Remember in Terminator 2 when The Terminator tells Sarah Connor to “Come with me if you want to live”? He should have said this to John “Edward Furlong” Connor because Eddie has not been doing much living as of late, at least career-wise. If Skynet were real then the fate of our world would rest on the shoulders of a guy who smokes 40-60 cigarettes a day. How is he going to outrun a self-aware machine with a 3-pack-a-day smoking habit? Great. Thanks. We’re all fucked. I’m going to start giving my TV massages just in case. Can I get you anything laptop? No, don’t get up…I’ll get it.
Edward Furlong was born in Glendale, CA where he was raised by his mother Eleanor, a youth center worker. According to Wikipedia his dad is “unknown.” Eddie, I know the feeling. Sadly Father’s Day is coming up so what I like to do is write my own greeting cards. I call them Absentee Father’s Day Cards. You can use this one:
Happy Father’s Day To Mom’s Latest Boyfriend
His lack of father will explain a lot in just a few paragraphs. Furlong’s career started out beautifully. His best known role to date was John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This role probably required very little method acting on Furlong’s part as The Terminator seamlessly shifted from savior to robotic father-figure. Oh there’s a thought, Terminators that are built not for killing, but for fathering. “Come with me if you want to live…and play catch…and have a backyard BBQ….and get your high school diploma as I watch.” The most moving, emotional scene in this film is the final scene when the Terminator dies. Jesus, I lose it every time.
He followed up Terminator with the horror film Brainscan, which I’ve sadly never seen but after reading the synopsis of it I can’t wait. Long story short, horror film.
Then in 1997 he flashed his acting chops in the film American History X or as I like to call it, American History X-Men or American Horror Story X. The film focuses mostly on Edward Norton’s character and specifically on his insane body/tattoos. Furlong plays the troubled younger brother of former skinhead Norton who is just trying to keep his little brother from walking the same path. The film was beautiful and moving and aptly shot in black and white.
In 1999 he starred in Detroit Rock City, a film about 4 teenage kids in a Kiss cover band who just want to go to a Kiss concert. Unfortunately, or fortunately, Kiss has prevailed. Maybe Furlong should retire then go on tour, then retire, then go on tour. It seems to work for Kiss. This movie is basically a full length version of ‘That ’70s Show” without Ashton Kutcher. Thank God.
He also starred in one of John Waters’ lesser known films, Pecker, which if memory serves was about Baltimore accents and crabs probably. Maybe the Orioles showed up and at some point everyone hated that Hon Cafe woman for trying to trademark the word “Hon.” Great movie.
Furlong peaked in the ’90s. Didn’t we all? As far as movies go, he starred in a string of independent films which basically went nowhere. As far as the law goes he was a breakout star! He’s been battling an alcohol/drug addiction which included a stint in a $500/night treatment facility. In 2001 he almost overdosed after being found in a pool of his own vomit. It’s always a pool…never a puddle. I’m assuming no one has actually ever been in a pool of their own vomit. He’s been charged with domestic violence on several occasions and was even accused of giving his 6-year-old son cocaine. Were they out of Adderall? He is currently awaiting a June trial date for attacking his SOMEHOW STILL girlfriend.
Thankfully there is a light at the end of this tunnel and it comes in the form of an album Furlong released in 1992 through a Japan record label. This album includes a cover of The Doors song People Are Strange. This song sounds like it was recorded at a Karaoke bar and why not? The Japanese LOVE Karaoke. It is fuck-awful but also the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.
Hopefully after his legal issues/substance abuse problems are cleared up he’ll be back on track. Perhaps he needs a Terminator, sent from the future to guide him…the new loving father-figure version. I long for the day when it is Edward telling us he’ll be back.
Jenn Tisdale is a D.C. stand up comic. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenn_Tisdale.
No “celebrities” were harmed in the writing of this column. Its purpose is to mourn the loss of their careers, status, and in all likelihood bank accounts. This is an homage to their life’s work, both well-received and utterly humiliating. I have the utmost respect for all of them, even if they no longer have respect for themselves.