Teen Idols of the 80’s #2

12 Apr

Willie Aames teen years

Well this is a tough one Hunky Men or Teen Idol category, Willie was both.  Born in 1960 Aames was an adult by the time the 80’s rolled around but came to stardom in the TV family drama “Eight is Enough” playing Tommy Bradford 1977-1981.

Charles in Charge

A minor success opposite Scott Baio in “Charles in Charge”  (who also falls into the Teen/Hunky Men category)  and a series of  forgettable movies including the unforgettable “Paradise” only because it starred Phoebe Cates in numerous nude scenes.  Paradise was a blatant copy of the Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins another teen idol that did not make it to Hunky Men status.

Aames and Cates in Paradise 1982

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Child Star Syndrome

Willie made his acting debut at the age of 11 in the” Odd Couple”  and went on to appear in some of the top rated TV shows throughout the 70’s  “Adam 12”, “Gunsmoke”, Medical Centre”, “Waltons” and the Voice of Jamie Boyle  on the animated show “Wait Till Your Father Gets Home”.  In his memoir “Grace is Enough” co-written with his then wife Maylo Upton,  Aames reveals the sad saga of  a hollywood  child star;   molested at 11, drinking and using drugs while filming Eight is Enough with co-star Grant Goodeve, making $1 million a year, own home at 18, married and divorced,  filed for bankruptcy in 2008, attempted suicide, lost his house and car, had garage sale to raise money and unemployed for almost 3 years.  After years of drug and alcohol abuse Aames became straight and sober,  a born again Christian and met his 2nd wife Maylo who was also seeking addiction treatment at the  time.  In 2008 Aames was working as a construction labourer and since has found a job with a cruise line with the entertainment staff.   No matter what decade the hollywood child star story is almost always tragic.
 
 

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