Showbiz Stars Who Got Sober
Showbusiness, be it films, television, theatre or the music industry, is known for its wild parties and crazy social life. People have an image of Hollywood movie actors or rock stars drinking champagne or taking drugs before heading out to the club or afterparty. In many cases, it is not far wrong. It is a tragic fact that showbusiness has claimed many casualties through the years. From Hollywood legends like Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift to musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse, countless stars have been taken too soon due to drugs and alcohol.
However, although showbiz has experienced many tragedies, there have also been cases of stars facing their demons and defeating them. Many celebrities have battled drug and alcohol addiction and won. They have successfully given up and stayed sober.
Rock and Roll Drug and Alcohol Abuse
In the seventies, the one recording artist who seemed to symbolise rock and roll excess was Elton John. Brilliantly brought to life by `Kingsman` star Taron Egerton in the ‘Rocketman’ movie, John was struggling with alcohol and drug addiction for over 15 years during the height of his fame. He finally accepted he needed help and made the decision to attend Alcoholics Anonymous in 1990. He has been sober for almost thirty years now.
Another recording artist who has stopped using drugs or alcohol is the fantastic Florence Welsh, lead singer of chart-topping band Florence + The Machine. The 32-year-old first broke into the music business over a decade ago, when she was 21, and found herself caught up in the storm of rock and roll. Florence would reportedly drink the most at the end of a tour, where she would overindulge to deal with the pressures of fame. The singer accepts she used cocaine and alcohol to excess, especially after the album Lungs came out ten years ago. Florence realised her life improved greatly without drugs and alcohol, and has not touched any since 2014.
Alcohol addiction in real life as well as art
A recent movie depicting a fictional recording artist battling dependency was the critical acclaimed remake of `A Star Is Born`. The story follows an alcoholic singer on the decline acting as a mentor for a younger rising star. It was the directorial debut of Bradley Cooper, who also played the older singer, and earned an Academy Award nomination. However, many may not be aware that the actor who first came to fame in comedies like `The Hangover` ironically had his own problems with alcohol abuse in real life but has been sober for over ten years now.
Addiction can affect anyone
Many famous film stars have struggled with alcohol addiction, even some you would not expect. For instance, who would have imagined the star of the internationally successful Harry Potter films, would have his own public battle with dependency?
Daniel Radcliffe, now in his 30’s, played the title hero and has bravely spoken out about his problems with alcoholism. Sometimes he would drink on the film set, and eventually felt drinking had adverse effects on his health and life. He decided he did not want his life to be ruled by alcohol addiction and wished to remain sober. The actor admitted it is a struggle to prevent relapse, especially when attending an event where alcohol is served. However, he has been much happier since giving up drinking.
So, whatever your walk of life, if you wish to stop using alcohol or taking drugs, it is possible. If people like Elton, Florence and Gerard can survive the crazy world of showbiz and get clean and sober, then let it be an inspiration to us all.