Acting legend SIR Ian McKellen has paid tribute to Brad Renfro, his co-star in 1998 film Apt Pupil, who died on Tuesday (15Jan07) aged just 25.
The young star was just 15 when he was cast alongside the British Oscar nominee in the movie, about a teenager who befriends a hiding Nazi war criminal.
After learning of Renfro's death from a suspected drug overdose, MCKellen wrote on his blog, "I first caught sight of Brad Renfro when he was kicking a football around with Bryan Singer on the half-built set of Apt Pupil in Hollywood.
"He was a kid having fun and that's how I shall always remember him. But he was more than that. He was a proper actor and when we worked together he was determined to be accepted as such.
"On set, he was blusteringly confident although it was obvious he would have benefitted from training as an actor. Yet, as Todd, the disturbed teenager in Apt Pupil, he tapped into an inner demonic world and carried the film on his young shoulders.
"He longed to belong in the alien world which perhaps in the end overwhelmed him. He was only 25 and it is dreadful we shan't see all that he might have achieved."