2010, at Steeles Memorial Chapel, in Thornhill, Ontario. Both his parents attended, along with 200 friends and family. A dozen fans waited outside. In an open letter written to Haim on the day, Corey Feldman stated his wish to stay away to minimize publicity for the family, saying, "I always feared this day would come."
Haim was buried at Pardes Shalom Cemetery in Maple, Ontario.
On May 4, 2010, the L.A. County Coroner's office autopsy report revealed that Haim died of diffuse alveolar damage and pneumonia, together with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and coronary arteriosclerosis, ruled a natural death. As to speculation about whether drugs were involved, the Coroner stated: "the toxicology report revealed no significant contributing factor."
Though Haim had been one of the world's most bankable actors before he turned 21 due to his roles in Lucas, The Lost Boys and License to Drive, he was omitted from the "In Memoriam" tribute montage at both the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards and the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in the year following his death. Perceived by the press as a "snub," Haim's omission from the Oscars received widespread media coverage.
The April 2011 premiere of his last film, Decisions, at the Writers Guild Theater included an onstage tribute by Corey Feldman, who said "I think it's great that this is a memorial tonight as well as a film premiere," and thanked the Writers Guild for "giving a memorial that his friends and fans have wanted."