15 Actors Rotting In Jail (And The Crimes That Got Them There)

We’ve all watched an old movie and thought to ourselves, “Hey, what ever happened to that actor?”

Actors disappear from the spotlight for many reasons. Sometimes they’re too old for roles, can’t land any more gigs, or get tired of all the fame and glory. However, sometimes these actors disappear from Hollywood because they’ve landed themselves a starring role in the slammer.

There are about 2,220,300 people incarcerated in prisons across the United States, and some of these lucky inmates may be sharing a cell with a celebrity.

Instead of posing for photos on the red carpet, these actors were taking mug shots at the police station, and instead of dressing to impress, orange is now the new black.

You may be surprised by which of your favorite old-school actors are serving the rest of their life in prison, but you will definitely be more surprised by the crimes they committed. Each of these actors committed horrendous, gruesome, and shocking acts of violence and as a result, are now paying their debt to society.

From starring on the big screen to starring in the Big House, here are the 15 Actors Rotting in Jail (And the Crimes That Got Them There).


15 Mark Salling

Mark Salling, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman on Glee, was first arrested in December 2015 after police found thousands of images of inappropriate child content on his laptop, a thumb drive, and an encrypted hard drive.

The police acted on a tip from one of Salling's friends who said he showed her images of girls under the age of 10 posed in various positions and situations.

After many delays to his trial, Salling pleaded guilty in September 2017 and admitted to using software to mask his IP address and download the content.

He will now serve four to seven years in prison and register as a sex offender. He must also avoid unsupervised contact with anyone under 18, stay away from schools, parks, swimming pools, playgrounds, and video arcades, and pay each pornography victim $50,000 in restitution.

After his time in prison, he will also spend 20 years under supervised release and his internet use will be monitored and controlled.

14 Michael Jace


Known for his roles in The Shield, Forrest Gump, and Planet of the Apes, Michael Jace went from playing a cop on television to living the true life of a prisoner at California State Prison.

In 2016, Jace was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of his wife, April Jace. According to his attorney’s opening statement, Jace was upset that his wife wanted a divorce and believed that she was having an affair. So, on May 19th, 2014, he shot his wife three times.

Jace’s 10 year-old-son testified at court saying that he saw his father commit the crime. Jace then called 911 and reported the shooting to the authorities. He apparently also texted his father-in-law telling him to come get his kids because he shot April.

This wasn’t Jace’s first encounter with domestic violence. According to close friends, Jace had another similar instance with his first wife.

13 Shannon Richardson

Shannon Richardson is the queen of the undead. She played a walker in The Walking Dead and a pregnant woman in The Vampire Diaries. That is, until she landed a starring role in the slammer.

Back in 2013, Richardson bought ingredients online to make ricin, a toxin that causes respiratory failure if inhaled. She then mailed three threatening letters filled with her homemade ricin to former President Barack Obama, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Mark Glaze.

The letter to Obama read, “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what I’ve got in store for you Mr. President. You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face."

After mailing the letters, she went to the police and tried to frame her estranged husband, Nathan Richardson for the act. However, investigators were able to spot inconsistencies in her story.

She ultimately entered a plea deal and was given the maximum sentence allowed – an 18-year prison term.

12 Skylar Deleon

After his small role in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Deleon joined the Marine Corps only to be discharged. Without work and desperate to move, Deleon and his wife Jennifer became willing to do anything for money.

They saw an ad for a boat worth $435,000 and posed as a couple wanting to buy it. The sellers of the boat, the Hawks, took the Deleons and two other men who posed as accountants, out for a test drive.

However, while out at sea, the group tasered Tom Hawks and restrained his wife, Jackie. They forced the couple to sign documents saying Skylar bought the boat and then tied the Hawks to the boat’s anchor and threw them into the water, drowning them alive.

While awaiting trial for the Hawks murders, investigators connected Deleon to another murder. In 2003, he allegedly murdered a friend he met in jail by slashing his throat on a highway in Mexico.

Deleon also attempted to sever his own penis while awaiting trial, which revealed that he may have wanted the boat money for a sex change.

At trial, Deleon was sentenced to death by lethal injection and is currently on death row.

11 Andre Bauth

Uncredited for his role as Carlos in Hop, Andre Bautista, more commonly known as Andre Bauth, isn’t one to joke around. In fact, making fun of him could get you killed.

On September 8th, 2015, the Emmy-winning producer told Clayton Haymes, a tenant of his boarding house, that he would win five Oscars one day. Haymes laughed and upset Bauth who then started arguing with him.

