Goodman’s drinking days

In 1975, the Missouri-born actor arrived in New York City and began hanging out at Café Central.

John Goodman had a three-decade-long affair with alcohol, said John McDermott in the Financial Times. In 1975, the Missouri-born actor arrived in New York City with dreams of appearing on Broadway, and began hanging out at Café Central, an actor’s bar where a young Bruce Willis served drinks. “He is still probably the best bartender I’ve ever seen,” says Goodman, 61. “[Willis] took care of everybody. I was there every night. I could have gotten my mail there.�� Goodman “romanticized” his barfly life. He was reading books by Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, “and they’re all drunks. All the great actors were drunks. So I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t see the bad stuff slipping up on me.” That bad stuff included drinking while filming episodes of TV’s Roseanne, fluffing lines, punching set walls, and arguing with other actors. His memory began to suffer, and his weight ballooned to almost 400 pounds. It was as if “my brain tried to have me whacked,” says Goodman. In 2007, he realized he had to quit acting or drinking. He chose to give up the booze, and has now been sober for seven years. “People ask me all the time, don’t you want another drink? Nope. I’ve done it.”

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