Tim Allen Says 21 Years Of Sobriety Is His "Biggest Blessing"

By David Konow 06/18/19

The prolific comedian entered rehab after a 1997 DUI arrest and has been sober since. 

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Tim Allen

Tim Allen has had a lot of success in his career with his hit shows Home Improvement and Last Man Standing, and he’s also had success on the big screen with The Santa Clause movies, Galaxy Quest, and as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story movies. But he’s celebrating an even greater success these days—marking over two decades of sobriety.

Allen told Parade, “To be perfectly frank, I’m going on 21 years sober. That’s the biggest blessing in my life.”

Allen went through a terrible trauma when he lost his father at the age of 11. “When my dad was killed, we had a priest that said, ‘He’s in a better place,’ and I kind of snapped, like, ‘What are we doing here, then?!’”

Before he became famous, Allen did nearly two-and-a-half years in federal prison for cocaine possession. Allen told the Washington Times, “It was a watershed moment. It put me in a position of great humility and I was able to make amends to friends and family and refocus my life on setting and achieving goals.”

Allen turned to comedy after getting out of jail in 1981. The Toy Story star called comedy his “coping mechanism. It always has been.”

After Allen got busted for a DUI in 1997, he checked into rehab, and has been sober ever since.

He told the Huffington Post, “For me, I was done! I was just done! And I didn’t know where to turn. A physician friend of mine told me a long time ago, you’ve just got to ask for help… if you need help, it’s the first thing you go to in the phone book, and it’s free. It’s a program that’s always got its doors open, there are no dues or fee."

Allen added, “It is a disease of the soul and the mind, and it will tear up the people around you. It’s a matter of hitting a personal bottom… I was tired of my excuses, I was tired of the shame and the guilt… so much energy to manage it. It was unmanageable. I sat there [and] I said to whatever God that was watching over me: ‘Help me! I will do what you want.’ I’m a guy who doesn’t like ‘organized’ anything but AA is just brilliant to me.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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