Bauth was so mad that he stormed out of the room, entered the kitchen, and grabbed a knife. He then followed his tenant into another bedroom and stabbed him in the chest, piercing his lung. After realizing what he had done, Bauth fled to Mexico.

The Los Angeles police issued a warrant for Bauth’s arrest and he surrendered a week later at the US Embassy in Mexico City.

His trial was interesting, as prosecutors discovered that Bauth had written and starred in a movie where a landlord killed his tenants.

He was ultimately convicted of attempted murder in 2017 and sentenced to thirteen years in state prison.

10 1o. Toby Willis


Toby Willis was the father of a family singing group that landed a TLC show called The Willis Family. Although their claim to fame was on America’s Got Talent, the Christian family band became infamous when Toby was arrested for sexually assaulting child in Kentucky.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation started looking into Toby Willis in August 2016 when they found information that Willis had sexually assaulted a female family member between the ages of 9 and 12.

Willis fled Tennessee for Kentucky to avoid arrest but was eventually caught. He initially faced a single count of sexually assaulting a child but it was quadrupled. Officials would not comment on whether it was related to one victim or if he had several others.

Willis pleaded guilty and received a 25-year sentence on two accounts of sexual assault and 40-year sentences on the other two. The four sentences will run concurrently and be served in its entirety.

9 Thomas Farrell

Thomas Farrell, the Irish actor that played a small role in The Tudors and Adam and Paul, is currently serving a four-year sentence for attempting to smuggle heroin into Manchester’s Strangeways prison by hiding it in his bum.

Prior to his imprisonment, Farrell went on a four-month crime spree across Manchester. He faked a heart attack to steal a Prada handbag before smashing in two cars.

When one of the owner’s confronted him, he racially assaulted him and threatened to kill him. He then continued to attack an innocent pedestrian with a sledgehammer after mistaking him for a previous victim.

A couple of months later, he attacked a woman in the Manchester city center, knocking her unconscious. For this crime, he was sentenced to eight weeks in jail for common assault.

However, when admitted into prison, he was caught with his secret drug stash up his bum and given a longer sentence.

8 Will Hayden

Will Hayden was a reality television star on Sons of Guns until he was arrested for sexually assaulting two preteen girls.

A 15-year-old girl accused Hayden of sexually assaulting her multiple times between 2013 and 2014, when she was only 11 and 12 years old. After hearing the news of the assault, a 37-year-old woman came forward and claimed that Hayden also sexually assaulted her in the early 1990s when she was also 12 years old.

While awaiting his trial, Hayden’s daughter appeared on Dr. Phil and also confessed that her father was sexually inappropriate with her when she was 12 and sexually assaulted her 12-year-old sister, her cousin, and her friend.

In May 2017, the jury unanimously found him guilty and Hayden was sentenced to two concurrent terms of life in prison and a consecutive 40-year prison term.

7 Peter Robbins

The voice actor that brought the lovable Charlie Brown to life has grown up to lead a life full of threats and violence. In January 2013, Peter Robbins was arrested for stalking his former partner, Shawna Kern. He apparently called her about 37 times within 24 hours, threatening to kill her and her son.

Robbins also stalked his former girlfriend’s plastic surgeon, Lori Saltz claiming that the breast enhancements she performed on his ex was the reason why they broke up.

Robbins was sentenced to a year in county jail and five years of probation. He, however, broke his probation and landed himself back in the slammer.

While in jail, he allegedly sent threatening letters to members of the media offering to pay money to have San Diego County Sheriff, Bill Gore killed. He was released from jail. However, in November 2015, he found himself back in court for sending threatening letters to a manager at the mobile home park where he lived.

Robbins, who claims to suffer from bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

6 Juan-Carlos Cruz


Former celebrity pastry chef and host of Food Network’s Calorie Commando and Weighing In, Juan-Carlos Cruz is now serving a nine-year sentence in California City Correctional Facility.

In 2010, Cruz offered three homeless men $1,000 to attack his wife and high school sweetheart, Jennifer Campbell.

According to one of the men named Little Dave, Cruz approached him with a box that contained a box cutter, a disposable cell phone, gloves, and a pocket watch. Cruz also allegedly gave him ten $100 bills that were cut in half and promised to give him the other half when the job was done.

Little Dave recruited two other homeless men. However, one of the men got arrested for loitering and told the police about Cruz’s plan. The police then used them to bust Cruz by wiretapping them and videotaping one of their meetings.

