Star Wars franchise actor Jake Lloyd has been largely off the radar for years amid his continued struggles with mental illness, and now the former child star's family has offered a positive update on what's been happening with him lately. As a child actor, Lloyd's earliest movie appearances include roles in Jingle All the Way and Apollo 11.
At the age of nine, Lloyd then became a household name when he appeared as the young version of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, a role which he would later reprise for Star Wars video games.
Unfortunately, the years since The Phantom Menace haven't been very kind to Lloyd. The child star would officially retire from acting in 2001, later claiming this was due to the bullying he had endured at school over his role in the movie. In 2015, Lloyd's name would make headlines when he was arrested for reckless driving, driving without a license, and resisting arrest when he ran a red light and led police on a high-speed chase. At the time, Lloyd's mother, Lisa Riley, divulged that Lloyd had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and the family sought to get him help upon his release from jail.
For whatever reason, Lloyd was held behind bars for over ten months without a trial before he was finally transferred to a psychiatric facility because of his schizophrenia diagnosis. Sadly, more terrible news would devastate Lloyd and his family in 2018 when his younger sister Madison died unexpectedly in her sleep at the age of 26, with Riley describing the event as "shattering" for the both of them. Lloyd has since been keeping to himself with no major updates on how he's been doing since, but a new statement from his family suggests the former actor is now doing much better and he's making great progress, thanks in part for the support he continues to receive from his family, friends, and fans.
From the statement:
"We would like to thank everyone for their kind words, their support, and goodwill. Jake has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but unfortunately he also has a symptom called anosognosia which causes a lack of insight into his illness. This only adds to the struggle he faces, which has been very difficult after the tragic loss of his younger sister, Madison. He has moved closer to his family and we are all working hard to help him with this. He is still a kind and caring person and we hope to have him back to his fun and entertaining self as soon as possible. Jake will continue to make progress with the love and support you continue to show."
Lloyd may be several years removed from the Hollywood spotlight, but for many Star Wars fans, he'll always have a special place as the young Anakin Skywalker. It's certainly nice to get some good news with this latest update on his progress, and I offer the best of luck to Lloyd as he continues on his path towards recovery. This news comes to us from Geek News Now.