'Client,' 'Sleepers' Actor Brad Renfro Dies Trouble Actor Found Dead at Home; Former Lawyer: 'We All Failed' By JACOB ADELMAN, AP Posted: 2008-01-16 13:52:59 Filed Under: Star Obituaries, Movie News LOS ANGELES (Jan. 16) - Brad Renfro was a street-smart Tennessee schoolboy plucked from obscurity in 1993 to play the title role in "The Client." The film's success brought him instant stardom, but struggles with drugs and alcohol dogged his career. On Tuesday, he was found dead in his home. He was 25. Brad Renfro's body was discovered in his Los Angeles home by his girlfriend. The police to not expect foul play in the 25-year-old actor's death. The cause of death was not immediately determined, said Craig Harvey, chief investigator for the Los Angeles County coroner's office. An autopsy was planned. Renfro's former lawyer has spoken out, saying the news left her in tears. Blair Berk, who worked for a time as Renfro's defense attorney, tells PEOPLE that there's something particularly tragic and disturbing about the talented actor's death at such a young age. "As critical and prescient as you become in this town, all I did was cry when I heard the news," Berk says. "I feel in some respects like we all failed." In "The Client," based on a John Grisham best-seller, he played a youngster who witnesses a suicide and gets caught up in a mob investigation. Susan Sarandon was nominated for an Oscar for her role as the lawyer the boy hires to help protect him. Director Joel Schumacher wanted an unknown for the role. "I didn't want to use one of those pretty kid faces the audience would be instantly familiar with," the director said when the film came out. "I want a real wise-ass, a kid who nobody would know." A Knoxville police officer who worked to educate children about drugs told a casting director about Renfro, whom he had seen in an anti-drug skit. That led to an audition and Renfro was chosen for the part. "I'm definitely going to film school," the boy said when "The Client" came out. "I want to be like Joel." Renfro followed up with major parts in the 1995 AIDS drama "The Cure," the 1997 "Sleepers," and "Telling Lies in America," also 1997. More recent credits included "Ghost World," 2001; "Deuces Wild," 2002; and "The Jacket," 2005. But he was arrested numerous times over the past decade. The actor served 10 days in jail in 2006 after pleading no contest to driving while intoxicated and guilty to attempted possession of heroin. The latter charge stemmed from his arrest in Los Angeles' Skid Row area, when he attempted to buy the drug from an undercover officer.