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'Jingle All The Way': The Christmas film with a surprisingly dark backstory

Jingle All The Way written next to Christmas decorations

The Christmas movie Jingle All The Way hit our screens in 1996. Despite being criticised, the movie became a box office smash and is now a widely-cherished festive film.

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as workaholic father, Howard Langston, who leaves it until the last minute to buy his son, Jamie, the hit Christmas toy, a Turboman action figure. He competes against postal worker, Myron Larabee, played by comedian Sinbad, who is also trying to get his hands on the elusive toy which sees the men racing across Minnesota.

In the years following the film’s release, Arnie went on to become the governor of California and star in a variety of Hollywood movies.

However, other actors in the film have been hit by tragic events prematurely ending their careers. From a catastrophic car crash to a murder-suicide, these are the fates of the other actors.

Jake Lloyd

Child actor Jake Lloyd starred as Jamie Langston, the son of Howard and Liz in the iconic movie. After the success of Jingle All The Way, he went on to star in several television shows before landing the role of a lifetime, as young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, earning him a Young Artist Award.

Despite appearing in one of cinema’s biggest movie franchises, Jake quit acting in 2001 after the role of Anakin caused him to be severely bullied by his classmates.

Since he retired from acting, Jake has tried to remain out of the public eye. In March 2015, it was reported that police were called to his mother's home after allegations that he had been physically violent. She stated that her son had schizophrenia and had not been taking his medication. She did not press charges.

Jake made headlines again months later following a high-speed chase in South Carolina, which ended after he crashed into trees. He was charged with reckless driving, driving without a license and resisting arrest. The incident saw the troubled former actor serve nearly a year in prison before he was transferred to a psychiatric hospital to receive treatment.

In 2020, his mother shared an update on her son to Geek News Now and said that he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and a condition called anosognosia, which causes an individual to be unaware of their own mental illness.

Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman was a beloved actor and comedian who was known for his sketches on Saturday Night Live and for voicing various characters on The Simpsons. In Jingle All The Way, Phil played Ted Maltin, the slimy neighbour of the Langstons.

In 1987, Phil married his third wife, Brynn Omdahl, with whom he fathered two children. They seemed like a happy couple, but behind closed doors, their marriage was tumultuous. Brynn had become jealous of her husband’s success whilst she was struggling to find work as an actress.

Reports stated that Brynn was addicted to drugs and alcohol and had become violent on occasion. Friends claimed that Phil would pretend to sleep to exhaust Brynn’s anger.

On 27th May 1998, Brynn returned home after a meal and had a heated argument with Phil. As he slept, Brynn fatally shot her husband three times. She rushed to the home of her friend, Ron Douglas, and confessed to the murder. Initially, the friend didn’t believe her until they drove to the Hartman home. Once inside, Brynn locked herself in the bedroom and took her own life.

Phil’s death shocked Hollywood and saw a wave of tributes. In 2014, he was honoured with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Robert Conrad

Robert Conrad played the role of Officer Alexander Hummell, who repeatedly crosses paths with Howard on his route to buy a Turboman doll.

Prior to Jingle All The Way, Robert was widely known in the 50s and 60s and earned a place in the Stuntman’s Hall of Fame for his work in The Wild Wild West. Robert continued acting until 2002, with his final film being Dead Above Ground.

On 31st March 2003, Robert was involved in a car accident in California's Sierra Nevada foothills when he crashed his Jaguar head-on into a car driven by 26-year-old Kevin Burnett. Both men sustained life-changing injuries.

Robert was convicted of drunk driving and sentenced to six months of house confinement, alcohol counselling, and five years of probation. The other driver filed a civil lawsuit, which was settled for an unknown amount.

In 2005, Kevin died of injuries which his family believed were caused by the crash. The incident left Robert with severe nerve damage, resulting in him being partially paralysed on the right side.

In February 2020, Robert died from heart failure at the age of 84.