Friday, 29 April 2011

Celeb Breakdowns That'll Make You Feel Better About Your Sad Life

It's one thing when a private citizen decides to go off the rails, it's something completely different when a famous person does it. Dig this massive feature on celebrities who lost their marbles.

Margot Kidder

Superman's first girlfriend had a lousy time after the Man of Steel flew town. Margot Kidder is best known for playing Lois Lane in the original Superman movies opposite Christopher Reeve. Unfortunately, Kidder quickly fell victim to the paucity of roles for women above a certain age and saw her career flounder. Things got worse when her bipolar disorder flared up in 1996, causing her to have a very public meltdown that caused her to get picked up naked and cowering in some Glendale shrubbery. Kidder has managed to keep her condition under control since then, thankfully.

Tom Cruise

If you were to name an actor who is always in control, Tom Cruise might be near the top of the list. The miniscule Scientologist carefully manages every aspect of his public persona. That's why it was horrendously shocking when he went on Oprah in 2005, shortly after the public announcement of his unlikely relationship with Dawson's Creek starlet Katie Holmes. In one of the most hilarious displays of craziness ever televised, Cruise bounced up and down on Winfrey's couch screaming with sheer animal joy. Whether this was real emotion or a bizarrely calculated display, it instantly turned Cruise from America's sweetheart to America's weird uncle.
Tila Tequila

The advent of the Internet has made the celebrity breakdown something immediate - no longer do we need to filter it through the media, but instead the crazy famous can bring their madness right to our door. One of the trailblazers in this field is Tila Tequila, the Myspace model and reality show prostitute. Tequila has been using social media like Twitter to spread her message to the world, but her crowning meltdown came late one night in 2009 on a Ustream video feed. Tila took to the Internet airwaves with an epic monologue that featured tampon removal (to prove how clean her vagina was) and pulling a gun whie ranting about being an angel sent from God. That's never good.

Owen Wilson

Here's another one that went crashing down at the height of his powers - Owen Wilson looked to be at the top of his game, coming off of Shanghai Noon, Wedding Crashers and other hits to become one of the leading comedic actors in Hollywood. Unfortunately, struggles with depression had been plaguing the Texas-born actor for years, and in 2007 he was rushed to the hospital from a failed suicide attempt. Since then, he's continued to work, but withdrawn significantly from the public eye as he struggles to deal with his condition.

Anne Heche

Talk about a bad breakup - the day after Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres announced the end of their relationship, the starlet was found wandering the streets of Fresno. She knocked on a suburban door, told the homeowners her SUV had broken down and asked to take a shower. That's weird enough, but things just got weirder from there, as when the cops showed up she told them that she was God and would be taking them back to heaven on her spaceship. This demented monologue was fueled by heavy doses of Ecstasy and childhood trauma.

Robert Downey Jr.

Some of these breakdowns you can't bounce back from. And some are just speed bumps during a long and successful career. Robert Downey Jr. had pretty much obliterated any hope he ever had of acting in Hollywood again with his multiple widely-publicized moments of insanity, from breaking into a Malibu house and passing out in a kid's racecar bed to getting busted in a Palm Springs hotel room with a bottle of speed and a Wonder Woman costume. The Iron Man actor credits kung fu with helping him get past his issues.
Kitty Dukakis

Politics is a hell of a rough game, and nobody knows this better than Kitty Dukakis. After her husband Michael was roundly drubbed by George Bush the Elder in the 1988 Presidential election, Kitty (who had long struggled with an addiction to prescription painkillers) was rushed to the hospital for drinking rubbing alcohol. As she recovered, she admitted that she had also been copping a buzz from nail polish remover, hair spray and mouthwash.
David Arquette

So David Arquette - what's the deal with that guy? The worst WCW World Heavyweight Champion of all time was probably most famous for his annoying role in the Scream movies, but it was anybody's guess how he stayed married to Courteney Cox for so damn long. Like all beautiful things, it wasn't to last, and the pair announced their separation in October of 2010. The very next day, Arquette went on the Howard Stern show to ill-advisedly talk about his sex life, which basically stripped away any sympathy the world had for him. Oh, and there's also his heavily drug-damaged kids show pilot, DIRT Squirrel. See video.

