From Sons of Anarchy stars to Snoop Dogg, actors from stage, screen and beyond regularly get caught up in legal issues. So much that sometimes it seems trouble comes hand-in-hand with fame, or trouble is why they're famous at all.
While we're used to seeing celebrities charged with substance abuse offenses, college admissions schemes and lesser assault charges, some actors have crossed the line and found themselves charged with far more serious violent crimes. The celebrities listed below have found themselves formally charged with manslaughter or faced murder charges during their careers.
Some were acquitted or had the charges dropped, like Matthew Broderick or O.J. Simpson. But then there are others are still serving time behind bars like Joe Son from Austin Powers, or they've died like Sons of Anarchy actor Johnny Lewis. Scroll down and read some of the harrowing details behind these offenders. Some may surprise you.
Matthew Broderick's run-in with the law is often forgotten, but back in 1987 the Ferris Bueller's Day Off actor almost served hard time behind bars after a horrible car accident. Broderick was driving in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland when he passed over into the wrong lane and caused a head-on collision. Both the driver and the passenger in the other vehicle were killed instantly.
He was charged with "causing death by dangerous driving," that eventually was lessened to a petty careless driving charge, with Broderick paying a $175 fine instead of going to jail.prevnext
Child-actor turned Hollywood mainstay Robert Blake was put on trial for murdering his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley, who was found shot in the head after Blake went back into a restaurant to retrieve a gun he claimed was left inside.
The In Cold Blood star was charged with the murder, in addition to other charges based on witnesses claiming that he tried to hire them to commit the murder. Charges were dropped after a jury could not reach a unanimous decision, with all but one voting for acquittal. The decision was upheld, but Blake had to pay $30 million to Bakley's family in a wrongful death suit.prevnext
Before his murder trial, O.J. Simpson was best known for his college football and NFL career with the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers. He also transitioned to a steady acting career in TV and film after leaving football. He appeared in all three Naked Gun films, The Towering Inferno, an episode of Roots and numerous other projects. He also hosted Saturday Night Live 1978.
In 1994, Simpson was charged for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. The trial, dubbed the "Trial of the Century," became a massive media event from Simpson's arrest and car chase through Simpson's eventual acquittal. While Simpson was ultimately cleared of the charges, he was found liable in a civil suit and ordered to pay $25 million to victim's families. He later went to prison on unrelated robbery charges and was released in October 2017.prevnext
In one of hip-hop's most notorious legal cases, Snoop Dogg was charged in connection to the 1993 murder of Phillip Woldermariam. Snoop was allegedly driving a vehicle while his bodyguard, McKinley Lee, shot the victim. Driving the car made him justifiably liable for the murder in the prosecution's eyes. With a defense by Johnnie Cochran, both men were eventually acquitted of the crime.prevnext
One of the most tragic downfalls on this list is that of former Sons of Anarchy star Johnny Lewis, who played Half-Sack on the show. Lewis, who also made appearances on The O.C. and Drake & Josh, was found dead in his landlord's driveway on Sept. 26, 2012. It is believed Lewis accidentally fell to his death after and murdering his landlord.
"It was a tragic end for an extremely talented guy, who unfortunately had lost his way," Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter said of the death. "I wish I could say that I was shocked by the events last night, but I was not. I am deeply sorry that an innocent life had to be thrown into his destructive path. Yes, it's day (of) mourning, but it's also a day of awareness and gratitude. Sadly, some of us carry the message by dying," he added.prevnext
Joe Son, best known as Random Task in Austin Powers, had a long and troublesome legal past, with multiple rape charges levied against him. His brush with murder happened in 2012. The 44-year-old actor was accused of the beating death of his cellmate in a Kern County prison. He was recently convicted on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter after a two-week trial.prevnext
Power Rangers actor Ricardo Medina pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter back in March. As previously reported, Medina got into a heated argument with his roommate, 36-year-old Josh Sutter, in January 2015 about Medina’s girlfriend. The situation escalated quickly and became physical, with Medina fatally stabbing Sutter multiple times with a sword. Medina admitted to the stabbing and was subsequently sentenced to six years in prison.
Medina portrayed the Red Ranger, aka Cole Evans, on 2002's Power Rangers Wild Force. He was also involved in the 2012 Power Rangers Super Samurai series.prevnext
Jeremy Lindholm, a cast member in the Showtime revival season of Twin Peaks, was arrested for attempted murder and other charges in August 2017. Lindholm appeared as the character Mickey in a scene opposite Harry Dean Stanton's Carl Rodd in the show, but not long after the episode aired, he allegedly assaulted a woman with a baseball bat.
Spokane, Washington, police responded to the situation and received "information suggesting the intent of the suspect was to kill the victim." Lindholm was then booked for attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault. HE was also charged for assaulting the primary victim's friend.prevnext
Other actors previously charged with manslaughter and/or murder:
Lane Garrison (Prison Break)
Felicia Pearson (The Wire)
Michael Jace (The Shield)
Lillo Brancato Jr. (The Sopranos)
Rebecca Gayheart (Urban Legend/Beverly Hills, 90210)0comments
Amy Locane (Melrose Place)
Charles Dutton (Alien 3 / Roc)prev