Lindsay Lohan's chequered life in the spotlight

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Good times, bad times: Lindsay Lohan receives an award in 2004 and learns of her prison term in 2010

The latest chapter in Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan's chequered life was, like many others, played out in front of the camera.

The 24-year-old wept into her lawyer's shoulder in a Los Angeles courtroom as she was handed a 90-day prison sentence for probation violation, relating to a drugs charge dating back to 2007.

Lohan's life in front of the lens began at a very early age.

Born Lindsay Dee Lohan in the Bronx, New York, on 2 July, 1986, she became a child model at the age of three, appearing in Vogue, Elle and a string of television commercials for the likes of Pizza Hut and The Gap.

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Lohan shot to fame as a fresh-faced Disney film star

By the age of 10, she had landed a role in US soap opera Another World, a fertile breeding ground for new talent, which also give early roles to Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt.

Lohan made her feature film debut just a year later in squeaky clean Disney hit The Parent Trap.

Her life in film progressed smoothly and wholesomely, with critically-approved comedy roles in Freaky Friday, teen hit Mean Girls and Herbie Fully Loaded adding to her profile.

Annus horribilis

A fresh-faced Lohan picked up an impressive clutch of Teen Choice and MTV Movie Award gongs.

She branched out in 2004, becoming the youngest host of the MTV award ceremony, and developed an increasingly high profile away from the confines of Hollywood's film sets.

Her apparent weight loss and a string of car accidents created tabloid headlines, and the paparazzi began to trail the young star around Los Angeles.

Lohan, meanwhile, continued to diversify. She had sung the closing song in Disney's remake of Freaky Friday, which resulted in a record contract.

Her debut album, Speak, was released in 2004 and made it to number four in the US album chart.

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Lohan (left) won high praise for her role in fish-out-of-water high school comedy Mean Girls

Her follow-up a year later also proved a hit, and was a more soul-searching, confessional record about her relationship with her family, which she admitted had been a difficult one.

Songwriting, Lohan said, was a way of finding escape from the increasing pressures of her life in the Hollywood goldfish bowl.

Cameo roles followed in more adult-orientated films, including A Prairie Home Companion and Bobby - but Lohan's reputation for enjoying the high life grew in 2006 when she was rebuked for late arrivals on the set of the film Georgia Rules.

The film's producer suggested in a letter, leaked to the press, that the actress's "heat exhaustion" was simply the result of "ongoing all night heavy partying".

She began to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and admitted herself to a rehabilitation clinic in early 2007 - in what proved to be an annus horribilis for the star.

Lohan was arrested twice for driving and drug offences and had two more stints in rehab. A jail sentence was imposed but she spent only 84 minutes behind bars, and was forced to visit a mortuary to learn the impact of drink-driving.

While her personal life was splashed across the front pages, her film career was hitting a low point.

Grisly psychological thriller I Know Who Killed Me was mauled by the critics - The New York Post branded it "sleazy, inept and worthless - and Lohan was given the dubious honour of a Razzie award for worst performance.

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Lohan's liaison with Samantha Ronson was followed closely by the press

Subsequent years saw Lohan drift into smaller TV roles, including fronting a BBC documentary about child trafficking, while the tabloid headlines kept rolling in.

She had a much-publicised relationship with DJ Samantha Ronson, but refused to answer questions about her sexuality.

The couple's subsequent break-up saw Lohan take the unusual step of putting out a spoof video dating advert, introducing herself as "a workaholic, a shopaholic and, according to the state of California, an alcoholic".

Lohan also joked about her ongoing probation and the ever-growing number of Google searches about her private life.

In recent months, the actress has gained further notoriety for brushes with the legal system and her apparently wayward lifestyle.

She missed a routine court appearance, unable to return from the Cannes Film Festival after losing her passport. An initial warrant for her arrest was later revoked.

Lohan was later ordered to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet as part of her probation deal, which activated during an MTV Movie Awards party.

The final path to jail was laid when she failed to attend alcohol education classes, although she insisted she had done "everything I was told to do".

After a stint in jail and court-ordered rehabilitation, the future looks uncertain for Lohan.

Her recent foray into fashion was not a resounding success, while a question hangs over her movie career.

Lohan had been lined up to play 1970s porn legend Linda Lovelace, a world away from the squeaky clean roles which originally propelled her into the spotlight.

Whether the Hollywood star has the capacity to generate news stories about her work rather than her fraught personal life remains to be seen.

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