5 Famous People With Depressing Where Are They Nows: Part II
The last time I looked into what some long-lost celebrities had been up to, we all got a little bummed out. It's not fun to learn that Richard Simmons is a prisoner in his own home (and tiny shorts) or that actor Randy Quaid is a serial home squatter who thinks a secret guild of celebrity assassins is out to kill the crazy dad from Independence Day. I didn't mean to bum you out. I'm a slave to the research, and the research has supplied me with five more tales that'll catch us up on the whereabouts and goings-on of famous folks you used to see all over the place.
I promise, only most of them are depressing.
Fred Durst Has Been Banned From Ukraine
Limp Bizkit's window of popularity shut in the early 2000s, leaving them and the nu-metal genre they championed a relic of a cheesy bygone era of rock 'n' roll, like dozens of hair metal bands before them. In the years after the band's fame faded, lead singer Fred Durst directed a couple of small not-terrible movies that didn't do much to jumpstart his filmmaking career. So he's been trying to be a director in Russia.
Durst loves Russia, and Russia loves him back. In 2015, he and Limp Bizkit toured throughout the country, hitting every city they could. Soon after Russia forcefully snatched Crimea from Ukraine, Crimea's leader put out an open letter declaring his vision to turn Crimea into "the new Beverly Hills" and his hope that Western celebrities would make the land their new home. Neither Tom Cruise nor Scarlett Johansson have begun the moving process, but Crimea did get one Hollywood elite - the writer of the album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water.
Durst sent a letter back saying he wanted to be a part of that vision, offering to produce movies and TV shows for the up-and-coming hostilely-taken-over chunk of land to help create a "great future of Crimea and Russia." Russia is super proud that they've been able to snatch Durst from American hands, like they couldn't just do it by promising him a six-pack of Coors and a lifetime supply of backwards hats.
Sure sounds like Fred Durst has become a Russian propagandist, and not just to my ears: Ukraine, still reeling from having a chunk of itself stolen by Russia, caught wind of all this Fred Durst nonsense, so they banned him for five years "in the interests of guaranteeing the security" of the country. For years we've all known Fred Durst is a threat to our security, but Ukraine is the only country to make it official.
Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Possible Murderer
James Reiher called for an ambulance from his hotel room in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He told the 911 operator that his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, had been injured. She died in a local hospital a few hours later. The cause of death was "undetermined craniocerebral injuries." From head to toe, her body was covered with over two dozen bruises and cuts. Reiher was the only suspect in the investigation.
Five months later, on October 17, 1983, Reiher, or as he was better known in the world of professional wrestling, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, leaped from the top of a steel cage and crashed down on his opponent, Don Muraco.
It's one of the most iconic moments in the history of professional wrestling. Snuka's star had been rising for months. With one daring move, Snuka became a superstar. Charges against Snuka in the death of Argentino were never pressed, though in 1985 he had to fork over $500,000 to Argentino's parents as the result of a wrongful death lawsuit. Only he didn't because he didn't have the money.
Snuka went on with his professional wrestling career, enjoying his status as a legend of the industry even though the glitz and glamour of the life faded. Like so many once-mega-popular wrestlers of the era, he went from wrestling alongside greats on grand stages like WrestleMania to performing in small gyms for tiny wrestling promotions in just a handful of years. While Snuka never again reached the heights of the early 1980s, his reputation as one of wrestling's biggest stars ensured he was always able to find work in the brutal world of pro wrestling.
In 2015, Snuka's wife announced that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Soon after, Snuka revealed that his years of taking shots to the head had left him with dementia, an ailment of particular interest to the prosecutors who charged Snuka with Nancy Argentino's death over 30 years later. Prosecutors thought Snuka was faking it, but after a one-on-one meeting, the judge found him to be genuinely lost. His mind had deteriorated. Snuka's wife said that when he was arrested, he thought he was being taken to meet some of his fans. Snuka died two weeks after the case was dismissed.
Chris "The Sherminator" Owen Waits Tables
Chris Owen has a face you've seen dozens of times. Between 1995 and about 2006, there was hardly a teen comedy he wasn't in. Major Payne, Can't Hardly Wait, She's All That, and National Lampoon's Van Wilder, to name a few. Basically, any movie where teenagers experienced a series of wacky adventures on their quest to get meet women and subsequently embarrass themselves in front of even more women.
