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When I read about 32-year-old Nick Stahl's disappearance yesterday, I think I assumed what a lot of people did: that given his drug history and the fact that his wife said he's been spending a lot of time in L.A.'s skid row, the Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines actor was holed up somewhere on a bender. I mean, that would be one of the better case scenarios, obviously.
Now that I've heard a little more about his background, I feel like the story has taken an even sadder twist. It seems like just 18 months ago Stahl was on top of his game, and has been in a kind of spiral lately—one that makes his disappearance all the more worrisome.
Stahl was in the 2011 thriller 388 Arletta Avenue, and he filmed the movie in Toronto a year and a half ago. According to the film's director, Randall Cole, Stahl showed no signs of trouble at that time:
He was fantastic -- not a single problem. He was a total professional and knew his lines. (...) Whatever is going on now, it wasn't happening then. He was totally on his game. He is not an actor who stays in character between takes. He was just himself, goofing around with the crew. He was a pleasant person to be around.
Stahl's wife Rose visited the set along with their daughter, Marlo, who was then just an infant. The couple "looked happy together," but earlier this year Rose filed court documents asking that Stahl be limited to just 8 hours of supervised visitation with Marlo per week. He was also required to pass a drug test within 24 hours of each visit.
It seems like something pretty bad has been happening with Stahl since 2010, and I can only imagine the rock bottom of being limited in how often you can see your own child. His wife filed those papers in February, in which she claimed to have separated from him a month earlier.
So he's gone from having it all a year and a half ago—making a movie, happily married, being a dad to his new baby—to the situation he's in now. That's a pretty rapid downfall, but as anyone who's dealt with substance abuse issues knows, everything can go to hell in a shockingly fast amount of time.
I can imagine that this young actor feels like he's got nothing more to lose, and it makes the whole story even more scary and sad. Here's hoping he's found soon, and that he gets another shot at the life he seemed to have been enjoying so much.
What do you think has happened with Nick Stahl?
Image via Splash News