Samuel L. Jackson is a Hollywood staple for jaw-dropping action roles, but he almost lost his reputable career to drug addiction.
Jackson’s saving grace was none other than his family, particularly his loving wife of over forty decades, LaTanya Richardson Jackson.
“The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray” actor recently got candid about how his life took a completely different turn thanks to his loved ones.
Samuel L. Jackson Details Life-Changing Addiction Recovery And Family’s Support
While covering this week’s edition of PEOPLE Magazine’s cover story, Jackson opened up about how his family’s affection helped him become the man he is today.
The actor who has graced the frontlines of monumental franchises including “The Avengers,” “The Incredibles,” and “Star Wars.”
The films have gained a collective global rating of $18.5 billion, earning Jackson the position of the highest-grossing actor in history. Yet his life story could have been different.
Jackson’s wife of a whopping 41 years joined him for the intimate interview where he revealed he became addicted to drugs which made him emotionally absent from his family.
The “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” actor recalled moving into the basement of the brimstone house he and his wife lived in, likening his former self to a basement troll.
Jackson said that he spent a considerable chunk of his time doing drugs in his private corner, and he would only come upstairs now and then to hover around for something to do.
The father-of-one admitted that he was deep into his addiction and acting crazy at the time. LaTanya swooped in to help her husband recover, making the necessary calls to find him a spot in rehab.
Jackson spokes of his wife’s selfless support towards his recovery, noting that she could have abandoned him to become a less respectable version of himself. He said:
“She didn’t have to try to fix me. She could’ve just said, ‘Get out,’ and left me into the world, let me go and be whatever I was going to be.”
The loving wife replied that leaving her husband alone was not in the cards, and she felt a divine inspiration to care for him. LaTanya recalled:
“I couldn’t do that because I felt as though God had spoken to me and said, ‘Now, you can’t leave this young man like this. Give him some help. And then, if you feel like leaving afterward, we’ll talk about it.”
The 72-year-old beauty made the right call as she and her famous husband enjoy a blissful married life. The couple are also parents to a 39-year-old daughter Zoe.
Zoe works as a TV producer and is a joy to her parents. Jackson spoke on spending the quarantine period with her saying:
“She makes me laugh like nobody else. Having her home during the pandemic was such a blessing. She was making us lemon bars, feeding us, and making us laugh.”
The “What If” Actor’s Wife Threatened Him Into Getting Sober
Jackson has previously spoken up about his past addiction to drugs and just how early in his life he became attached to the substance.
The Blast disclosed that the “Agents of SHIELD” actor detailed how he became hooked on crack cocaine in the 80s and 90s during a 2021 cover story for The Hollywood Reporter.
Jackson started on drugs in general when a professor introduced him to acid in the 1960s. He then advanced to heroin and cocaine and eventually got hooked on rock when the crack epidemic hit.
“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” actor juggled an acting career and crack addiction and would smoke the substance during breaks outside Broadway Theaters.
Jackson told PEOPLE that he eventually began treatment after his wife and then 8-year-old Zoe found him unresponsive in their kitchen amid cooking cocaine.
LaTanya also admitted that she knew her husband had issues but finding him unconscious that morning made her understand the severity of his situation.
The concerned wife threatened to leave him if he did not get help. Jackson spent four weeks in rehab and began taking the steps towards getting clean. He said:
“I figured that if I tried this other way for, you know, 28 years, and it hadn’t worked, why not give this [sobriety] a try and see what happens?”