Mariah Carey

I think the tipping point in Mariah Carey's bizarre transformation from sort of classy singer to bizarre huge-breasted basketcase who dresses like an 8 year old Bronx prostitute came in 2001 with a particulary demented appearance on MTV's Total Request Live. Wearing next to nothing, Carey handed out popsicles and rambled insanely about rainbows, ice cream and unicorns. A few days later she was leaving messages on her website overflowing with paranoia, and then she was hospitalized for "exhaustion."

Stephon Marbury

Here's another one where the Internet can in some way be blamed for the epic scale of the meltdown. Stephon Marbury was a rising star in the NBA in the early part of the decade, being named an All-Star twice. But during his tenure with the New York Knicks, the crowd began to turn on Marbury and his playing suffered. So he took his life online, to video streaming website, and things got really bonkers. Marbury's online escapades included eating Vaseline and lipsynching Michael Jackson songs in white pancake makeup. He's now playing for the Foshan Dralions of the CBA. That's the Chinese Basketball Association.

David Hasselhoff

Nobody really takes the Hoff all that seriously, but it was still kind of intense when his own daughter released a video to the Internet that showed the shirtless Baywatch star lying on the floor drunkenly trying to eat a cheeseburger. David Hasselhoff had been long rumored to have an alcohol problem, but he had managed to keep it together despite his career taking increasingly weird turns (anybody remember "HoffSpace?"). The actor later claimed that the videotape was deliberately leaked as part of an epic plan by himself to make himself stop drinking. Things that make you go "Hmm."

Martin Lawrence

The star of Big Momma's House shows us that comedy sure as hell isn't pretty. In 1996, during the filming of A Thin Line Between Love And Hate, the funnyman was picked up by the cops on Ventura Boulevard for yelling at cars and waving around a loaded gun. The reasons for his meltdown aren't terribly clear, but it wasn't the last time the star would act erratic - a few years later, he had to be hospitalized because he decided to go jogging in three layers of sweaters when the temperature was 107 degrees. Dude: SlimFast. It works.
Jessica Simpson

You wouldn't think that Jessica Simpson would have the mental faculties necessary to launch a full-scale breakdown, but you would be wrong. During a 1999 concert in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the former Newlywed and Hollywood hot potato broke down crying mid-song, forgetting lyrics and flubbing her performance. Why? A few days prior, her beloved dog Daisy was eaten by a coyote. Hilariously, she offered a reward on Twitter to anybody who could get the dog back. Coyotes don't have Twitter.
Matthew McConaughey

A breakdown doesn't necessarily have to be a massive headline-grabbing plea for attention. It can be conducted in the privacy of your own home. All that matters is that we see a celebrity with the screens down. Case in point: Matthew McConaughey's neighbors call the cops because of the loud noises emanating from his home. The pigs come and find the actor sitting in his living room rocking out on the bongos completely nude. Not a trace of chemicals in his system, just jamming out on the funky flow of the universe.
Charlie Sheen

Probably the poster boy for the modern celebrity breakdown, Charlie Sheen has been spinning off the rails since his acrimonious divorce from Denise Richards. The amazing thing about Sheen is that his recent blowout - with all the talk of tiger blood, goddesses and winning - is completely free of any kind of outside chemical influence. Unsurprisingly, people have been testing Charlie's pee virtually daily, but nothing's shown up. You know what that means, right? The calls are coming from inside the house.
Christian Bale

When you're dealing with an actor as intense as Christian Bale, you have to expect a seething undercurrent of insanity lurking somewhere beneath the surface. It finally erupted on the set of Terminator: Salvation, where the star went absolutely crazy on a poor dumb DP who walked through the set at an inopportune moment. The level of rage in the leaked audio was absolutely staggering, painting Bale as a vindictive, over-the-top psychopath. Four days after the tape leaked, Bale made a public apology, capping this one off pretty quickly.

