Wil Wheaton is known as the prolific child star who played Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 19940), Joey Trotta in 1991’s Toy Soldiers, and Bennett Hoenicker in 1997’s Flubber. He is also remembered for his breakout role in the classic 1986 coming-of-age film Stand By Me. Unfortunately, he has revealed over the years that he never actually enjoyed acting and was “forced” to get into the industry by his mother, who was an actress. His parents didn’t just give him no other option than to be a child actor; they allegedly mentally abused him as his career took off. Read on to learn about Wil Wheaton’s parents and what he has said about their abuse.
Who Are Wil Wheaton’s Parents?
Wil Wheaton was born on July 29, 1972 in Burbank, Calif. to Debra and Richard Wheaton. Debra was an actress and Richard was in the medical field, according to Indie Wire. They also had a son named Jeremy and sister named Amy. They have never spoken publicly about the alleged abuse of which Wil has accused them, and they are currently estranged.
Wil Wheaton Was Subject To ‘Incredible Emotional Abuse’
“I didn’t want to be an actor when I was a kid,” The Secret of NIMH voice actor told Yahoo! Movies while reflecting on the 35th anniversary of the premiere of Stand By Me in May 2021. “My parents forced me to do it, my mother made me do it. My mother coached me to go into her agency and tell the children’s agent, ‘I want to do what mommy does.’ And through a combination of an incredible emotional abuse from my father and a lot of manipulation, using me, from my mother, it really put me in that place.”
Wil Wheaton Said His Brother Was The ‘Golden Child’
In the same interview, Wil told Yahoo! Movies that he could relate to Gordy in Standy By Me (Gordy’s parents were solely focused on grieving the loss of their older son, who was played by John Cusack, in the film) because his brother in real life was always the center of attention. “Because Gordie’s experience very much reflected my experience. We’re both invisible in our homes,” he reasoned. “We both have a brother who is the golden child. We’re both the scapegoat in the family. So when I watch ‘Stand by Me’ now, I cannot ignore the unbelievable sadness in my eyes. And I cannot ignore the reality that it was that sadness, that isolation that I think gave me what Gordie needed to come to life and I think [director] Rob Reiner saw that.”
Wil Wheaton’s Mother ‘Ran’ His Life
Will took to Instagram in July 2019 to post a magazine spread of himself sharing fun facts with fans (seen here). Although he looked like your average happy teenage boy in the magazine, Wil admitted in his caption that he was anything but. “#Fbf to about 1986 or 1987,” he began. “This weird kid was so self-conscious about these things, didn’t want to do them, felt awkward and embarrassed by the attention, and did it anyway because none of the adults in his life ever listened to him.”
The Celebrity Jeopardy alum also took the time to reply to some fans in the comment and gave more insight into his situation. “My mother basically ran my entire life, and when my dad wasn’t bullying me, he didn’t notice I existed,” he wrote in reply to one follower, per Page Six. In another comment, he added, “I recall being asked the questions, and doing my best to give the answers my parents would want to hear. Back then, I was still hopeful that I could somehow get my dad to like me.”
Fortunately, despite his painful past, Wil told fans he is doing much better today. “I have been through so much pain, and I hurt, still, a lot. But I love my life right now, and even though it hurt, and I STILL hurt, that’s all part of the tapestry of my life,” he wrote.
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