Famous Felons: TV Stars You Never Knew Were Behind Bars

Most people remember the time Martha Stewart was accused of fraud and was sentenced to five months in jail at Alderson, West Virginia, and probably no one is surprised to hear that Charlie Sheen of Two and A Half Men has been in jail, though you may be surprised to learn he was released the same day. It was for an assault charge against his wife. He was, however, sentenced by the court to spend 30 days in drug rehabilitation. High profile celebrities get their dirty laundry aired in the media, but there are some who have been to jail that many have forgotten about.

Tim Allen

Tim Allen

The man who played the beloved dad on Home Improvement, voiced the character Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story, and was Santa in the Santa Clause movies also spent two years in jail in 1979 after being apprehended with over a pound of cocaine. Around the same time, former Beatle Paul McCartney got off easy, spending only 10 days in jail in Japan when he got caught with eight ounces of marijuana.

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Good Old Days

An oldie but a goodie, was when crooner Frank Sinatra was arrested in 1938 for something that is unfortunately very common today. He was arrested when he was 23 on a charge of adultery and seduction in New Jersey for an affair with a married woman, though he spent less than a day in jail. The singer was alleged to have mob ties and was watched by the FBI, but this is the extent of his prison time.

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Super Shocker

It has been a few years but Iron Man Tony Stark, or at least the guy who plays him in the Marvel action movies, spent some time in jail as well. In 1990 Robert Downey Jr. was having a real struggle with drug addiction. He was already on probation when he missed a drug test mandated by the court. He spent one year of a three year sentence in a California prison that was also a drug treatment facility. He is a prime example on how people can turn their lives around for the better.

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What You Don’t Know…

A real shocker is hero action actor Mark Wahlberg, who is also known by his singer name “Marky Mark.” He was arrested on attempted murder charges and sentenced to two years in a Suffolk County prison. He only served 45 days of that sentence before being released. The crime he was charged with involved the beating of a man with a stick, some say a metal hook, rendering him unconscious. The assault is also said to have blinded the victim.

Anyone can make mistakes, we’ve all been known to display examples of poor impulse control from time to time. Is the pursuit of stardom tied to personalities that live life on the edge? Most are not really surprised when they hear the media telling of yet another arrest of a celebrity. Some are humorous such as Zsa Zsa Gabor thinking she could slap a police officer and get away with it, or Jane Fonda kicking a police officer. According to a Keyser Law Firm, Ms. Fonda’s charges turned out to be in error, but it still gave her no right to ignore authority. However, such stories are so popular that an entire media infrastructure from magazines to television shows are based on the foibles of celebrities.

“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”

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