Michael Richards

One would think that after starring on untold seasons of Seinfeld you wouldn't ever have to work again, but maybe Michael Richards didn't invest well. The actor went back to stand-up after the show ended, but quickly saw his drawing power significantly derailed when an appearance at the Laugh Factory (and why do comedy clubs always have such moronic names) devolved into a bizarre racist tirade against a group of African-American hecklers, who captured the whole thing on cell phone video.
Gary Busey

Gary Busey is basically a walking breakdown ever since his traumatic brain injury caused by a motorcycle accident in 1988. The insane actor is well-known for saying just about any damn thing that pops into his head, but one of his most public meltdown moments came while being interviewed for Inside Edition in 1998. After discussing snorting cocaine off of a dead dog, Busey snapped on the film crew and threatened to pull a PA's endocrine system out of his body and wear it as a hat.

Lisa Nicole Carson

Ally McBeal co-star Lisa Nicole Carson seemed to fade from the spotlight after that show went off the air. if you were wondering why, it's because she had a major-league breakdown that caused her to get booted from the cast. In 2000, staff at the L'Ermitage Hotel in Los Angeles called the police on Carson after she started screaming obscenities at other guests, including telling them to "crawl out of here like a f---ing snake." Carson, who had recently been discharged from New York's Lenox Hill Hospital after eight days of rehab, never acted again.

Christian Slater

The second Christian on this list, Slater is notable for a very hot temper. It boiled over on a hot night in 1997 when police were called to a party attended by the actor and his then-girlfriend Michelle Jonas. Cops found the Heathers star screaming incoherently and waving his arms in the air, and partygoers testified that he had been attempting to beat the crap out of Jonas. The worst was yet to come as Slater's response to the police arriving was to kick one of the officers down the stairs. Smooth move, bro.
Northern Calloway

The actor best known for playing David on Sesame Street apparently battled mental illness his whole life, but his prime breakdown happened in Nashville, Tennessee in 1980. During an episode, he beat a local theater director with a metal bar and fled the scene, rampaging through the suburbs causing a wide variety of property damage, throwing rocks through car windshields clad in nothing but a Superman T-shirt and screaming "Help! I'm David from Sesame Street and they're trying to kill me!"

Dave Chappelle

What could make an actor and comedian at the top of his game drop everything? Ask Dave Chappelle. During the filming of the third season of Chappelle's Show, the star walked off the set never to return. Chappelle had been angered by the audience proving stupider than he ever could have imagined, taking his racially savvy humor and reducing it to catchprases and idiocy. He hopped a flight to South Africa, not telling anyone where he was going, and proceeded to break his contract with Comedy Central and retire to his house in Ohio to get his head straight.

Crispin Glover

Crispin Glover has always been on the edge of sanity, but he took a serious dive into crazy almost two decades ago on Late Night With David Letterman. A bizarrely-coiffed Glover stomped onto the set in platform shoes carrying a box of what appeared to be facial castings, babbling incoherently about the press and arguing with women in the audience. The mess of an interview ended abruptly with Glover narrowly missing Letterman's face with a karate kick before being escorted off stage.


Icelandic songstress Bjork is someone you'd think would be beyond the pale of human emotions - she's just that weird. Unfortunately, she shows that no matter how bizarre you are, a breakdown is just an annoying reporter away. In 1996, when the singer and her son arrived at an airport in Thailand, a hapless journalist greeted her with "Welcome to Bangkok" only to be met with the Icelandic pixie knocking her viciously to the ground and haranguing her.
Paris Hilton

Sometimes a breakdown can actually be advantageous to a young starlet. When celebutante Paris Hilton was imprisoned in 2007, she immediately began ratcheting up the waterworks, letting her normally composed face be wracked by deep, heaving sobs and tons of tears. Obviously, it worked, as her sentence was reduced almost in half. The reason? The Simple Life actress had a "nervous breakdown" behind bars, prompting medical authorities to spring her from the pokey early.

