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Christian Slater has remained one of Hollywood’s hottest actors over an incredibly long career, and he’s nowhere near done yet. The 52-year-old father of three made his big film debut way back in 1985, though he’d been acting professionally since he was a child. It might have been his familial connections that got him those roles as a kid, but his own talent showed itself as he grew into a young man and took Hollywood by storm. 

Christian Slater – Hollywood Heartthrob

Heathers actor Christian Slater has been a Hollywood heartthrob since the mid ‘80s when he first began appearing in a number of theatrical releases. His film debut came in 1985’s The Legend of Billie Jean, where he played Billie Jean’s brother Binx. Slater was a young man at that time, about 16 years old, but he’d already become quite the experienced actor.


Slater’s first professional acting gig came when he was only 8 years old on the soap opera One Life To Live, which he was hilariously reminded of by Jimmy Fallon. It was only a guest appearance, but Slater would continue to pick up TV series and movie roles until he made his film debut a few short years later. In 1989, at 19 years old, Slater starred in Heathers as a sociopathic high schooler alongside Winona Ryder and Shannen Doherty. 

Slater With Now Ex-Wife Ryan Haddon

(Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com)

While 1989 certainly held highs for Slater’s career, it was also the beginning of his long and unfortunately public struggle with addiction. He was arrested for drunk driving that same year and sentenced to ten days in jail. A few years later, in 1997, he was arrested for punching his then-girlfriend Michelle Jonas and assaulting a police officer while under the influence of cocaine, alcohol, and heroin. Slater later said, after a lengthy recovery, “Work is my hobby – staying sober is my job.”

A Day Before Serving Out Jail Sentence

(Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com)

It was a painful period for Slater, but a necessary one for his own personal growth. The day after Slater posed for this photo at the premiere of Hard Rain, he reported to jail to begin serving his 90-day sentence for drug and assault charges. Following that stint in jail, Slater was ordered to rehab for two months. Slater said at that time, “Work is my hobby – staying sober is my job,” though he’d amend these words in a later interview after becoming a father.

Fatherhood marked a huge shift in Slater’s life, which he reflected on in his unabashedly self-aware way. He noted in a 2009 interview that he’d been sober for four years, and made a slight adjustment to his previous statement on his life’s priorities. “Work is my job, and having adventures with my kids. My kids are all-important.”

Pre-‘Heathers’ Slater

Christian Slater, circa 1986. (Photo by Getty Images)

He also mentioned in that interview that drinking and doing drugs can give you “the illusion of being very cool, that drinking is the hip thing to do and that you’ll seem like Clark Gable. You go to a party and have a drink and feel like a superhero when the truth is you’re looking rather foolish. Showing up for life 24/7 straight and sober can be tough if you’re riddled with insecurities. Actually, the fastest way of knowing who you are is to know who you’re not.”

Just A Kid In A Fringe Vest

American actor Michael Hawkins and casting agent Mary Jo Slater with their son, future actor Christian Slater in Central Park, New York City, USA, circa 1971. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

In this photo, Slater poses with his parents Michael Hawkins, also an actor, and Mary Jo Slater. He’s just a toddler in this photo, but it’s clear to see why his face would inspire love from teenage fans and beyond in just a few short years.

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