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List of Famous Alcoholics (shocking!)

Updated on January 14, 2014

It can be tricky to uncover which celebrities and famous people have or have had a drinking problem. Those who live in the public eye value secrecy in such matters as public knowledge of their addiction can be damaging to their career and private life. However, there are many famous alcoholics that have let the cat out of the bag regarding their problem with drinking. Many such people have recovered from this problem but some have let it consume and even end their lives.

Included below is a list of celebrity and famous alcoholics that you may have not known had a battle with alcoholism.

Famous Alcoholics #1. Frank Sinatra

Classified as a "functioning alcoholic," Frank Sinatra battled alcoholism for many years. However the  2 weeks before a recording session, Sinatra would save his voice by not having one drop of alcohol or a single cigarette. In comparing Sinatra's music from the early 50's to late 50's it is painfully evident that his massive alcohol abuse and smoking took a toll on his voice. The singer's biographer was quoted as saying "Sinatra's use and abuse of alcohol was much more important than anyone understood."

Famous Alcoholics #2. Edgar Allen Poe

Known by many as one of the greatest writers of all time, Edgar Allen Poe had a severe drinking problem. Born to the father of an alcoholic, Poe constantly drank throughout his life until he was found on a street in Baltimore passed-out-drunk. He was rushed to the hospital where he died. Edgar Allen Poe managed to drink himself to death at the age of 40.

Famous Alcoholics #3. Stephen King

During his late 20's Stephen King struggled with alcoholism as well as various drug additions. It was during this time in this life that he went through a series of lows. One of his lowest recollected lows was when he gave the eulogy at his mother's funeral drunk. Thankfully in the mid-80's King kicked drinking and went on to write numerous top selling horror books.

Famous Alcoholics #4. Betty Ford

Wife to former president Gerald R. Ford, Betty maintained a secret battle with alcoholism. She eventually won the battle over drinking and turned a negative into a positive. Betty went on to receive the honor of having the Betty Ford Center named after her which has helped thousands of people overcome their problem with alcoholism.

Famous Alcoholics #5. Mickey Mantle

Arguably one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Mickey Mantle underwent a long term battle with alcohol. The late baseball star admits to having played many games under the influence of alcohol. It makes one wonder how much greater could he have been if not for alcohol? Mantle's drinking eventually caught up to him when he developed liver problems which eventually lead to his dead.

Famous Alcoholics # 6. Ernest Hemingway

Known as one of the most famous literary alcoholics, Hemingway started drinking at a young age. Despite his struggle with drinking, he was able to write numerous literary masterpieces. As he continued to struggle with physical and mental issues, his problem with alcohol increased until he committed suicide in 1961.

Famous Alcoholics #7.Samuel L. Jackson

Often accused of being a "work-a-holic," Samuel L. Jackson was also once a full blown alcoholic. Jackson is now considered a recovering alcoholic and has appeared in hundreds of hit major motion pictures.

Famous Alcoholics #8. Edwin "BUZZ" Aldrin

Edwin Aldrin, more commonly known as simply "Buzz Aldrin" was the second man to set foot on the moon. He was also a man with a serious drinking problem. In 1976 he announced he had been an alcoholic for several years before 1969's Apollo 11 mission. Just 2 days before the shuttle launch, Aldrin quit drinking and completed a historical mission to the moon. To this day, Aldrin is an advocate against alcohol abuse.

Famous Alcoholics #9. Dick Van Dyke

Main character of the classic TV show "The Dick Van Dyke Show," the sitcom star was secretly taking on a battle with alcoholism. His case was less typical as he hadn't taken his first drink until the age of 29. Dyke was quoted as saying "It was a marvelous relaxer..... Jack Daniel's became my good friend. Then sometime in my early forties he turned on me." Dick Van Dyke eventually gave up drinking and has made his victory over alcohol public to help encourage others.

Famous Alcoholics #10. Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck had a problem with alcoholism for many years during the early stages prior and during his career. Finally in 2001 Affleck checked into rehab where he successfully kicked his drinking habit for a time span of 10 years. Sadly he "fell off the wagon" in 2010 where he was spotted taking shots of Vodka at Sundance Film Festival.

Famous Alcoholics #11. Michael J. Fox

The famous movie star who appeared in hit movies such as Back To the Future and Teen Wolf, has admittedly had a serious problem with drinking. Before being diagnosed with Parkinson Disease, Fox would often endulge is large amounts of alcohol. He has since quit drinking and is focused on helping to find a cure for Parkinson Disease. Fox re accounts his problem with drinking in his book "The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist."

Thanks for reading, be sure to check out our new article on Outback Steakhouse and Outback prices.


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    • Sarah Masson profile image

      Sarah 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Very interesting