So, have you heard about the epic downward spiral of the former child star from Small Wonder?
Surprisingly, it was not the cast member who is probably still in therapy thanks to this haircut. Can we just talk about this mushroomy pigtailed mess of a haircut for a minute? Actually, let’s not.
Jerry Supiran–who spent four seasons playing Jamie Lawson on Small Wonder, a show that never should have lasted four seasons–is apparently living under a bridge in California these days, after a series of unfortunate events that began when his stripper girlfriend stole his trust fund cash 21 years ago. You know, THAT OLD CHESTNUT.
Little known fact: Oliver Twist only ended up at the orphanage after being robbed blind by his baby girl Sinnamon.
After that, a shady financial adviser stole half a million from Jerry, who went on to spend 15 years waiting tables in steakhouses before getting laid off “due to the economy” two years ago. Jerry moved back to California, where, according to him, his brother “helps me with hot meals and a shower, [but] he doesn’t have the room for me to stay there. So I either sleep at the homeless shelter I volunteer at, or under a local bridge.”
Wow. Pretty sad stuff, right? But…something seems a little off here. Let’s take a minute to break Jerry’s situation down step by step:
- He was a child star of some notoriety on Small Wonder: check
- He made a few appearances in other TV shows throughout the 80s: check
- He started dating a stripper at age 18 and GIRL TOOK ALL HIS MONIES: OK, fine, check
- His shady money man took the rest: REALLY?! Check, I guess, but dude: maybe make some new friends?
- He worked as a waiter for 15 years: Wow — that’s a long time. He probably has, like, ASSLOADS of waiter experience and could totally get hired in any food service environment. Check (please!) (Couldn’t resist.)
- He got laid off from his steakhouse job two years ago due to “the economy.” Uh. I guess people stopped eating steak in 2010? Whatever. Times are tough for the business owner, I get it. Check.
- He “[hasn't] been able to find a job since.” Dude. DUDE. Really? With 15 years of experience waiting tables, NO ONE WILL HIRE YOU? Anywhere? This is really where he starts to lose me, and also where I start to smell a rat. And by “rat,” I mean “raging coke habit.”
- He moves to California, home of his brother and crew, who help him with showers and hot meals but don’t have room to let him crash, leaving him to take up residence UNDER A DAMN BRIDGE.
It seems to me that ol’ Jerry is leaving out some major details here. Think about it: if your brother came to you while he was down on his luck and told you his only options for sleeping that night were on your couch or UNDER A BRIDGE, would you really be all “Sorry, bro — here’s some casserole but that’s all I can do LOVE YOU MEAN IT HAVE FUN WITH ALL THE OTHER HOBOS.” Something tells me that Brother Supiran is protecting his family from, say, Jerry’s fondness for meth or something similar to draw such a hard line here.
Also: You seriously can’t find another job waiting tables, Jerry? REALLY? I know you don’t really like to talk about your flair, but I am having a hard time getting over this.
Take off those shades when I’m talking to you, young man! (The Budweiser hat’s OK, though.)
So, it’s obvious Jerry is facing some serious life challenges here, and–all jokes aside–I truly hope he’s able to pull himself out of whatever the hell is going on here and get back on track to a happier place. Just another casualty of the childhood fame machine, right? Well, that was my initial reaction whenever I first read about Jerry’s current situation…but the more I think about it, the more I realize that there has to be a statute of limitations on screwed up adults blaming childhood fame for their present day messy lives.
If that sounds harsh, I don’t mean it to be, because I am truly a big ol’ softie who will take whatever sob stories you got (which, incidentally, is also why I make a terrible manager), but I feel like there are an awful lot of screwed up former child actors trying to blame their early onset fame for their crappy decisions, and I just don’t see the connection.
Of course, some of these people are more than justified in tracing their downfall back to a wacky, warped childhood in the spotlight (*coughMICHAELJACKSONcough*). It does not take a licensed therapist to see why Mackenzie Phillips went entirely off the rails, for example, and one gets the feeling that Britney Spears was never equipped to handle everything that stardom dished out, but…Maureen McCormick (Marsha Brady), Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family), Jodie Sweetin (how rude), the entire damn cast of Diff’rent Strokes? GUYS. You were big on, like, ONE SHOW, ONCE. How long do you get to blame your major problems on something that ended twenty-plus years ago?
And if ANYONE deserves to have a drug-fueled meltdown, it’s Kimmy Gibbler because WTF WITH THAT HAIR.
I must point out, though, that Jerry Supiran is not blaming his troubles on his childhood fame outright (he mostly just blames the stripper), but one gets the feeling he’s still trying to come down off those four years of sitcom fame in the 80s, and…no. Sorry. You don’t get to be this messed up because of Small Wonder. GET IT TOGETHER, SON.
Then again, I have to admit that I know nothing about fame. I don’t know how it builds you up and deludes you, and I definitely don’t know what it feels like to be a famous kid who probably believes it’s all going to last FOREVAH! The child stars who avoided ruin all seem to credit the same thing for their survival: good parents who paid attention and prevented them from being swallowed alive by Hollywood — meaning that the Drew Barrymores and Lindsay Lohans of the world never really stood a chance. And now that my own kid is getting to the age where she’s showing interest in different activities, I’ve realized how hard it’s going to be to encourage her to pursue what she loves to do without letting it consume her or set her up for eventual self-destruction.
I just hope that the child stars of today can learn from the child stars of the past and managed to avoid an ugly and slow descent to under-bridge living, because Internet? I don’t think I can handle the possibility of Manny from Modern Family getting a DUI while driving a prostitute around in a stolen car.
Let that be the only pipe you ever touch, Manny!