What the Hell Happened to Freddie Prinze Jr?
For a brief time in the late 20th century, Freddie Prinze Jr. was a teen heartthrob. He followed up a hit horror franchise with a sleeper romantic comedy and a science fiction movie that was expected to spawn a series of sequels. After a string of you-oriented rom-coms, Prinze married one of his co-stars and seemingly rode off into the sunset.
What the hell happened?
Freddie Prinze Jr. was the only son of stand-up comedian and TV star, Freddy Prinze Sr. Prinze Sr. was best-known for starring in the hit sitcom Chico and the Man. The comedian struggled with depression and substance abuse throughout his career. In 1975, he married Freddie Prinze Jr.’s mother and his son was born the following year. In 1976, a few months after Prinze Jr. was born, Prinze Sr. was arrested for driving under the influence. Following the arrest, his wife filed for divorce.
After a phone call from his ex-wife, Prinze Sr. was visited by his business manager. While his manager was visiting, Prinze Sr. shot himself in the head. He was rushed to the hospital but the wound proved fatal.
Prinze Jr. has not spoken publicly about his father’s death for most of his time in the public spotlight. He discussed it at length for the first time in Kevin Pollak’s documentary, Misery Loves Comedy. According to Pollak:
I’d known Freddie from his first star-making turn in She’s All That, but I knew this sweet wonderful kid. There was a part of me that knew I had to ask him if he was ready to talk about his dad on camera for the first time, but there was also a big part of me that wanted to protect him while he was doing it.
Prinze made his acting debut playing a high school student in an episode of the ABC sit-com, Family Matters. Prinze’s character attends a gun drive but refuses to hand over his gun without some kind of compensation.
Next, Prinze starred opposite Jessica Alba in the ABC Afterschool Special, Too Soon for Jeff. Prinze played a teen father who isn’t prepared for the responsibilities that come with raising a child.
Later that year, Prinze made his movie debut in the drama, To Gillian on Her 27th Birthday.
Peter Gallagher starred as a husband stricken by the death of his wife played by Michelle Pfeiffer. He decides to move to the beach to be closer to his late wife who died at sea but doesn’t realize he has been neglecting his teenage daughter played by Claire Daines.
The movie was panned by critics and bombed at the box office.
Posted on April 30, 2015, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged freddie prinze jr, i know what you did last summer, sarah michelle gellar, scooby doo, she's all that, star wars, wing commander. Bookmark the permalink. 112 Comments.