Dennis Quaid isn’t taking his second chance at life for granted, and he’s not afraid to speak openly about his addiction issues and the road to recovery.
In 1990, he was over a decade into his career when he fought anorexia nervosa, shedding 40 pounds to play the tuberculosis-ridden Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp; at the same time, he checked himself into rehab to deal with his serious cocaine addiction.
“I remember going home and having kind of a white light experience [where] I saw myself either dead or in jail or losing everything I had, and I didn’t want that,” he said in a new cover story for People.
“We’re all looking for the joy of life, and drugs and alcohol and whatever it is for anyone give that to you really quickly,” he explained, adding, “Then they’re fun, and then they’re fun with problems, and then they’re just problems after a while.”
Dennis, who grew up attending a Baptist church in his hometown of Houston, Texas, claims that reconnecting with his Christian roots freed him from a lifetime of drug issues.
“When you’re done with the addiction, you need something to fill that hole, something that really works, right?” he said of reconnecting with his spirituality.
The year he went to rehab, or “cocaine school,” he wrote “On My Way To Heaven,” a faith-based song for his mother Juanita, in an effort to “let her know I was okay because I wasn’t okay before then.”
“That’s when I started developing a personal relationship,” he explained, adding, “Before that, I didn’t have one, even though I grew up as a Christian.”
“I grew up at the Baptist church; I love the hymns that I remember from being a kid,” the Parent Trap star continued, speaking about his next album, Fallen: A Gospel Record For Sinners.
“The songs are self-reflective and self-examinational, rather than churchy.” “Whether you’re a Christian or not, we all have a relationship with God,” he stated.
Today, he balances his job in music and acting, his religious commitment, and being a father. He married 30-year-old Laura Savoie in 2020, and he has a son with former Meg Ryan, Jack Quaid, 31, who is an actor with a role in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, and twins Thomas and Zoe, 15, with ex Kimberly Buffington.
“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been,” he said, adding, “I’m grateful to be here, I’m grateful to be alive every day.”
“It’s important to really enjoy your ride in life as much as you can, because there’s a lot of challenges and stuff to knock it down.”