Brad Barron Renfro

July 25, 1982 – January 15, 2008

F*ck All Ya’ll


Brad Barron Renfro
Brad Barron Renfro


There are people who were upset because Brad didn’t get a nod in the 2008 Oscars ceremony obituary segment.  True: He was an actor and was in 21 films.  He did work with Oscar winners. Um …  annnnd that’d be about it.  If it is any consolation, Yvonne DeCarlo missed the cut as well.  You can read about Brad’s acting career here.

I have no doubt he was a very nice kid.  Most people who knew him thought so.  His friends called him by his nickname, “‘fro.”

Shortly before his death, Brad had the phrase,  Fuck All Ya’ll tattooed on his upper back. Clearly Brad didn’t think he’d live to a ripe old age.  Clearly.  Had he been thinking of the future, he might have considered one day being in a nursing home and needing some maintenance back there. The nurse might just read that, interpret the message, and let him sit in it. I would.



That being said, according to a pal of Brad’s, Renfro was a Death Hag and read on a regular basis. He even told his friend that one day he would probably end up on it. Guess what?

Welcome to the fold, ‘fro.

According to his friends, for a couple of years before his death, Brad was spiraling out of control. He had been arrested in a highly publicized heroin sting in downtown LA.  He got wasted, hotwired a yacht and gunned it not realizing it was still tied to the dock.  His drug use was out of control.

By 2007, he was trying to beat drugs and booze. He moved in with his girlfriend and her cousin in this apartment building in the Wilshire district. Brad was considering leaving acting and going into a more mainstream career, and spending time with his son. He had recently spent the holidays with his family back in Tennessee.  They are no doubt eternally grateful for it.



Back in Los Angeles on the night of Monday, January 14th, 2008, Brad was drinking heavily.  He made a comment about taking a Vicodin or possibly Xanax. They went to sleep about 2 a.m. On the morning of January 15th, Brad’s girlfriend left around 9, hearing Brad snoring. The cousin must have found him lying unresponsive on the bedroom floor. She dialed 911 and made this call at 10:52 a.m.

Paramedics arrived and pronounced him dead at 11:04 a.m. They found an open bottle of bleach in the (neat and well-furnished) apartment, which led them to consider a drug-related death.  (Bleach is used for cleaning needles.) It wasn’t until the autopsy results were released, that it was confirmed. Brad had died of acute heroin/morphine intoxication.




He was only 25 years old.

When the news hit, the nice folks at E! spelled his name wrong.

On the 21st of January, a memorial was held for Brad in his hometown, Knoxville. There was a closed casket funeral the next day, and a graveside service at the Red House Cemetery in Blaine, TN.  It would be distasteful to point out the drug store in the background.



View his grave.

January 2009 was the one year anniversary of Brad’s demise.  ‘Fro now has a spiffy gravestone.  People gathered to celebrate his life.  Findadeath friend Lisa Burks sends this:

Renfro remembered by family, friends, fans
Crowd braves cold to mark one year since death of young actor

By Wayne Bledsoe
Knoxville News Sentinel
Friday, January 16, 2009

It was a moment that friends and family felt Brad Renfro could’ve

While a small crowd that included his mother, grandmother, stepfather,
little sister, cousins, friends and fans huddled around Renfro’s grave
in 20-degree weather on Thursday, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”
blasted from a car stereo parked in the graveyard.

“Acting was his job, but his No. 1 thing was music,” said Angel Olsen,
Renfro’s mother. Renfro’s gravestone has a guitar engraved on it.

The Knoxville-born actor died at age 25 of a heroin overdose at his
home in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 2008. Olsen organized a short
graveside memorial at Red House Cemetery in Blaine to commemorate the
date of her son’s death.

Friends and family laughed in the bitterly cold wind, sharing stories
of a mischievous child and a generous adult.

Lifelong friend Mike Franklin recalled his friend’s openness.

“We’d be walking on the street on a cold day like this, he’d see a guy
down on the sidewalk, and he’d get down in the cold with him and pray
with him and then go buy the guy a bottle of gin and come back and
pray with him,” Franklin said.

Fan Patrick Broyles drove 258 miles from Winston-Salem, N.C., to be
part of the memorial.

