Daniel Baldwin's 'Little Love Affair With Drugs'

For the four Baldwin brothers, Hollywood's white hot glare is just another a fact of life.

Actors Alec, Daniel, Billy and Stephen, all fixtures on the gossip pages and red carpet, may seem to live in a different world. But one issue has touched this famous family which also affects 25 percent of American families: addiction.

In an interview with "Primetime," Daniel said, "I'm a straight-up cocaine addict. I don't really drink very much, although I have abused alcohol in the past. And I don't use any other drugs. I don't take pills. I don't do anything. I'm a … diehard coke head."

Daniel let "Primetime" follow his progress through drug rehabilitation, to shine a light on the mind of an addict and to share the personal issues that may have landed the 46-year-old in rehab for the ninth time.

Being Born Baldwin

Daniel Leroy Baldwin was born on Oct. 6, 1960, in the middle class town of Massapequa, N.Y., on Long Island. He was the third child in a large Irish Catholic family. Beth was the oldest, then came Alec -- whom the family call Xander -- and then Daniel. Three years later, Billy was born, followed by Jane and, finally, Stephen. In 11 years, half a dozen Baldwin kids had entered the world.

Daniel said that Alec is the big star, Stephen is the born-again Christian and Billy is popular with the girls. When asked how he plans to stop being known as "the drug one," Daniel acknowledges "that's what some people would say." But he also said, "I think most people, when they know…Hollywood, would say, 'He's probably the best actor.'"

Today Carol Baldwin is a 77-year-old breast cancer survivor and the founder of the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center of University Hospital and Medical Center at Stony Brook. When Daniel was a child, she was a teacher-turned-stay-at-home mom.

Daniel's father, Alexander Rae II, was a high school history teacher and the head football coach at Massapequa High School. He died of lung cancer in 1983 at the age of 55.

By all accounts, Daniel was the troublemaker of the family and often received attention from his strict disciplinarian father. Daniel's older sister Beth remembers their trips as kids to the beach in the family station wagon.

"My dad would smoke a pipe out the window with one hand and steer with the other hand, and Daniel would always be the one in the back seat of the car that did something," she said. "It was Billy and Jane that he was picking on. And the pipe would go into the pocket, and the boys would call it the claw, because the claw would come down and grab your kneecap, whoever was doing it. It was always Daniel."

'What Would I Do With That Kind of Money?'

Daniel eventually followed in the acting footsteps of his older brother Alec. He has appeared in more than 70 movies, including "Paparazzi," "John Carpenter's Vampires," "Mulholland Falls," and "Trees Lounge." His television credits include four years as Detective Beau Felton on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street."

Shortly after landing his first solid acting job at the age of 29 on the sitcom "Sydney" in 1989, Daniel said he began using cocaine.

"I thought, 'My God, I'm gonna make $15,000 a week for 13 weeks.' What would I do with that kind of money? You know, I had never seen anything like that before in my life," he recalled. "I was now in a financial situation that I walk into the party of a very famous singer and there were all these people in this party and they all had these little glass pipes."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...