“ AGING ACTOR WHAT DO I DO WITH MYSELF SYNDROME “
I have seen the “Aging Actor What Do With Myself Syndrome” way too many times in Hollywood and it is is tragic! I saw it with my former neighbor, actor Dennis Cole, who finally died last week after years of self destruction. Now, I am seeing the same thing happening with David Hasselhoff. It scares me! If this man does not get out of denial and get the help he needs for his alcohol issues, he will die a horrible and lonely death just like Dennis Cole.
This “ Aging Actor What Do I Do With Myself Syndrome” happens to many actors who have been at the top of their game. They were in demand when they were younger. People adored them. All doors opened and they couldn’t get enough attention. Their phone didn’t stop ringing. Their agents and managers were attentive and bent over backwards for them. They could get them on the phone at a moment’s notice. They were on TV show after TV show or film after film. They directed, produced, ventured out into new arenas and were accepted. They sang and danced and appeared in theatre and did whatever they wanted to do. People flocked to them and around them. They had relationships, married and had kids . While some married again and again, life was still great.
Then, as what happens to all of us in life, life suddenly isn’t so great. Things change. It could be a bad divorce like in the case of David Hasselhoff, or a severe tragedy, as in case Dennis Cole, where his son was murdered.
Instead of going into therapy and really dealing with things, these men go into denial and then into self destruct mode. They have no coping skills, because early on everything was literally handed to them on a silver platter. So now that tragedy and discomfort strike, they aren’t as equipped to handle it like most of us. We go through our ups and downs and learn how to deal with our disappointments because we haven’t been catered to like these men. As a result, they have no clue what to do. So they turn their pain and discomfort inward and begin a course of self destruction.
They often drown themselves in pills or drugs or both. They end up doing awful things when they are under the influence like being mean and belligerent and fighting with people. They even beat people up or get arrested for violent acts.
DENNIS COLE WAS A HOLLWOOD BABE BACK IN THE DAY
Even before his son was tragically killed, Dennis Cole seemed pretty miserable living in L.A. He was getting older and there weren’t a lot of leading roles of aging heartthrobs. Back in the day, when he was younger, he was considered to be one of Hollywood’s hotties. He had a glorious career early on, and was a staple on every major popular TV show back in the 70’s.
On one of his gigs as a guest star on Charlie’s Angels, he met and later married Jacquelyn Smith. They divorced after 3 years. I imagine that he was pretty competitive with her and when his star didn’t shine as brightly as hers, there was trouble in paradise. After they divorced he did well for many years until he got older and more weathered looking. It was hard for him to make it in LA, so he was often out of town doing some theatrical or musical gig. In fact, whenever he was in town I would always hear him practicing his trumpet playing.
When I knew him, he was never able to get it together career wise as an actor. A lot of it had to do with the fact that there aren’t a lot of roles for aging actors. The grim reality is that Hollywood caters to the youth market. And there were even less roles for angry aging actors who seemed to have a chip on their shoulder and who seemed to fight with just about everyone, including those who could have hired them.
HE SEEMED TO FINALLY HAVE IT ALL- OR DID HE?
When Dennis moved away from LA and got married to a beautiful lady named Ree, I was really happy for him. She wasn’t in show business , which I thought was a very good thing for Dennis. Now there would be no competition- so I thought!. She was a real estate agent. He moved to Florida to be with her and he got out of show business.
Together, with his new wife he went into the real estate business and they became business partners (bad idea – completion thing ). Regardless, I thought that perhaps now Dennis could finally find some inner peace and true happiness. Ree even had a young son, so Dennis automatically became a dad again. Since he loved his deceased son so much, God gave him another chance to have a son and to be a father to a boy.
WHO IS THIS MAN?
But despite all of these good things- a new and beautiful wife, a new career, a new environment away from L.A., a new home, and even a new son, his demons came out . It was obvious that Dennis didn’t seek help for his demons. If he did, we would never have seen the absolutely horrific and unrecognizable mug shot photo taken after he was arrested for domestic abuse. It made me sick to my stomach!
