Corey Haim’s funeral is planned for tomorrow, after his unexpected death in Burbank, CA on March 10th, 2010. Haim’s mother Judy has been soliciting donations for burial costs from fans on the internet, and over the weekend she announced the City of Toronto would be paying part of the funeral expenses for the former teen star.
The City of Toronto does offer financial assistance for those who cannot afford to pay funeral costs. Although some discussions of this assistance have implied that it is only given to welfare recipients and the indigent, information from the city’s brochure state the assistance is available to all those “who do not have sufficient funds in their estate to fully cover the cost of a basic funeral, burial and/or cremation.”
Lost Boys and Two Coreys friend, Corey Feldman, reported last week that Haim was “broke and owed $200,000 in taxes.”
The question of whether an application for assistance has been made, and if so whether it will be granted, remains unanswered. Several city officials were asked to comment, but none seemed clear on the policy. “If we’re paying for the funerals of other destitute people, then he rates,” Councillor Doug Holyday said. “I would like to inquire what the city’s responsibility is.”
But the city’s policy clearly states that its assistance is offered to residents of Toronto. Both Haim and his mother Judy were living in Burbank at the time of his death. Councillor Rob Ford said any city subsidy of the funeral could be “precedent-setting,” and indeed, it would be if the city later finds itself paying for funeral arrangements of others who have left Canada, but still call Toronto their home!
Haim was reported to have been living in Toronto in 2004. He was in Vancouver in 2008 for filming of Lost Boys: The Tribe. Also in 2008, he joined the cast of Shark City, which filmed in Toronto.
The actor’s filmography shows fairly consistent work from the time he began acting on the Canadian TV series The Edison Twins in 1982 as a child, until 1997 when he filed for bankruptcy. He had been trying to break back into the entertainment business for several years, at the time of his death.
Beginning on March 11th appeals were made on the official web site and MySpace page seeking donations from fans, to cover the “unexpected expenses of transporting his body to Canada.”
There were also a number of comments made by fans, about how the Hollywood community ought to step forward and help Judy Haim pay for the funeral. Corey Haim had worked with a number of well known actors: Sarah Jessica Parker; Robert Downey Jr.; Charlie Sheen; Winona Ryder; and, Kiefer Sutherland. Fans also appealed to Corey Feldman to help with funeral costs. Judy Haim, who is suffering from cancer, is apparently unable to pay any of the costs herself.
By March 13th, a post on MySpace said enough money had been raised to cover all funeral expenses. Judy Haim has reportedly been offered $20,000 by Startifacts.com, a celebrity memorabilia auction web site, to cover the tombstone and other costs related to the funeral. March 15th saw reports in Toronto and on Canadian national media, that taxpayers were to foot the bill for the funeral.
Funerals paid by the state are often associated with indigent people. Oddly, perhaps Corey Haim was in his own way indigent. Like many talented Canadians who are lured out of the country by promises of fame – or at least fortune – he left his home. And like many young celebrities, both Canadian and American, at some point he lost his way. He would spend much of his remaining time on earth struggling with substance abuse and financial difficulties, and trying to make a place for himself in American show business again.
“Corey Haim” Wikipedia
“Corey Ian Haim” Official MySpace page
“Financial assistance for funerals, burials and cremations” Toronto Social Services
“Toronto taxpayers to pay Corey Haim’s funeral tab: Mom” Ian Robertson (Toronto Sun)