Even though I think I look like a female version of him a little bit (and I’m adorable), I never thought Lance Kerwin was gorgeous or anything. He was in my teen magazines when I was a kid, but I didn’t get it. I guess he was cute, but I was into Leif Garrett. Lance looked too much like the boy next door. Leif was exciting to me. 🙂
Lance Kerwin was born on November 6, 1960 in Newport Beach, California. He was the youngest of five boys and his parents lived the hippie lifestyle. Lance admits to smoking marijuana by age six and being a heavy user by age nine. Good parenting there. I think he is probably best known as James Hunter in the TV show James at 15. He also seemed to be in a lot of the ABC Afterschool Specials. He actually appeared in many TV shows over the years including Emergency, Shazam, Little House on the Prairie, Gunsmoke, Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, Family, Trapper John, M.D., Murder She Wrote, and more.
Lance was in several awesome movies as well. It’s funny, because I only think of him as the kid in James at 15. I had no idea he had such a big list of credits to his name.
- Salem’s Lot with David Soul
- Me and Dad’s New Wife with Kristy McNichol, Jimmy McNichol, and Leif Garrett
- Pssst! Hammerman’s After You! with Willie Aames
- The Loneliest Runner which was based on Michael Landon’s childhood. This starred Brian Keith (so handsome!), Melissa Sue Anderson and Michael Landon
- The Death of Richie with Robby Benson
- The Boy Who Drank Too Much with Scott Baio
- Escape to Witch Mountain with Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards
- Advice to the Lovelorn with Melissa Sue Anderson, Desi Arnaz Jr., and Donna Pescow
- The Shooting with Wil Wheaton
- A Killer in the Family with Eric Stoltz
- The Fourth Wise Man with Charlie Sheen
- Enemy Mine with Dennis Quaid
- Challenger with Brian Kerwin
- Final Verdict with Treat Williams
When roles became harder and harder to come by, Lance began heavily using drugs and alcohol. In 1989, a 29 year old Lance Kerwin was arrested in San Francisco for possession of crack cocaine. Awesome. I wonder if he and Leif Garrett ever hung out. Mmmm……
He says he went through rehab maybe 12 times but nothing helped. “To be honest I wasn’t kicking my habit in rehab. I’d be addicted to AA for a minute and it would be pretty exciting. That early recovery time getting your stuff back, but then I wouldn’t be fulfilled. I was trying to fulfill that empty place in the middle of my heart though dude. I tried working, acting, success, money, girls, traveling, drugs, surfing big waves, traveling to Europe, hanging out with gangs – I did all that stuff to try and find out what was missing in my life. What I found out was missing was a relationship with God. It’s that simple. I have a relationship with God that fulfills me and now I’m okay with whatever it is I’m doing.”
Maybe Leif Garrett should find God. I’m thinking that would be better than heroin.
More Legal Troubles
Lance Kerwin pled guilty in 2010 in Hawaii to falsifying documents to obtain state medical assistance and food stamps. He forgot to mention that he owned three properties on the mainland. He was placed on five years probation and ordered to serve 300 hours of community service. I’m sorry, but I can’t stand people who take advantage of the system. I think they’re scum.
Lance is now on his second marriage and has three daughters. He is the director of U-Turn for Christ, a ministry for recovering addicts on Kauai and he’s also selling timeshares. I hope he has a nice life. I think he was a decent guy who was brought up poorly (marijuana at six) and had no one to steer him in the right direction. I’d like to see him return to the screen in a few years for “James at 60”. I’m funny.