“I just thought he was an incredible actor,” said Broyles. “I wanted
to be here to show support to his family.”

Before the memorial, Olsen said she keeps in regular contact with
Renfro’s young son and the boy’s Japanese mother, but she kept visits
secret for the boy’s protection.

Olsen said Brad would’ve enjoyed family and friends weathering the
cold for him: “He would’ve loved this attention.”

A disturbing yet compelling film, Apt Pupil


Thanks C. and Harry



17 thoughts on “Brad Barron Renfro

  • December 22, 2022 at 3:12 pm

    Another child actor chewed up and spit out of Hollywood’s gaping maw.

  • May 27, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    Wonder if “Fro” knew how much he meant to people? The posted comments on this page are the most emotionally intense of all the posts.

    Thought this guy was brilliant in his first film “The Client”. Not positive, but believe read stories he had little or no acting experience before being cast. To think he was only 12 or 13 at the time… amazing.

    As to director’s “crossing the line”. Joel Schumacher was the director of this film…. Know for a fact this was his same sex “Modus Operandi”. Knew someone who was the girlfriend of an A list actor who’s now in the news as a cast-member of a huge re-boot film now in theaters…. Girl relayed that the actor was declined a role because he wouldn’t “go down” on Schumacher! Saw a picture years ago of Brad laying sideways on a bed from “The Client” & assume it was an “out-take”. Brad looked emotionally troubled, & I thought “somethings wrong”. Looked but couldn’t find, otherwise I’d post it. One pic I did find think makes Schumacher’s attraction obvious:

  • May 28, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    So he’d pray with down-and-out people and buy them GIN?

    Interesting, convoluted values there.

    It *does* take all kinds…

  • May 1, 2021 at 7:13 am

    I love him, I hope he’s OK resting in heaven, he had faith so I hope he can be forgiven and fuck you brian singer

  • April 6, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Thing is… according to some of his not so messed up child co stars… he was forced to support(buy loads of drugs for) that loving(mostly strung out) family with that number 1 thing. They used that poor kid.

  • March 3, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Someone harmed this young man…they may as well have put a gun to his head…every time I see a headline about a young entertainer going inexplicably off the rails, it makes me wonder how true the rumors about the Hollywood pedo factory…I’m starting to believe that they are true.

    • April 13, 2022 at 1:26 pm

      There is no “Hollywood pedo factory” FFS. There are shitty people in every city and every profession. So keep your Qanon fantasies outta here.

      • May 27, 2022 at 7:35 pm

        Well said – We really are living in an “The Emperor’s New Clothes” world.

    • July 12, 2023 at 12:00 pm

      BEEKAYTEE I totally agree with you…something strange happens to young people looking for a job in the entertainment industry. You don’t have to be a QAnon loon to believe that. Predatory people rule in showbiz since the beginning of time.

  • February 27, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    I loved brad renfro, growing up i told my family I would find him one day and marry him, the day he died I was in my mother’s living room, I heard it on E entertainment and I went into shock, he was a great actor and I pray everyday he was still with us. I wish I could of met him or even had the chance too. I wish he was more appropriated.

    • May 30, 2021 at 3:36 pm

      I remember having some of his Tiger Beat and 16 magazine posters on my bedroom wall when I was a preteen. He, Johnathan Brandis and Devon Sawa were my faves. Sadly, only Devon is still with us..

  • February 9, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    I think that there is more backstory here. Like “Apt Pupil’s” director generated a lot of controversy for a shower scene involving young men and nudity. And he played a “gay for pay” killer in the movie “Bully” which was controversial as well. I think he would have had a long and good career as an actor without addiction. He was a natural on camera.

    • April 13, 2022 at 1:29 pm

      Well yeah, the director was Bryan Singer who has a ton of sexual assault and molestation accusations against him. He’s a dirtbag POS.

    • April 21, 2023 at 8:18 pm

      You suck, you have no heart, no empathy and I hope life will teach you a hard lesson some day, insensitive b*st*rd! This young man was born addicted! Didn’t chance. 🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻

      • April 21, 2023 at 8:21 pm

        Correction for mr. SHOTS: Brad Renfro didn’t stand a chance in his life

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