Top 10 Actors Who Surprisingly Didn't Die From Drugs

Script written by Genevieve Methot. For some people, the party never stops. But for these actors, they’re lucky the party stopped when it did. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 actors who surprisingly didn’t die from drugs. For this list, we’ve chosen actors who battled their demons for longer than humanely possible and have made it through to the other side – or at least to older age. If you’d like to see a list of musicians who struggled with addiction but made it through, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Musicians Who Surprisingly Didn’t Die from Drugs. Special thanks to our user Lukas Taylor for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Genevieve Methot.

Top 10 Actors Who Surprisingly Didn't Die From Drugs


For some people, the party never stops. But for these actors, they’re lucky the party stopped when it did. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 actors who surprisingly didn’t die from drugs.

For this list, we’ve chosen actors who battled their demons for longer than humanely possible and have made it through to the other side – or at least to older age. Because we’re focusing on actors, a hard-core party animal like Stephen King didn’t make the cut. If you’d like to see a list of musicians who struggled with addiction but made it through, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Musicians Who Surprisingly Didn’t Die from Drugs.

#10: Carrie Fisher

Like so many actors on our list, Carrie Fisher’s childhood was anything but normal. Raised in the spotlight by Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, she was no stranger to Hollywood and the accessibility of drugs, the effects of which were only worsened by her bipolar disorder. Initially delving into marijuana as a teenager, Carrie was experimenting with hallucinogens and cocaine by the time the world knew her as Princess Leia. Now clean and sober, she has moved past “Star Wars” to become a celebrated actress, director, playwright and novelist.

#9: Lindsay Lohan

Once an adorable child star with a bright future ahead of her; Lilo’s downward spiral into alcohol and drugs was anything but glamorous. After starring in popular films like “Freaky Friday” and “Mean Girls,” it suddenly came crashing down in 2007 when she was arrested twice for drug and alcohol related crimes and sent to rehab. Since then, she seems to be making a sincere effort to get her life together, but after starring in a few critical failures, getting her career back on track has proved difficult.

#8: Mackenzie Phillips

If anyone on this list has a reason to resort to drugs, it might be the daughter of Mamas and the Papas lead singer John Phillips, whom she alleges drugged and raped her when she was a teenager. Phillips says her incestuous relationship with her father lasted years, during which time she sank even lower into her heroin and cocaine addiction. In 2008, she was arrested for possession at LAX airport, but since completing a rehab program, she’s been using her experiences to become a drug counsellor.

#7: Russell Brand

You might not believe it, but this kooky British comedian has been sober for over a decade. Revealing all in his best-selling autobiography “My Booky Wook,” Brand discusses struggles from his childhood and teen years, like his mother’s bouts with cancer, sexual abuse by a tutor, and a brief battle with bulimia, all of which contributed to his eventual use of pot, amphetamines, LSD, ecstasy and eventually heroin. Combining rehab and meditation to kick his addiction, Brand is now an advocate against drug prohibition, which he feels prevents regulation and leads to unnecessary death.

#6: Mickey Rourke

A once-hunky star who shot to fame in the ‘80s, the world was Rourke’s to lose. Letting the fame go to his head, he fell out of favor in Hollywood because of his incessant drug and alcohol abuse, intolerable antics onset and overall anger issues. He turned back to boxing for a bit, but it ultimately took him years to get his acting career back. The perfect fit for his comeback role as “The Wrestler,” Rourke has finally been forgiven his faults, crediting his dogs and religion for helping him turn his life around.

#5: Drew Barrymore

She may be playing it low-key today, but back in Drew’s early days of celebrity – and we’re talking really early – she was no stranger to the darker side of fame. After skyrocketing to stardom thanks to Steven Spielberg’s smash hit “E.T.” in 1982, it didn’t take long for Barrymore’s rebellious side to surface. In the actress’ autobiography, “Little Girl Lost,” which she wrote as a teen, she explains checking into rehab at 13-years-old for cocaine and alcohol addiction. With the pressure of having to carry on the century-old Barrymore legacy, it’s no wonder her childhood was rocky.

#4: Kiefer Sutherland

Based on the number of times this Canadian actor has been charged with DUIs, it’s shocking he hasn’t killed himself – or anyone else. The son of Hollywood veterans Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas has been a long-time abuser of alcohol and possibly worse drugs, and his constant arrests and famous fights have done little to shield the public from his disease. Though he credits the show “24” with not only reviving his career but also saving his life, the Brat Pack alum was still forced to serve 48 days in jail for DUIs beginning in 2007.

#3: Samuel L. Jackson

It’s hard to believe that an actor as prolific as Sam Jackson even had time to suffer from substance abuse. But his success as a film star came only after he checked himself into rehab when his wife and daughter caught him passed out in the kitchen surrounded by cocaine. Ironically, when he emerged a sober man, his breakout role was as a crack addict in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever.” He says he’s never relapsed – though he does remain addicted to things like work and golf – and Hollywood has been nothing but kind ever since.

#2: Charlie Sheen

This “total bitchin’ rock star from Mars” has been in and out of rehab since the ‘90s – some of it court-ordered. By 2003, things seemed to be going okay: after all, he was starring of one of the most watched sitcoms on television, and was married to Bond babe Denise Richards. But even with “tiger blood” and “Adonis DNA,” his addiction caught up with him, and after a very public meltdown he was fired from “Two and a Half Men,” at which time he reportedly started spending $2,000 a day on cocaine. These days he’s supposedly cured, but that hasn’t stopped him from being Hollywood’s favorite “warlock.”

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Ben Affleck
- Jodie Sweetin
- Tatum O’Neal
- David Hasselhoff

#1: Robert Downey, Jr.

First smoking pot at age 6, our now-beloved Iron Man was once riding shotgun all the way to Hell. From the mid-‘90s to the early-2000s, he was in-and-out of rehab, fired from “Ally McBeal,” arrested for DUIs and possession, and served time in prison for offenses related to possession of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. After finally getting sober in 2003 thanks to things like therapy, yoga and his wife, he slowly climbed back to the top, regaining the world’s respect with his tenacity, and earning the public’s admiration by overcoming the stigma that stymies so many careers.

Do you agree with our list? Which actors are you surprised didn’t die from drug use? For more informative top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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