Cruz was then arrested for solicitation to commit murder. During the trial it was revealed that Cruz wanted to kill his wife because she was depressed over her inability to have children. Thus Cruz believed that he was helping to put an end to his wife’s suffering.

5 Zaire Paige

Zaire Paige played a killer and a gang member in Brooklyn’s Finest at the young age of 21. He had no formal acting training or professional experience, but landed the role because he made such an impression during his audition.

However, that audition may have been inspired by his real-life experience – Paige was an actual gang member.

Paige had multiple bullet wounds on his body and police suspected he was a high-ranking member of a Crips sect in Brooklyn.

Three months after filming his scenes in 2008, Paige and a friend ran into a hair salon and shot over a dozen rounds into a 20-year-old gang member named Lethania Garcia.

It was apparently a revenge killing over his friend’s murder in 2006. However, a hairstylist and an off-duty cop were also hit by the multiple bullets.

In a lengthy three-week trial, Paige was sentenced to four consecutive 25-year life sentences, four assault charges, and seven more years. The judge told the courtroom that Paige would not be eligible for parole for 107 years.

4 Michael Brea

Michael Brea was an aspiring actor with roles in Ugly Betty and Step Up 3D. However, his career came to a quick halt when police were called to the scene inside his family apartment.

In 2010, Michael Brea claims to have been visited by God. He said voices were talking to him about his mother and that he had to "free her." He went home and hugged his mom. He then proceeded to his room and lit candles, arranged three saint cards around him, and took hold of a dagger and 3-foot ceremonial Freemason sword.

His mother came to his room and Brea said that “she had the voice of the demon. I opened the door with the dagger at my side and the sword." Brea then started to attack his mother.

He said, “I didn’t want to kill her right away. I wanted to give her time to get right with God… I killed the demon inside her.” Brea pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and was sent to a mental health facility for an indeterminate amount of time.

3 Ricardo Medina

After busting bad guys as the Red Lion Ranger, Ricardo Medina went on to become one of those villains himself.

On January 31st, 2015, Medina and his roommate Josh Sutter were arguing over how Medina’s girlfriend parked her car. The argument escalated and Sutter forced his way into Medina’s room.

To defend himself, Medina grabbed the first weapon he could find – a samurai sword that he kept next to his door. When Sutter entered, Medina stabbed his roommate multiple times and eventually killed him.

When arrested, Medina claimed he acted in self-defense. During the 911 call, authorities could even hear him saying “Damn it, Josh. Why did you do this, man. Why did you make me do this?” So, he was released days after his arrest saying he wouldn’t face charges.

However, an autopsy showed that Sutter had injuries on his hand consistent with defensive wounds, rather than those that would have suggested he was the aggressor. Therefore, Medina was charged with murder a year later.

Prosecutors had enough evidence to scare the Red Lion Ranger into a plea deal and he ultimately pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. He is now serving six years in prison.

2 Joseph Son


Known for his role as Random Task, a villain in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Joseph Son’s evil characteristics followed him off-screen and became his real-life persona.

On Christmas Eve in 1990, a 19-year old girl walked her dog after looking at Christmas lights with her friend. On the sidewalk, she was approached by Son and his associate who kidnapped her.

They repeatedly sexually assaulted the woman. The woman recalled Son telling her that she was going to die. However, the men decided to release her. They told her it was her lucky day since it was Christmas.

Son was initially charged with 17 felony sexual offences and up to 275 years in prison. However, the statute of limitations had run out on most of his charges, so he was only found guilty of torture and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

1 Shelley Malil

Shelley Malil, who played Haziz in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, was sentenced to life in prison for attempted premeditated murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

In 2008, Malil had been dating a woman named Kendra Beebe who he one day stranded at the beach. He stole some items from her house and then locked her out.

Two days later, he returned to apologize for taking her things and to warn her that he had emailed explicit photos of the two of them to her co-workers. However, when he arrived, he found her drinking wine with another man.

Malil, claiming that he was threatened by the male friend, stabbed his girlfriend. Beebe suffered punctured lungs and wounds to her neck, chest, back, and arms, but survived the attack and testified against him at court.

She said, “During the course of the trial it became clear he was an actor, but not a very good actor at that. His testimony was lie after lie after lie.”

Malil was sentenced to life in prison but would be eligible for parole after serving 12 years.


Do you know of any other actors that are currently serving time in the slammer? Let us know in the comments.

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