Brad Garrett became a household name on the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. The ensemble cast featured Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Garrett, Doris Roberts, and Peter Boyle, and became a hit during its first season. When Garrett received the news that the show was being picked up for season 2, he made a life-changing decision.
Brad Garrett got good news about ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
Garrett wasn’t aware that the sitcom was headed into a second season until he read about it during a Hawaiian vacation.
“On my third day in Maui, I read in Variety that Raymond had been picked up for a second season,” Garrett wrote in his 2015 book, When the Balls Drop: How I Learned to Get Real and Embrace Life’s Second Half. “Later that evening I found myself at the Hula Bar… celebrating the news that after 20 years of cancelled shows and the brutal club circuit, I might actually be on a hit.”
While at the bar, Garrett was hit with a revelation that painted a frightening picture of his future.
“I remember thinking, ‘I drink when the news is bad and drink when the news is good,’” Garrett remarked. “‘This sh*t’s eventually gonna kill me.’ I hit an emotional bottom.”
‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ star’s last drink was in 1997
The Emmy Award-winner also realized his hope to one day become a parent outweighed his desire for liquor. Garrett was reminded of this after spotting a seemingly perfect family that evening in Hawaii.
“My whole life, I had always dreamed of being a father,” Garrett explained. “I wanted to have the same kind of relationship with kids that I shared with my dad; one that was healthier, perhaps, but based on that same unconditional love and appreciation.
The revelation prompted the Everybody Loves Raymond star to make a drastic change in his life.
“That was when I put it all together,” Garrett wrote. “I knew I wanted to have children, but there was no way I was going to put them to bed at night with booze on my friggin’ breath. I downed what must have been my tenth double vodka, straight up with a lemon, and stumbled out on to the beach. … It was April 12, 1997, and that was the last time I had a drink.”
Brad Garrett considered himself a ‘high-functioning alcoholic’
Garrett previously shared some of his journey to sobriety in a 2015 interview with Entertainment Tonight, where he classified himself as “high-functioning” during his first season on Everybody Loves Raymond.
“I was what they call a high-functioning alcoholic,” Garrett said. “I hid it really well. … It was just a realization that I probably wasn’t going to make it. I would hit a fifth a day sometimes, and that’s a lot … Raymond had just really started to take off. It was after year one.”
In his book, the actor empathized with those who are dealing with alcoholism and trying to get on a healthier path.
“I wish I could give some advice to those struggling with addiction,” Garrett wrote. “I wish I could share some nugget about what got me straight, never to look back or never to fall off. But I just stopped. I knew I wouldn’t have survived in the long haul if I didn’t.”
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