Leif Garrett, the former teenage heartthrob, deserves more credit as an artist and performer than he receives. Throughout his career, he experienced both incredible highs and devastating lows, often resorting to drug addiction as a crutch, which ultimately led to a decline in his career.
Starting as a child actor, Leif Garrett captured the hearts of young women in the 1970s when he transitioned into a musician. His face adorned the covers of teen magazines at grocery store checkout lanes, leaving a lasting impact on his adoring fans.
His career took off with notable roles in films such as “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” in 1969 and “Walking Tall” and its sequels. In 1983, he joined a talented ensemble of teen heartthrobs in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders.” Television audiences might recognize him from series like “Family,” “The Odd Couple,” “Wonder Woman,” and “CHiPs.”
In 1977, Leif released his first album, and his renditions of popular songs like “The Wanderer,” “Surfin’ USA,” and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” sent his fans into a frenzy. His music career soared, and he toured extensively, often causing scenes of excitement wherever he went.
However, behind the scenes, Leif struggled with feelings of being manipulated and unprepared for the music industry. He wished he had received proper singing lessons before recording some tracks, which left him feeling like a “fraud.”
Unfortunately, Leif’s life took a tragic turn in 1979 when he crashed a car while under the influence, leaving his friend paralyzed. Despite attempts to get back on track, he continued to spiral downward, indulging in a life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll with fellow musicians like Freddie Mercury.
Numerous encounters with the law and struggles with addiction derailed his career, leading him to participate in the comedy show “World’s Dumbest,” alongside other celebrities known for their personal misadventures. He reluctantly appeared on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” and accused the show of staging a relapse for dramatic effect.
Today, Leif Garrett is sober and grateful for his loyal fanbase, holding onto the letters and photos they’ve sent him throughout the years. His fans continue to support him, hoping he can find happiness and fulfillment in his life.
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