Sunday, July 27, 2008

Zachery Ty Bryan

Zachery Ty Bryan is a former child star best known for his role as "Brad Taylor" for his role on the hit 1990s sitcom, Home Improvement.

Bryan was born on October 9, 1981 in Aurora, Colorado. He began his entertainment career appearing in print and television advertising. He later moved to California and was cast in 1991 in his break-through role as Brad Taylor on Home Improvement. Bryan was one of three child stars in the fictional Taylor family on Home Improvement. The other two were Jonathan Taylor Thomas (who played "Randy Taylor") and Taran Noah Smith (who played "Mark Taylor"). (Of the three child actors in the Taylor family, Bryan is the only one not hounded by homosexual rumors, despite what the picture on the lower right below might seem to imply.)

The Brad Taylor character was an athlethic-type kid who was also somewhat of a punk. He was also known for sporting a long mullet. During the first few seasons of Home Improvement, Brad and Randy would often gang up to make fun of their weirdo brother, Mark. Brad would also frequently act before thinking things through, causing him to often end up in trouble.

Home Improvement was a massive hit during its run from 1991-1998 and made Bryan a star and somewhat of a heartthrob. His role led to some subsequent roles in motion pictures, including roles in First Kid (1996), The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999), and The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006). His most memorable movie scene is perhaps one from First Kid in which Sinbad fired an enormous spitball at him:

Although he has managed to act in a number of small roles ever since Home Improvement went off the air, it is clear that the demand for Bryan has diminished substantially over the years. Wearing see-through shirts such as the one shown below certainly cannot be helping his career prospects.

Bryan's personal life is apparently somewhat hectic. In April 2008 he was staying at a Choice Hotel in San Diego when he allegedly went across the street to grab a Gatorade. When he returned, the hotel employees refused to let Bryan go upstairs to his room because the room was not reserved in his name. The hotel employees appear to have been under the assumption that Bryan was some kind of homeless vagrant when he returned to the hotel.

Bryan claims that hotel employees refused to let Bryan call up to the room to speak with his wife. This refusal apparently caused Bryan to fly off into a rage. In response to Bryan's behavior, a hotel employee whipped out a taser gun and tased Bryan in his neck. Bryan is currently suing Choice Hotels for $25,000 as a result of this embarrassing incident.

Although Bryan has appeared on a hit sitcom, became the "Spitball Kid" in a major motion picture, and has acted in several additional roles over the years, the fact that hotel employees automatically assumed that he was a homeless vagrant speaks volumes. Accordingly, there can be no doubt that Zackary Ty Bryan is one washed up celebrity!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Tracey Gold

Tracey Gold (born Tracey Claire Fisher) is a former child star best known for her role as Carol Seaver on the hit 1980s sitcom, Growing Pains. Gold was born on May 16, 1969 in New York City and began acting at age four. Her first entertainment job was for a Pepsi print advertisement.

Gold had a fairly prolific acting career in her youth, appearing with small non--recurring roles in many different shows, including hit shows such as Eight Is Enough, Fantasy Island, and Trapper John, M.D. In 1979, she obtained a recurring role on the one season of the TV show, Shirley, with Shirley Jones. In 1983 she had another recurring role in the sitcom Goodnight, Beantown, with Bill Bixby. Unfortunately for Gold, both of those shows were cancelled after a single season apiece. In 1981, Gold thought that she finally got her big break when she was cast as the youngest daughter in the hit sitcom Gimme A Break!, until she was replaced by actress Lara Jill Miller shortly before that show went into production.

Gold's minor roles throughout her childhood and early teen years did, however, lead to her career-defining role as Carol Seaver on Growing Pains. Growing Pains was a very successful sitcom and Gold was popular among the show's teenage fan base for her cute and wholesome girl next door looks. [This, of course, is a sharp contrast from her young co-star, fellow washed-up celebrity Jeremy Miller, who was, according to the IMDB message boards, very popular with the show's gay fan base.] Gold was integral in many of the show's storylines, several of which dealt her attraction to boys and her excellent performance in high school.

Despite being a successful child actress and co-starring on a hit TV show, Gold suffered through a highly publicized battle with anorexia nervosa. Gold claimed that she became practically obsessed with her weight and began restricting what she ate. At the age of 11, she was diagnosed as being in the early stages of anorexia nervosa after simultaneously losing weight while going through a growth spurt. Gold went into counseling over this issue and eventually returned to a normal weight.
In 1988, Gold put on some weight during Growing Pains' hiatus. Despite knowing about Gold's previous weight issues, the show's writers wrote storylines where Gold was to be subject to many fat jokes during successive episodes. Gold once again began obsessing about her weight, dropping from 133 lbs to 110 lbs while on a 500 calorie per day diet. Over the next couple years, Gold continued to drop weight, eventually getting down to a weight around 80 lbs. During the final season on Growing Pains, the show's producers suspended Gold from the show because of her gaunt appearance. She appeared in the Christmas 1991 episode but didn't appear in any more episodes until late spring, 1992.

After Growing Pains went off the air in 1992, Gold finally started to get her life in order and eventually got well enough to return to a healthy weight. In 1994 she acted in the TV movie, For the Love of Nancy, a movie about a young woman battling anorexia.

Gold still occasionally acts, although not nearing as frequently as she used to do back in her youth. On the personal side, Gold got married in 1994 and has four children. On September 3, 2004, Gold put her own life and the lives of everyone in her family in danger when she was driving her family in an SUV while intoxicated. Gold lost control of the SUV, rolling it down a California freeway embankment. The accident nearly killed her 7-year-old son, Sage, who suffered a broken clavicle and a head laceration. Gold was arrested and charged with a DUI.

Although Gold was a successful child actor and courageously won her battle with anorexia nervosa, the fact the she put the lives of everyone in her family in jeopardy by driving drunk makes Tracey Gold one washed up celebrity!