Jason Bateman Proves That Child Stars Can Survive

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2009 7:19 PM CDT
Jason Bateman arrives at the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2008.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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(Newser) – Jason Bateman ought to be a drunk or dead by now. A child star on Little House on the Prairie and a slew of forgettable '80s roles, Bateman turned to boozing, snorting, and smoking up on wild all-nighters. "Shutting that off was key," he tells Steve Kandell for a Details profile. Bateman's turning point was a lonely Christmas morning when his wife demanded he come clean—and went on vacation without him.

Since then, rehab has transformed his addictions into hobbies—like horse-racing and baseball—and helped win him acting gigs. A role in Arrested Development led to parts in Hancock and Juno. Now 40, he's being re-launched into stardom in films alongside Jennifer Aniston and George Clooney. The pressure is on. "Things are going better now than ever, but in 24 months?" says the boyish actor. "I could be hearing crickets."