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Actor Brad Renfro Dead at 25

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Actor Brad Renfro was found dead yesterday in his Los Angeles apartment, of causes unknown, but for reasons that are no doubt both tragic and infuriating.

He was the cute little kid who acted alongside huge names like Susan Sarandon, Ian McKellan, and Mary Louise-Parker, the cute little kid who grew up to be a troubled but still talented young man, the young man who spiraled downward into a diseased web of drugs and crime. It's an oh-so-Hollywood ending for a Hollywood kid, and another loss for an industry that loves to profit on the back end of pain.

People Magazine is already squeezing out choice quotes from the LAPD and celebu-psych Drew Pinsky:

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Renfro, 25, was drinking Monday night, according to roommates who discovered his dead body Tuesday morning and made the 911 call. Coroner's office Lt. Cheryl MacWillie says the autopsy will be done on Thursday, but toxicology results normally take several weeks.... "Just the fact that he was a known addict who was drinking, that's all you need to know," Pinsky says. "Renfro was taught in rehab to stay away from booze, and if he was drinking the night before, odds are the coroner will find other substances in his body."

I'll bet you three things will happen today: one, the name River Phoenix will be solemnly but pointlessly raised (yet another "lesson" the Hollywood machine failed to learn); two, you'll see a million sites post that picture of a cracked-out Renfro being arrested in a Skid Row drug sting, his good looks all flabbed away, and his eyes in a drugged-dead stare. Three, it'll all be forgotten by next week, and I'll still be pissed off. And sad.