Transcript for Katey Sagal talks explosive new memoir, her acting and singing career
??? Katie Segal first rocketed into American consciousness as the over-the-top peg Bundy on the hit sitcom "Married with children." But watching that joyous performance, you may have never guessed her painful past. Peg, what is it with you? You can change six D batteries in the dark, you can't find a two-ton automobile in broad daylight. Let's not start talking about who can't find what in the dark. Reporter: Katie Segal was the heart beat of "Married with children" for 11 years. I don't shop that much. Mom, the stuff you ordered is here. Oh, goody! I thought that's what all wives were like. Really? And I was going to glow up to marry somebody like you? Oh, you did not. I did. Well, she was kind of hot. Although I hope that hasn't been your situation. Lil bit. Your nose hairs look somehow longer? They moussed them. Reporter: Her first lead TV role, she was a rock chick. When they asked me to read for it, I thought, this is perfect for me, because this is so outside the box. We hadn't seen anything so outrageous on television before. You never bring me flowers. I would if you died. And I thought, this won't last long. Reporter: That character was not supposed to be the way you ended up playing her? No, she was written very slovenly. My take on her-and-that relationship between her and Al Bundy, there had to be something hot between the two of them to sustain the marriage for so many years. I went into the audition all dolled up. Catch a big one, Al? I all right have, peg. You would be surprised how many people would call our costumer wanting her clothes, people wanted to look like her. Reporter: It was the '80s. Where is the wig? It's in a big plexiglass box. People are like, do you wear it? I'm like, no, I don't wear it. Reporter: There is so much more to Katie Segal than mouthy peg Bundy as we discover in her memoir. ??? ??? Reporter: There's that beautiful singing voice, which we've heard on futurama. ??? I will always love you ??? Reporter: And we'll soon hear again and see her in ABC's 30th anniversary "Dirty dancing" remix. You're in the new dirty dancing. Skpngets I'm very dirty. I play Vivian. She's kind of the lonesome sexy diverse. This is our last night together, lover. Reporter: And there was a time in her youth when kiss came to town. There was just this band of boys sitting at the table, and I was their waitress. And I sang them a song and one thing led to another, and I started this romance with gene. You say that very nonchalantly. Well, it's so long ago. Reporter: Segal's first love was music. Backing singer for Bette midler? I was a harlette. I worked with her on and off for about five years. I heard Bob Dylan fired you? Yeah, he fired me. He fired all the singers. I was so intimidated that I knew I was singing the wrong parts. But I would never say anything. I remember the days of these skirts? I do too. This is what I wanted to do when I grow up. And this is still in there. Reporter: Her mum, a screen writer, her dad a director. Both of your parents died when you were young? My mother had been ill for a big part of my life. It wasn't as big a shock as my father, who I had spoken to the day before and he died on a television set. He was killed in a helicopter accident. One of the reasons I wanted to say some of this in the book, is that my way of dealing things in the moment, was to very much check out. Was to kind of anesthetize myself, numb myself. And it wasn't until I changed my lifestyle that I felt the full impact of those things. Reporter: Segal first took diet pills prescribed by a doctor. Learned if you feel bad, pop a pill. 15 years of booze and happy pills became a problem. I had a drug and alcohol problem that lasted through my 20s. Reporter: Until a chance meeting on a TV set. I met a person on a job that was sober, and she talked to me about it. Suddenly, out of nowhere popped up a lot of people that were living a life clean and sober. And I didn't really know about that. Reporter: You've been clean for 30 years? Yeah. Reporter: That's a massive achievement? Massive, I know. One day at a time. Reporter: Still? Still. What I've learned is that I can do anything for 24 hours. Reporter: Reasonable of course there's the bastard executioner and sons of anarchy. You look me in the eye and you promised me you wouldn't hurt Tara! Reporter: She was golden globe nominated per peg Bundy, she won for sons of anarchy, a role created by her husband. To my husband, I love you. I'm so glad you're the boss of me. Reporter: He was the EP, she was the star. I think at a certain point, we just stop talking about work at home and dealt with our three children. Reporter: Had she taken early advice, this might never have happened. You were told you were not a TV person. Yeah, I met a casting director who said, you will never work in television. Reporter: Why? This was in the days of dynasty and Dallas. When everybody on television looked extremely glamourous. I was in musicians, I was in a band. I wore a lot of black. Years later when my struggling music career was not going full steam ahead, I said yes to being in a rock musical. That led to a role on "Mary." Then came "Married with children." Sex tonight, peg? Reporter: For 11 years, the secret sauce, chemistry. . We loved each other instantly. He's such an every man, down-to-earth guy. Reporter: Now playing a slightly similar role on "Modern family." He has a hot wife again. I just had to throw that in. Reporter: Segal still acting and still making music. ??? ??? Reporter: This summer, touring the L.A. Area with the band the reluctant apostles. Well, we want to do it in a comfortable way. We're not getting in a band. Reporter: And now a slightly reluctant author. So this was a kind of book by accident? I had written pieces, just writing about my life, with the intention of giving it to my children at some point. I'm pretty private, actually. But apparently not anymore. Reporter: It's peg Bundy behind the curtain, warts and all, but don't hold your breath for a revival. It seems that all these shows are coming back in one form or another. I don't think this one will. Reporter: That's okay, we all have "Married with children" memories. I'm Nick watt for "Nightline," Angeles.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.