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Pope Leo XII Had a Coke Habit? 10 People You Probably Didn't Know Were Addicts

A mix of modern and long-deceased, these actors, musicians, and prominent thinkers challenge stereotypes surrounding addiction.

Photo Credit: Flickr


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1. Daniel Radcliffe

Even boy wizards have their vices. Radcliffe's was whisky, which he began to rely on during the filming of the sixth Harry Potter movie in 2009. "There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person's lifestyle that really isn't suited to me," the now-22-year-old actor told GQ. He added that he hadn't had a drink since August of 2010. “As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time—that doesn’t work for me,” he said.

2. Kristin Davis

Unlike many famous folks forced to suffer through addiction in public, Kristin Davis battled alcohol before anyone cared who she is. In 2008 the "Sex and the City" actress admitted to Health magazine that she's a "recovering alcoholic." Davis has said her addiction was so bad that she was certain she wouldn't live past 30. Now 47, she's free from addiction--too booze at least. "Chocolate and coffee has taken over," she said.

3. Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin realized he had a problem at 4pm. The year was 1983 and as the burgeoning star drove down the Santa Monica Freeway with a plastic cup full of wine he had an epiphany. "I went, 'I don't see any body else in their car with a plastic take out container filled with ice and wine. They're drinking coffee; they're drinking Diet Coke. They're not drinking wine,'" he wrote in the book, Moments of Clarity. It wasn't just wine either. There were drugs and there were video games. "I would play video games from, like, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and I would wind down. Then I'd go home and go to bed," Baldwin wrote. It all ended six weeks before his 27th birthday when Baldwin joined a support group and met God. "God was a black, 65-year-old retired postal worker named Lenny," he wrote. Forgetting the occasional relapse, Baldwin has been clean ever since.

4. Charlie Watts

Next to his band mates, Rolling Stone drummer Charlie Watts always looked like a very well dressed Sunday school teacher--famously steering clear (for the most part) of drugs and shrugging off groupies for the sake of his marriage. But much like Mick, Ronnie and Keith, he too experienced a downward spiral into addiction to heroin and alcohol. It happened in the 1980s and coincided with family problems. "Looking back on it, I think it was a mid-life crisis. All I know is that I became totally another person around 1983 and came out of it about 1986. I nearly lost my wife and everything over my behavior," he said. He hasn't drank, smoked or used drugs since.

5. William F. Buckley, Jr.

The much-revered (and reviled) conservative thinker William F. Buckley was an ardent advocate of drug legalization. According to his son Christopher, he was also a pretty ardent user. In his book "Losing Mum and Pup," Buckley fils writes that his father developed a habit of downing sleeping pills, booze and Ritalin later in life in an attempt to moderate his alertness and his sleep. "Pup’s self-medicating was, I’d venture, a chemical extension of the control he asserted over every other aspect of his life," the younger Buckley wrote. His dad died of a heart attack at 82.

6. Oprah Winfrey

Not all men are Stedman. Oprah knows that first hand. When the world's most powerful woman was in her 20s she had a relationship with a man who introduced her to crack cocaine. "I can't think of anything I wouldn't have done for that man," Oprah said as she spontaneously admitted her prior drug use during a 1995 episode of her show. Ten years later in another interview, she said she realized she did have an addiction, but not to crack. "I was more addicted to the boyfriend than I was to the drugs," she said.