Brad Renfro – Bio, Son, Net Worth, Was He Gay, How Did He Die?

Brad Renfro
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Brad Renfro is not a name that is currently dominant in the entertainment scene, however, the deceased actor will always be remembered by fans and friends. His debut acting role was in the film The Client, a role which came to him by happenstance. Prior to that role, he had no previous acting background and was living with his grandmother in a trailer park. It happened that the director – Joel Schumacher, was searching the country for a tough kid with the necessary hard life experience to cast in the lead role. He decided to use Brad for the film and was not disappointed with the result.

Brad Renfro soon attracted a healthy fan base as he continued to play leading roles in films like The Cure, Tom and Huck and Sleepers. However, after his part in Apt Pupil which was released in 1998, he experienced several setbacks in the form of drug treatment and several criminal arrests which limited his performance to a great extent. As a result, his career faded very rapidly and he later died as a result of substance abuse. Before his demise, Brad starred in a total of 21 feature films and won a few awards and nominations for his efforts in entertainment.

Biography: Who Is Brad Renfro?

Brad Barron Renfro was born on the 25th of July 1982 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was the son of Mark Renfro – a factory worker and Angela Denise Olsen. After his parent’s divorce, he went to live with his paternal grandmother Joanne Renfro when he was five years old. His grandmother earned a humble living as a secretary in a church and used to accompany him on set during his early years in acting.

A notable member of his family, Jesse Hasek, is the lead vocalist of the music band – 10 Years. Brad Renfro appeared in the band’s music video for their song Wasteland. He played the role of a petty drug peddler in Provider by N*E*R*D.

Brad started experimenting with alcohol and hard drugs from a very tender age. According to what he told his friends, his mum was a heroin addict while she was pregnant with him and at the age of 12, he started using the substance after being enabled by his mum who actually gave him his first dose. Brad started smoking marijuana at the age of 9 and it even resulted in his expulsion from school when he lit up a joint close to a school official. His first contact with alcohol was at the age of 11 and by the time he was 18, he had already attended rehab numerous times.


The existence of Brad’s son was unknown in his lifetime, no one was privy to the fact that the boy existed until his demise when his family revealed the identity of his son as Yamato Renfro. According to several sources, Brad had the boy with a woman he met in Japan. Yamato, who was born in 2003, is currently living with his mother in Japan.

Net Worth

According to several reliable sources, Brad Renfro accumulated a total of $300,000 as his estimated net worth before his death in January 2008. Had the actor not passed away so soon, he would have undoubtedly added to his wealth over the years, seeing as he was a very talented actor.

Was He Gay?

Brad Renfro
Brad Renfro & Ex-Girlfriend, Anne Bergstedt

There is no indication that Brad Renfro was gay, he had several public relationships with the opposite sex during his lifetime. His two-year relationship with Anne Bergstedt was known to the public; he also dated Daryl Hanna, Rachel Miner, Jennifer McDaniel, Gaby Hoffmann and Kelly Roberts over the years. With these facts, it can be confirmed that Brad Renfro was straight.

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How Did He Die?

Brad Renfro died in his L.A. apartment on the 15th of January 2008 at the young age of 25. He was interred in Tennessee on the 22nd of January 2008, at Red House Cemetery, in Blaine. His death was ruled as accidental by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office who attributed his demise to acute heroin-morphine intoxication.

Important to note that his grandmother died only 17 days after his death, she died at the age of 76 in her home and according to local officials, she died of natural causes.

A few of Brad’s close friends tried to commemorate his memory in one way or the other, his former roommate Mark Foster – a founding member of the music band popularly known as Foster the People – recorded a song titled Downtown in his memory. Anne Bergstedt – his former girlfriend set up a memorial fund for him and James Franco – the actor, tattooed his name “Brad” on his right shoulder. James Franco went a little further to produce a limited-edition series of switchblades with the inscription Renfro Forever.