Misery’s Child: Eighties Child Actor’s-turned-Authors
Continuing with the article series on horror actors-turned-authors are two former child stars from the 1980’s, Drew Barrymore and Ethan Hawke.
Most audiences familiar with Drew Barrymore remember her as Gertie, the younger sister of Elliot, the young protagonist in the sci-fi classic E.T., the Extra – Terrestrial. Drew then went on to play the lead role of Charlie McGee in the original Firestarter (1984) based on Stephen King’s book of the same name. This was followed up later by Cat’s Eye, another of the author’s books turned into a film.
However, it was her brief but unforgettable cameo in Scream (1996) that immortalized her memory in the horror genre as the ill-fated Casey Becker, the unfortunate first victim in Wes Craven’s popular slasher franchise.
Besides acting/directing, enterprising, and hosting her own self-titled talk show, Drew has also found time to produce several books. Among these is Wildflower an insightful collection of stories detailing her life’s journey from its adventures to its struggles to arriving at a place of maturity and peace.
Little Girl Lost which was co-written with Todd Gold delves deeper into the struggles with alcohol and drug addiction that the actress endured in her earlier years before finally entering a rehabilitation program that helped her break the cycle of self-abuse.
Find It In Everything is a photo album dedicated to “the hearts we find in every day life” that Drew both wrote and provided the photographs for.
Finally on this list of Drew Barrymore’s books is Rebel Homemaker, a lifestyle and cookbook featuring a collection of recipes, personal photos, along with anecdotes about her career, personal journey, and family.
Next on this list of former child stars with a talent for prose, as well as acting, is the estimable Ethan Hawke. Like his peer Drew Barrymore, Hawke was also successful in his youth playing in beloved films such as Explorers, Dead Poets Society, and White Fang.
Also like Drew Barrymore, Ethan Hawke has played in several films in the horror/sci-fi genre. Among these are Alive (based on the true story of the desperate plane crew that had to resort to cannibalism in order to survive), Gattaca, Daybreakers, Sinister, The Purge, and the recently released thriller, Black Phone (2022), as well as the recent Marvel series on Disney+, ‘Moon Knight’.
However, in comparison to his fellow thespian, the talented Mr. Hawke has surpassed Ms. Barrymore in his output of prose. Among his impressive list of credits are:
The Hottest State, Hawke’s debut novel, is the story of a love affair between a young actor and a singer.
Ash Wednesday is about the journey, both literal and emotional, between a young couple as they travel across America from Albany, New York, to Texas.
Bright Ray of Darkness, a spiritual sequel to his debut novel, is about a young Broadway actor dealing with the inner turmoil of a failing marriage and how he uses his anguish to fuel his performance on the stage of Hamlet IV.
Rules for a Knight, is a fictional book written by a knight named Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke (the author’s “ancestor”) about the life lessons he wished to pass on to his four children.
Ethan Hawke also wrote two graphic novels Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars and Meadowlark: A Coming-of-Age Crime Story that he collaborated on with Greg Ruth.
Besides his works of prose, Hawke also earned two Academy Award ® nominations for his work on the screenplays for Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, part of the trilogy he worked on with director Richard Linklater whom he also collaborated on the history-making film Boyhood.
BONUS ENTRY: DEE WALLACE
Along with the aforementioned, another star worth mentioning on this list is actress/author Dee Wallace, known for her work in the films E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial, The Howling, Critters, and Stephen King’s Cujo.
Next up, we continue this series with horror actors that have written cookbooks.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
My name is Jason Dwayne Ivey. I was born in Dillon, SC and raised in rural North Carolina. I am a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where I majored in Computer Graphics. My true passion though is writing. I’ve had a few credits to my name so far including: winning a “Last Man Standing” contest with Wizard Magazine, being a finalist in a Game of Thrones compendium for an essay of mine, interviewing a New York times best-selling author for a Star Wars website, and having a bunch of letters published in several Marvel comic books. Besides writing, I am also a huge movie fan (action, sci-fi, horror), love reading (comics, Stephen King, A. Lee Martinez, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not), and enjoy the action and theatrics of professional wrestling. I’ve been living in the same rural area I was raised for nearly 40 years now, with my family, and several pets. As far as life goals go I hope to one day be a professional author, restauranteur, and to work in the comic/film industry. As for any horror-related experiences I’ve met Gunnar Hansen and Ken Forree years ago at a local halloween themed fund raiser. Oh and I’ve met Steve Niles too. Then there is my personal project that I hope to publish one day which is a fictional universe about monsters inside of a specially-built prison.
Okay, well, in the words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”