You know him better as the Sherminator from all 97 American Pie movies and spinoffs. He was the virgin overflowing with an unearned ladies' man bravado and, yeah, I just described seven different characters from that series.
Owen has appeared sporadically in movies and TV shows since his glory years as a staple of teenage comedies, but life as a working actor sucks. Since 2012's American Reunion, he's only been cast in a couple of movies, mostly low-budget indies most people probably have never heard of. He needed to make money somehow, so he turned to the job actors in Los Angeles usually get before they get steady acting work: waiting tables at an L.A. sushi restaurant.
And don't for a second feel bad for him. Owen is still acting, he's still doing what he wants to do with his life -- he's just making the same kinds of sacrifices people make to keep doing what they love. Like he said himself, "Life doesn't always go the way you planned. I love acting and this job lets me stay in the fight." He's had a couple of gigs in recent years, so he's still in the game, still trying to find his foothold in a merciless industry.
Jeffrey Jones Is All About Child Porn
He was Principal Edward Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and played Lydia's dad in Beetlejuice. He was also the publisher of the town newspaper in Deadwood. Jeffrey Jones is one of those character actors you've seen a ton and didn't realize he even had a name.
Jones found steady work in Hollywood starting in the early 1970s. In comedies, he always played the stuffy white guy to counterbalance the ethnic main character, like John Leguizamo in The Pest or Sinbad in Houseguest, both of course being cinematic classics that'll be a part of the Criterion Collection any day now. He was born looking like a character ripped from the pages of a Tim Burton sketchpad, which probably explains why he was a regular in Burton's movies. Looking at his IMDb page, his career was chugging along steadily until the early 2000s, when the acting gigs seemed to slow down. He was born in 1946, so maybe it's just age?
Oh, no. It's not. It's because of child porn.
Not only was Jones arrested in 2002 for possession of child pornography, but he also created some of his own. A 14-year-old boy Jones had hired to pose in sexually explicit pictures ratted Jones out to the cops. He pleaded no contest. Since there was no improper sexual contact between the two, just pictures, Jones walked away with a relative slap on the wrist: five years of probation, and he had to register as a sex offender and undergo counseling. I'm sure that'll knock the pedophilic thoughts right out of him.
Lenny Dykstra Is A Gross Idiot And The Worst Businessman Of All Time
Lenny Dykstra was a great ballplayer, and he proved it throughout his Major League career. Like the time a group of priests walked by, so Dykstra raised his leg and farted on them as a joke. Oh, I'm sorry. That proves Dykstra is an immature jerk and a sociopath. My bad.
After spending nearly all of his money earned from baseball, this oafish dummy somehow found huge post-baseball success as a self-taught stock market guru. Between that and his gaudy, overpriced California-based chain of car washes, he made a fortune. But Dykstra's ability to understand the market didn't change the underlying fact that he was a crazy moron who didn't have a shred of financial responsibility in his body.
Dykstra bought Wayne Gretzky's $18.5 million mansion, hoping he could flip it and turn a substantial profit, but he couldn't, because you can't flip an $18.5 million mansion. He refused to pay back investors. He charged tens of thousands of dollars on credit cards belonging to his friends, employees, and family members. He was sued dozens of times for failing to pay employees their wages.
Dykstra's most grandiose failure was The Players Club, a magazine for filthy rich professional athletes he started with the money earned from selling all of his car washes, which were his primary source of income. The magazine launched in 2008, coinciding with the exact moment the world stopped reading magazines. He'd regularly rip huge farts during editorial meetings and boast about how rich he was. Again and again, Dykstra would make his employees watch a profile about him featured in an episode of HBO's Real Sports. If you're interested in becoming an employee of Lenny Dykstra, please read this incredible GQ article about what that nightmare is like. And if you still want to be one after that, please see a doctor.
The Players Club only ran for seven issues before it closed down. Dykstra filed for bankruptcy in 2009. He lost his mansions and his jets. Then came an endless stream of lawsuits from every direction. He was living out of a car at one point. He's done some jail time, being brought up on charges ranging from embezzlement to grand theft to filing false financial statements. Has his imprisonment, the loss of his riches, and his fall from grace softened his grotesque demeanor? Well, judging by his June 2016 appearance on The Howard Stern Show, where he revealed that he's a gigolo for older women, no. Not really.
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