Where Sleepers child cast are now – secret son, tragic death and substance abuse

Legal crime drama Sleepers was released back in 1996 and featured the likes of Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman.

The movie was added to Netflix earlier this month, bringing it to a brand new group of fresh eyes who may never have seen it before.

And while the big names attached to it are still huge names in Hollywood today, there were a number of child stars who played younger versions of the main characters.

The film follows four friends who start running errands for a local gangster and are later sentenced to go to a home for boys, where they're physically and sexually abused.

The movie flashes forward 13 years and then follows how the group, now adults, try to expose the abuse they suffered at the home.

Sadly, in real life, one of the younger cast members had a just as tragic time and died when he was just 25 – but what happened to the him and the other child stars and where are they now?

Jonathan Tucker – Young Tommy Marcano

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Jonathan Tucker, now 38, played the younger version of Billy Crudup's character Tommy Marcano.

After Sleepers, Jonathan continued acting, appearing alongside industry greats such as Tilda Swinton in 2001 flick The Deep End, and in the 2003 re-imagining of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

He had a steady film career up until 2010, when he took an eight-year big-screen break until he appeared in Skin, which won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.

The following year he appeared in the next re-imagining of Charlie's Angels.

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In the years between his movie break, Jonathan had a very healthy career on television, appearing in series such as Hannibal, American Gods and Criminal Minds.

He landed the main role of Jay Kulina in the series Kingdom, acting alongside singer Nick Jonas.

Most recently, he has been appearing as the main role Bryan Beneventi in sci-fi drama Debris, which premiered in March.

Away from his career, Jonathan is married to Tara Tucker, who is the daughter of Pullitzer Prize winner Liaquat Ahamed.

They have twins, who were born in May 2019.

He is also the founder of nonprofit organisation Pegasus Fund.

Joe Perrino – Young Lorenzo 'Shakes' Carcaterra

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Joseph Perrino, now 38, played the younger version of Jason Patric's character Lorenzo "Shakes" Carcaterra.

Sleepers was Joe's big break in the acting world, and he was cast despite having very little experience.

His performance saw him nominated for a number of awards and he also won the title of Breakthrough Star by People Magazine.

Joe's career has been steady ever since, starring alongside Oscar-winner Anna Paquin in A Walk on the Moon in 1999.

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He had a seven-year hiatus from acting between 1999 and 2006 and a year later he landed a role in classic series The Sopranos, as a young mobster called Jason Gervasi.

In 2017, he was cast in fan-favourite series Power in the fifth season as Vincent Ragni, who was a boss in the Italian syndicate.

He was initially meant to be part of just five episodes, however his time on the show was extended to two seasons.

Power creator Courtney A Kemp said that the actor made such a good impression that the storyline was changed to keep his character alive.

Joe married actress Youri Cho in 2019, and they celebrated their two-year anniversary in February.

Geoffrey Wigdor – Young John Riley

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Geoffrey Wigdor, now 39, played the younger version of Ron Eldard's character John Riley.

Despite continuing acting until 2014, Sleepers is Geoffrey's best known role.

His first role was in 1990 as Buddy Barrett in The Baby-Sitters Club, when he was just eight years old.

In the years between Sleepers and his 2014 appearance in the series Elementary, Geoffrey has had a number of appearances in well known shows.

He's appeared in Law & Order, The Sopranos, ER and twice in Law and Order SVU as two different characters.

Nowadays, Geoffrey works as an estate agent in New York City, selling properties worth upwards of $2million around the city.

He also shares his art on Instagram, which he describes as "funky cosmic love scenes".

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Tragically, Geoffrey and his wife Emma Zaks, a Soul Cycle instructor, suffered a miscarriage last year.

However the couple, who celebrated their third anniversary in October, have not given up hope.

Emma, who suffered a stroke in her 30s in 2015, spoke out in January about her experience of losing her baby.

She shared a photo of her after her loss, and she explained the miscarriage had happened when she was almost 10 weeks along.

The former Broadway actress writes in her Instagram bio: "Stroke survivor waiting for my rainbow baby," – a term used to describe a baby born after a previous miscarriage.

Brad Renfro – Young Michael Sullivan

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Brad Renfro is a casualty of Hollywood, as the tragic star died in 2008, aged just 25.

He played the younger version of Brad Pitt's character Michael Sullivan in Sleepers, which he starred in when he was just 14.

Brad was often cast as a "tough" character despite his young age, after growing up on a trailer park with his grandmother Joanne Renfro.

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He had a promising career ahead of him, after being named The Hollywood Reporter's Young Star in 1995.

However it was sadly marred with tragedy right up until his untimely death.

In 1998, when he was 15, he was arrested and charged with drug possession, after he was found carrying cocaine and marijuana.

He had multiple stays in rehab under his belt by the time he turned 18.

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It wasn't long before his crimes got more serious, as, in August 2000, Brad attempted to steal a yacht from the Fort Lauderdale harbour, and he was charged with grand theft and criminal mischief.

He was sentenced to two years probation, which he violated the following year when he was arrested for underage drinking.

A year later, Brad violated his probation again with charges of public intoxication and driving without a valid license, and he was put into a three-month substance abuse treatment programme.

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More charges and probation violation charges followed, with one leading to a 10-day stay in jail.

The bright young actor was arrested in December 2005 on Skid Row and he admitted he was using heroin and methadone.

In May 2006, he spent 10 more days in jail for driving under the influence and for attempted heroin possession.

The following year, a judge warned Brad that he would be sentenced to a rehab centre or jail if he violated his probation any more.

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Sadly, he was found dead in his LA apartment on January 15, 2008, at the age of 25.

He was buried in a cemetery in his home city of Tennessee.

Brad's death was ruled as accidental, with the LA County Coroner's office citing acute heroin/morphine intoxication.

Less than three weeks later, his grandmother Joanne died aged 76.

It was revealed after his death that he had a son born in 2003 in Japan, with a Japanese woman.

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His son wasn't mentioned in his own obituary, and it wasn't until Brad's mother Angela died in 2012, that the public were made aware of the lad's existence.

Brad's life was documented in a Buzzfeed article in 2018, 10 years after his death.

It delved into the welfare of child actors and whether there was enough protection.

The article noted that while there had been no laws or contracts broken when it came to the protection of child star Brad, it did suggest that he was failed due to a lack of supervision away from the movie set.

Brad was around alcohol from a young age, and young women sent him sexually suggestive cards before he was even a teenager due to his grown up nature.

His early roles were often sexualised too, or portrayed him shirtless.

Similarly, when he was 13 and filming Tom and Huck, Brad had a girlfriend who was several years older than him.

In the years following his death, he was remembered in the Foster the People song Downtown, as well as by actor James Franco, who had "Brad" tattooed on his right shoulder.

Sleepers is available to stream on Netflix

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