Russell Crowe

It's hard to say what fuels actor Russell Crowe's multiple public meltdowns. Most celebrities seem to develop a reasonably thick skin (or surround themselves with enough reasonably thick bodyguards) that the everyday aggravations of normal life don't perturb them too much. Not Crowe - the guy seems to get into fights wherever he goes. His most notorious freakout came at New York's Mercer Hotel, where after being frustrated that he couldn't manage to get a hotel phone to call Australia he winged it at a concierge's face. The dude later sued for $11 million, which I'd take a phone to the dome for.

Rip Torn

You don't have to be some young dumb kid to totally go off the rails. Just ask Rip Torn. The Hollywood legend (he was in Beastmaster!) was arrested in 2010 for breaking into a Litchfield, Connecticut bank in the wee hours of the morning, drunk off his ass and carrying a loaded gun. What looked at first glance like the most demented bank robbery in human history turned out to actually be a case of mistaken identity - Torn was so torn up that he thought it was his house. needless to say, he was packed off to rehab immediately.
Sean Young

Actress Sean Young checked herself into rehab in 2008, but the volatile actress had skirted the edge of sanity more than a few times before that. Probably her best (and most-publicized) breakdown came in 1990 when she took an interest in the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns. Most actresses would have their agent get on the producers, pull some strings, go through the usual channels. Not Young. Instead, she dolled herself up in a homemade Catwoman costume and snuck on the Warner Brothers lot to ambush star Michael Keaton and director Tim Burton. Let's just say her plan wasn't purr-fect.

Natasha Lyonne

Actress Natasha Lyonne rose to fame in the American Pie movies, but she obviously didn't take her newfound success very well. In the early '00s she rented a New York apartment from actor Michael Rappaport and proceeded to take the entire building on a spooky disharmonious hell ride. Not content with completely trashing the apartment itself, Lyonne took her drug-fueled campaign of terror to the neighbors, at one point crashing into an adjoining apartment, smashing a mirror and threatening to molest a dog. Evicted, she lived on the streets for a while until being forced into methadone treatment.

John Galliano

Fashion maverick John Galliano rose to fame incredibly quickly with his innovative, unique designs. Unfortunately, his mouth undid everything that his eye accomplished with a pair of insane, racist tirades in a Paris bar. Videotape of the events showed the designer ranting at a group of Italian women classy lines like "I love Hitler. You would be gassed." Needless to say, this didn't go over very well, especially with his employers at Dior who terminated him. He has left France for a rehab facility in Arizona. Is there rehab for racism?

Tawny Kitaen

If you saw Tawny Kitaen on The Surreal Life, you probably already know she's a little off her rocker. But her prime breakdown moment happened in 2002, when then-husband Chick Finley tried to have a serious talk with the Whitesnake video vixen about her debilitating Vicodin habit. Kitaen was so hopped up on goofballs that she tore off her high heels and started brutally beating Finley with them, causing him serious injury. That's a new one on me.

War Machine

Taking so many punches to the head can't be good for your brain. That's the only explanation we can come up with for the insane exploits of Jon Koppenhaver, the MMA fighter who goes by "War Machine." After declaring his retirement from the fight game to pursue a career in adult entertainment, things went pretty far south for him. First he was responsible for a brutal beatdown at a birthday party for a porn actress, starting with his girlfriend and leaving eight more people on the pavement before he fled the scene. He's currently in jail for a different bar fight.

Mel Gibson

Madman Mel has had a number of brishes with insanity over the course of his career - who can forget the amazing moment when he called the cop who pulled him over for DUI "sugar tits?" - but his recent incredibly public breakup with babymomma Oksana Grigorieva takes the cake. The Australian actor probably regrets leaving the intense, profanity-laden voicemail messages that shocked the world - there's really no good way to spin telling the mother of your child that you're going to murder her and use her remains to fertilize a rose bush.

Ron Artest

Back to the world of professional sports for another basketball player who totally lost his marbles. Ron Artest built a great rep on the court as one of the strongest defensive players in the game during his time with the Indiana Pacers, but he built an equally insane reputation off the court with bizarre business decisions. These two worlds collided in 2004 at the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl where Artest, his team up by 15 points, decided to smack Ben Wallace in the back of the head. Artest then for some reason ran to the announcer's table, lay down, put on a headset and started commentating. After a disgruntled Detroit fan showered him with Coke, Ron hit the stands and started beating down spectators willy-nilly.

