The Story of Dennis Quaid

Dennis QuaidDennis Quaid is an American film actor well-known for both his dramatic and comedic roles. He first gained attention during the 1980s but he stopped acting during the early 1990s to recover from a drug addiction. Quaid is currently a successful actor who routinely appears in multiple feature films each year.

First Rehab

Quaid dropped out of college in 1973 to pursue an acting career. He appeared in a few small roles during the late 1970s but also became addicted to alcohol and cocaine. Quaid checked into St. John’s Hospital in California during this period for a 28-day drug rehabilitation program. He recalls that this was long before the current celebrity rehab programs that feature luxurious accommodations.

Quaid’s first notable performance after this rehab was his starring role in the 1979 comedy/drama Breaking Away, which won the 1979 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Quaid acted steadily during the early 1980s, although his next commercially successful film didn’t occur until 1985 with the science fiction drama Enemy Mine. His films during the late 1980s also included the 1987 science fiction comedy Innerspace and the 1989 biographical drama Great Balls of Fire!.

Second Rehab

Quaid’s drug problems began to resurface during the late 1980s, especially after Great Balls of Fire! performed poorly at the box office and was panned by critics. Quaid was also in a serious relationship with Meg Ryan by 1990, although she refused to marry him until he recovered from his addiction to alcohol and cocaine. Quaid went back to rehab and married Ryan the following year. Sources close to the actor say that he has remained sober since then.


Quaid has been unusually candid about his drug abuse since his successful recovery in 1990. He discussed it extensively on an interview with Larry King in 2002, during which he said that he sought treatment because he believed he would be dead in five years if he didn’t stop. Quaid has said that the American film industry tolerated cocaine abuse during the 1970s to the point of paying for the actors’ drugs with petty cash.

He also blamed the Hollywood lifestyle for his addictions when he promoted his latest film Soul Surfer in 2011. Quaid’s film career is still successful and he often works continuously. His films in 2012 included Beneath the Darkness, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, The Words, Playing for Keeps and At Any Price.

Getting Help

You don’t have to be a celebrity to find drug rehabilitation that works. Call us today and our counselors will talk to you about your options for recovery at Blu By the Sea. We’re here to help you, or someone you love, stop destroying themselves with drugs and alcohol.