If you think celebrities are perfect and have their life together, well, think again. While it is true that there are a number of celebrities that have got out of trouble scot-free, there is a handful of them that spend some real time in jail. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Here is a well-curated list of the top 10 actors around the world, who have been jailed in the past.

  1. Mark Wahlberg

This is an actor well-acclaimed for his roles in films like Instant Family, Patriots Day, All the Money in the World, and many more. You’ve definitely seen him on the big screen, and here’s why he spent time behind bars. Wahlberg reportedly joined a gang at the tender age of 14 and was arrested on multiple occasions on the charges of dealing drugs. However, things got real for the actor when he was arrested at the age of 16 for attacking two men of Vietnamese origin, who did not instigate him at all. This incident led to him being charged with an attempt to murder and Wahlberg pled guilty. He spent 45 days in jail and took the decision to turn his life around while behind bars, according to his interview with Men’s Health.

  1. Sean Penn

Off-screen, this actor has gotten in trouble with the law for his violent outbursts. In the past, he was sentenced to 60 days in prison for driving recklessly and for punching an extra, Jeffery Klein on the sets of his film, Colors. This incident occurred after Penn objected to Klein photographing him and another actor and violence ensued. Penn reportedly punched Klein several times and had to be pulled away from him by others on the set. Klein was then taken to the emergency room and treated for his bruises and cuts. The actor was also ordered by the court to seek psychotherapy for six months, with regard to his knack for violence.

  1. Christian Slater

Best known for his roles in King Cobra, Broken Arrow, True Romance, and many more, this well-renowned actor has been known to face some join time. He was sentenced to jail for three months on account of assaulting his girlfriend and a police official when he was under the influence of drugs. He was arrested at the age of 29 and had been drinking at the time as well. Eight years prior to this incident as well, Slater had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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  1. Tim Allen

Popular for being on the big screen in films like Joesomebody, Wild Hogs, Zoom, The Shaggy Dog, etc. this actor has faced jail time too. In the year 1978, Tim Allen was put behind bars for trafficking drugs. This was after he was caught with one pound of cocaine at an airport in Michigan. He spent three years in jail, after which he returned to the comedy industry. It is after this that he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in comedy and began to make appearances at late-night talk shows.

  1. Jamie Waylett

Does the name Vincent Crabbe ring a bell? Well, that’ the role Jamie Waylett played in Harry Potter, one of the most well-renowned shows of all time. The actor spent two years of his life in jail after his participation in the London Riots. He was caught on a security camera with a petrol bomb in his possession. Additionally, he was also caught red-handed drinking from a stolen Champaign bottle that he unknowingly accepted from a robber. Post his arrest, Waylett faces major struggles with regard to his career path.


  1. Lindsay Lohan

Right from 2007, this actress has been brushing up with the law. She was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol with a suspended license. At this time, she was also in possession of cocaine. She was also sentenced to three months in prison after she missed her court-appointed weekly alcohol education class. After she was granted bail, Lohan was sentenced to four months of jail for violating the terms of her bail in 2011. She is well-known for her fantastic role in Mean Girls, The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, Just My Luck, etc.

  1. Ja Rule

This is an actor who was arrested for being in possession of marijuana and driving with a suspended license. In 2007, he was arrested for being in the possession of drugs and a gun as well. Post this; the actor then received a sentence of 28 months of tax evasion, as he failed to pay taxes on more than $3 Million of his earning. Although he was released in 2013, he was taken back into custody for the tax evasion matter and was set free later that same year. You’ve probably seen the actor in films like The Fast and the Furious, Beef, The Cookout, etc.

  1. Sanjay Dutt

This Indian actor was arrested way back in 1993 under the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act. Although he was granted bail the same year, he was re-arrested. The arrest was made as Dutt was found with a weapon that originally belonged to a long-sought-after criminal. Dutt however states that he purchased the weapon from the criminal in Dubai. This legal war ran in parallel with the release of his film Khalnayak, in which he played the role of a criminal. It was only in 2016 that the actor was released from jail after a long circle of bail hearings and court appearances.

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  1. Danny Trejo

If you think you’ve heard about this legendary actor before, you’re absolutely right. He is well known for his versatility in a number of various films including Spy Kids, Machete, Desperado, and many more. Throughout the 1960s, this fantastic actor was in and out of jail for multiple offenses. He was imprisoned on the charges of drug possession and consumption, and also armed robbery. Reports state that the actors spent a collective total of 11 years behind bars. While serving time in California, Trejo became a top-notch boxer and later went through a 12-step-program with dedication and the will to change.

  1. Robert Downey Jr.

Best known for his roles in Iron Man, The Avengers, Black Widow, etc., Robert Downey Jr. is one of the many actors who spent some time behind bars too. In the year 1999, this well-renowned actor was sent to jail after officials found cocaine, heroin, and a pistol in his car after he was stopped for merely speeding. According to sources, the actor began to lose job opportunities after his arrest and this began to impact his professional life greatly. The actor has also made multiple trips to rehabilitation centers and made attempts to turn his life around. Robert Downey Jr. got clean in 2003 and has been clean ever since.


I’m sure you are truly fascinated by this list, and I hope you’ve gained some useful knowledge about the lives of some of your favorite on-screen heroes. The next time you watch one of the above actors’ films or talk about them to your near and dear ones, you have something interesting to add to the conversation and their wealth of knowledge. Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?