Lindsay Lohan

This one is kind of a time-lapse breakdown - if we look at Lindsay Lohan's life from Mean Girls to now, it's like watching a barn collapse in slow motion. A really hot barn. Li-Lo's most meltdowny moments came at the end of her very public lesbian relationship with Samantha Ronson, which saw the starlet break down crying while walking down the streets and having a full-fledged mental collapse in jail after the other prisoners chanted "fire crotch" at her. Man, those nicknames never go away, do they?

Isaiah Washington

One would think a gig on the most popular nighttime drama on TV would be enough reason to not say "faggot," but apparently Isaiah Washington's priorities are a little different. The Grey's Anatomy star was raking in the cash and in the middle of a high-profile storyline when he referred to co-star T.R. Knight with the gay slur. He could have probably weathered the storm if it wasn't for his post-game, where he denied ever using the term and was rapidly rebuked by just about everybody in the cast. He later claimed that his dismissal from the show was a result of... racism.

Alec Baldwin

I'm going to be totally honest - Alec Baldwin could probably bilk me out of my life savings and I'd still be a fan. But the world was pretty shocked a few years back when audio of voicemail messages he left for his daughter hit the Internet. Hearing the 30 Rock star tell his 11 year old girl that she was a "rude, thoughtless little pig" was a little tough to deal with. Baldwin was suicidal over the tape and has since worked to restore his relationship with his kid, which shows that some breakdowns end happily.

Meat Loaf

Oh, Meat Loaf. From dad-rock pioneer to unlikely Fight Club hero, your career has had more ups and downs than a roller coaster. The Loaf had some problems with cocaine in the late '70s that prompted a botched suicide attempt, but he's on this list for a more recent (and bizarre) televised breakdown on the set of The Celebrity Apprentice. Loaf, prompted by fellow breakdown all-star Gary Busey, opened up with an epic tirade that was bleeped to incomprehensibility by network censors. Like the best breakdowns, it came from nowhere.

Naomi Campbell

We could do a little list of Naomi Campbell meltdowns all by themselves - the hot-blooded supermodel is notorious for completely losing her crap at horrible times. First there was the incident where she beat her assistant in the head with a phone in 2000. And then the time when she beat her other assistant in the head with a BlackBerry in 2002. And then the time where she beat her maid in the head with a jewel-encrusted phone in 2006. But the best breakdown was her most recent one, where she recieved a number of blood diamonds from disgraced Liberian president Charles Taylor and denied they existed, resulting in an ABC News interview where the supermodel beat down a video camera. Not with her phone, thankfully.

Scott Disick

Is there any human being who looks douchier than former Kourtney Kardashian beau Scott Disick? The dead ringer for American Psycho's Patrick Bateman always seemed like a guy with a meltdown lurking just below the surface, and I'm sure we're all glad that it didn't end up with a chainsaw dropped on a hooker. Instead, Disick lost his steez in a drunken incident in Las Vegas. When Kardashian asked a waiter to stop serving Disick alcohol, the dude lost his crap and launched into an insane tirade that culminated with Scott forcibly stuffing a $100 bill down the waiter's throat. And you thought celebrities were lousy tippers.

Jose Canseco

Back to Twitter, one of the best places ever to track celebrities losing their marbles in real time. Baseball legend Jose Canseco has been having a bit of a rough time since leaving the diamond, with a proposed carrer change to MMA fighter not working out in his favor. In the summer of 2010, Canseco took to his Twitter account to chronicle the story of being evicted from his apartment and forced to live in a garage. Things haven't improved much since then, as Twitter trolls are all over Canseco's account, driving him into further conniptions.
Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston once remarked in an interview that "crack is wack," but that didn't stop the golden-voiced star from spiraling down a seemingly endless drughole during her marriage to Bobby Brown. That unholy union, helpfully documented in reality show format, saw one of the most glamorous and talented singers of all time reduced to a paranoid, juddering wreck hopped up on so many chemicals you could have probably sold her blood as an energy drink. Since leaving Brown, Houston has (mostly) put her life back together, so we all know where the blame lies for this one.

