Tragic Child Star #20: Taran Noah Smith

Getty Images.

Taran Noah Smith
April 8, 1984 in San Francisco, California
Notable Roles

Mark Taylor on Home Improvement
Brian Ferris in Little Bigfoot 2: The Journey Home (1997)
Best Known For:
Taran Noah Smith played youngest son Mark Taylor on Home Improvement for eight years. His painfully awkward adolescence was documented on camera as he towered over his costar Jonathan Taylor Thomas towards the end of the show's run.

Famously Linked.
When Smith was 17, he married Heidi Van Pelt, a vegan food guru sixteen years his senior. He thought it would help him to gain custody of his $1.5 million Home Improvement earnings, which he believed were being squandered by his parents.

The Story.
Smith and Van Pelt (at left) started a vegan foods company called Playfood, Inc., which they ran illegally out of the Sherman Oaks home Smith had bought during his childhood. Smith told the National Enquirer that the marriage soured when his wife told him she preferred women to men.

Whatever the case, in 2007 it was reported that the bank had foreclosed on Smith's home. Further investigation by entertainment media (i.e. TMZ) showed that Smith's house was in deplorable condition, with walls ripped apart and graffitied. The real estate listing on the $1,149,900 house bluntly stated,
          via                "Absolutely the worst house in a prime location."

Happy Ending?
Smith's divorce from Van Pelt helped him to re-establish ties with his family, although the proceedings were bitter, to say the least.

He won legal control over the company he and his ex-wife co-founded, and in April 2009, made one of his first public appearances in years at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards.

One of the walls in Smith's home, via TMZ.

Tragic Child Stars

Leif Garrett

Golden boy Leif Garrett was one of the late '70s most beloved teen idols with feathered blonde hair and his hit, "I Was Made for Dancin." By 2006, he had been arrested at least three times for drug possession.
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