This was not the Dennis I remembered- my handsome, sparkly eyed, well groomed, and well spoken neighbor whom I used to see in the hallway throwing out his garbage or getting some sun out by the pool. This was not the same guy who showed up in star like fashion at one of my book parties or whom I used to run into and exchange pleasantries with at the many black tie events and Lakers games we attended.
This was a complete stranger- a bloated, puffy eyed and unkempt man with a deadened, dull gaze. I never would have recognized him as the same person I once knew. After seeing that mug shot photo and reading that he was involved in abusing that lovely woman he married, I got even more nauseated.
I prayed that maybe this public humiliation would be the catalyst that would force him to finally sort himself out and get the help he obviously needed. But he didn’t get help, or if he did, he didn’t continue to get help. Almost two years to the day of his domestic abuse arrest, he took some prescription drugs and drank alcohol. He went to the ER in a Florida hospital on a Friday and died on a Sunday. It was too late!
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN DENNIS AND DAVID SIMILARITIES BETWEEN DENNIS AND DAVID
But it’s not too late for David Hasslehoff! He too appears to be suffering from the same syndrome as Dennis Cole. Equally gorgeous in his youth, David went from one hot show to the next- from Knight Rider to Baywatch. Like Dennis, David ventured into music as well. David became a pop sensation in Germany. They loved him. Like Dennis, he also had alcohol issues. Like Dennis, he too suffered loss and tragedy- his marriage ending in a very nasty divorce. Just like Dennis, David is no stranger to ER’s. Like Dennis, he became belligerent and hostile when drinking . And like Dennis, he was in complete denial until he ended up in the ER. I only pray that this is where the similarities end and that David does not end up in a similar position as Dennis- dead!
GET OUT OF DENIAL DAVID HASSELHOFF!
For the fifth time this year, 911 is called and David goes to the ER. He then comes home and there is always some cockamamie BS story about an ear infection or hamburger indigestion or a “seizure.”
For God’s sake, David, Get out of denial! You are an alcoholic and you are using! Just look at the tape where you are slobbering over your hamburger as you are lying on the floor and slurring your words.
Look at the disgusting tape of you on TMZ when you just flew back from Canada. You look higer than a kite in my opinion and Albert, your handler was fanning a paper at the papps to keep the press from seeing you in your sorry state. So don’t give us that “ seizure “ bullshit! If you are an epileptic and taking anti seizure medication, what the hell are you doing mixing it with alcohol? Do you have a death wish? Obviously to do!
Look at what you have done to your precious gorgeous daughters. Don’t collapse your hatred for ex wife Pamela, on to these innocent girls. They don’t deserve this. You have caused them so much anguish with your selfish and sick behavior. Get your head out of the sand.
No one will think less of you if you admit you are an alcoholic and are out of control like you showed recently in the UK. In fact, we will think more highly of you if you admit it and do something about it. Get into rehab IMMEDIATELY! You are killing yourself.
I wish that Cedars could keep you in there on 5150 so you can get evaluated. To me it looks like you are a danger to yourself and killing yourself. You need psychiatric help ASAP. You need to find out why you are relapsing so frequently. You need to clear out some inner demons.
WE LOVE YOU DAVID- BUT YOU NEED TO LOVE YOU!
You seem like such a wonderful guy. We all see your compassion and caring for those contestants on America Has Talent. You are so kind and caring- especially to the losers. The audience loves you. They love to hear you sing.
Your daughters love you or they wouldn’t be calling 911 on your behalf all the time. Instead they’d let you die. But all of that doesn’t matter. Everyone in the world can love you, but unless you love you, it is pointless.
Don’t get into the “Aging Actor What Do With Myself Syndrome.” There is plenty to do with you! You are only 57 for goodness sakes. You have a lot of life ahead of you and a lot to look forward to. You are so likeable and fun and a great performer. You can produce and direct and develop other talent. Most of all you can be a better father for your daughters so they won’t have to feel like the parent and call 9ll all the time.
Stop this self destruction right now! Get into a 12 step program and into rehab and make it work! We don’t want to lose you like we lost Dennis. http://www.drlillianglass.com