Rick James

Funk overlord Rick James was always a man with some unusual interests, but his 1993 arrest caught him in the midst of one of the most bizarre meltdowns ever seen. James, out on bail from an earlier kidnapping incident, abducted a woman named Frances Alley and kept her hostage for a number of days, beating her and burning her with the hot end of a crack pipe. But he wasn't alone - James's wife Tanya Hijazi served as an accomplice. The reasons for this insane behavior were never discovered, but James was obviously found guilty and sent to ol' Folsom Prison to think about his actions.

Courtney Love

Courtney Love is basically a walking breakdown, each step taking her closer to a state of absolute entropic chaos. The Hole singer and Kurt Cobain widow has been losing it for years, but her most public meltdown happened during 2010's Hole reunion tour. Widely regarded as one of the worst live performances by anyone ever, Love took the stage in Washington, D.C. an hour late, drunk as a skunk and barely remembering how to play any of her songs. As an assistant shadowed her with an iPhone, Love mangled chords, forgot lyrics, took her shirt off, said weird racist remarks to fans and eventually lurched back into the darkness.

Amy Winehouse

Keeping with the motif of female singers who don't know when to say when, Amy Winehouse was on top of the world when Back In Black dropped - literally every Starbucks in America had "Rehab" on loop, and her smoky, soulful voice coupled with Mark Ronson's arrangements took the world by storm. And then we realized they weren't just lyrics, as Winehouse started a time-release meltdown so intense that literally anything could happen, from being introduced to heroin by dirtbag husband Blake Fielder-Civil to getting the most absurd breast implants ever.
Fantasia Barrino

American Idol's Fantasia Barrino rapidly discovered that just winning on a reality TV show isn't enough to make all of your problems go away - a combination of lawsuits from family members and other financial troubles had the powerful singer at the end of her rope in 2010, when she attempted suicide with a mix of aspirin and sleeping pills. Thankfully, she's managed to pull her life out of the tailspin and rebuild, accepting a starring role in this year's Mahalia Jackson biopic.

Britney Spears

Saving the most epic meltdown for last - Britney Spears's string of bizarre behavior in 2007 transformed her from a teen pop princess into a poster girl for bipolar disorder. It all started with Spears marching into a hair salon in Tarzana, California and shaving her head down to a Sinead O'Connor stubble. From there, the star went on a bizarre spree of lunatic behavior including attacking a car with an umbrella and having her kids taken away before being shuffled off to rehab. It's been five years of potential comebacks since, but one has to stick, right?

Randy Quaid

So Randy Quaid is sort of an eternal B-lister, but his meltdown into the sludge of lunacy is so epic it had to make the list. In case you hadn't heard, Quaid and wife are currently fugitives from justice stemming from multiple arrests for fraud and burglary - most interestingly when the couple were living in a house that they claimed was theirs even though they'd sold it in 2007. The explanation for this bizarre behavior is a gigantic conspiracy theory that involves dead people, fraudulent documents and the "Hollywood star whackers," a secret organization responsible for the death of Heath Ledger.
Chris Brown

Singer Chris Brown occupies a pretty bizarre position in the world of American celebrity. Although his talent is undeniable, he's always going to be tagged as the guy who beat the crap out of Rihanna. As well he should be - throughout that entire sad story, Brown never truly seemed sorry for his actions, complaining instead about being persecuted by the media. This came to a head in his recent breakdown on the set of Good Morning America, where in response to some questions he threw a chair across a dressing room, took his shirt off and stormed out of the studio.

Demi Lovato

It's a truism that the more controlled a young star's public life is, the more likely they are to act out. In the case of Disney starlet Demi Lovato, her serious meltdown happened during a Jonas Brothers tour. The young actress and singer marched up to a backup dancer and straight up punched her in the face for unknown reasons. Naturally, she was packed off to rehab, where she confessed to being a self-mutilating bulimic with bipolar disorder.

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