Kelsey Grammer: Family Tragedies Drove Me To Drugs & Alcohol

By Bryan Le 07/24/17

The actor once self-medicated to deal with the murders of his father and sister and the accidental deaths of his half-brothers.

Kelsey Grammer and Kayte Walsh arrives to the amFAR's Inspiration Gala on October 27, 2016 in Hollywood, CA
Kelsey Grammer and Kayte Walsh now live happily.

Actor Kelsey Grammer reveals he once used drugs and alcohol to deal with a series of personal tragedies, but says these days he’s in a better place.

When he was 13 years old, Grammer’s father was killed in a home invasion. Later, his younger sister, Karen, was raped and murdered when she was 18. After that, Grammer lost his two half-brothers in a scuba diving accident in the Virgin Islands.

To cope with these losses, Grammer turned to drugs and alcohol. He even served time in prison for drunk-driving incidents in 1990. Eventually, he headed to rehab and got sober.

“I just put [that pain] where it is: in the past,” Grammer said in an interview. “But it’s a pain that you can always stumble into again—it’s with you 24/7, especially in the case of tragic death, and there have been a few of those. It’s just part of life. Maybe I learned a little earlier than most, but it’s just the way it goes.”

His sobriety was tested through three failed marriages before finding a lasting relationship with a British flight attendant named Kayte Walsh. The couple has faced several tough challenges together, including a heart attack that Grammer survived in 2008 and several miscarriages.

“Kayte and I had a couple of miscarriages before we had our first child,” he admitted. “That was devastating. These things are hard. But when it’s good, it’s magnificent.”

These days, the 62-year-old actor is living a better life—in a stable relationship and father to seven children from his marriages. Now out of AA, he says he can enjoy a daily drink with no trouble.

“It takes me a while to figure things out,” he said. “I usually have to repeat a lesson or two—maybe three times! I survived my previous relationships just in time to land in a place where I could be in a relationship with a terrific person.”

He credits his faith for keeping his head on straight through troubled times. “As a Christian, we always fail because we can’t become Christ,” he said. “But I can try to at least emulate the best qualities, even if I may fall short.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter