Brad Renfro biography
Date of Birth: July 25, 1982
A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Brad Renfro was raised by his grandmother following his parents' divorce.
Developing his acting ability early in school productions, he broke into movies at age 10 when he
impressed an audience member during a D.A.R.E. (a national anti-drug organization sponsored
local police departments) skit (he was playing a drug dealer). The unknown person recommended Renfro
to a talent scout who was holding a national open casting call for a young man to play a traumatized
boy who finds himself in the midst of a deadly homicide case in The Client (1994). Renfro, who had no
training and little acting experience, won the part and found himself working opposite such heavy
hitters as Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Ossie Davis and Mary-Louise Parker. Though such stellar
company may have been daunting to others, Renfro held his own and earned positive reviews for his
Renfro next played a new kid in town who befriends and decides to find a cure for an AIDS-afflicted
boy in the heart-tugging film, The Cure (1995). He continued his rise to stardom when in 1996,
Renfro played Huck Finn to Jonathan Taylor Thomas's Tom Sawyer in Disney's Tom and Huck, and then
essayed an abused boy (Brad Pitt played him as a vengeful adult) in Sleepers (1996). Since then,
Renfro's career has continued to expand.
Renfro won "The Hollywood Reporter's Young Star Award" in 1995 and was nominated as one of People
Magazine's "Top 30 Under 30."
In 1998, he starred opposite Ian McKellen as a high school student morbidly fascinated by Nazi
atrocities who finds himself drawn to an elderly, sinister war criminal in Bryan Singer's sophomore
film Apt Pupil , for which he won a Best Actor Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Shortly before the release of the film, a scandal arose after Renfro was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. He was also found in possession of cocaine. Over the next few years, he was in and out of trouble for various offenses such as grand theft for allegedly trying to steal a yacht in Florida (2000), underage drinking (2001), and public intoxication/driving without a license (2002). However, he has continued to find film work and in 2004 he won a Director's Choice Award for Most Spirited Rising Performance at the Sedona International Film Festival.
A fan of the guitar greats, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page, Renfro took up playing the
guitar at a young age and continues to play on his own time.