Brad Barron Renfro (July 25, 1982 – January 15, 2008) was an American actor. He made his film debut at the age of 11 in the lead role in The Client, and went on to star in 21 feature films. His career faded rapidly because of alcoholism and substance abuse. He died from a heroin overdose at the age of 25.Prior to being cast in The Client, Renfro had no acting background and had been living with his grandmother in a trailer park. Director Joel Schumacher cast him after looking around the country for a “tough kid” who had the necessary life experiences to understand his character. He soon attracted a large fanbase as he continued to star in movies like Tom and Huck and Sleepers. After 1998’s Apt Pupil, a series of criminal arrests and stints in drug treatment limited his choice of roles.
Renfro’s early death has raised questions as to whether Hollywood’s systems for protecting child actors’ welfare are adequate for at-risk youth acting in films.