TV | Pop Culture | 90s

"Grace Under Fire" Star Reveals She's Homeless

After starring in the successful ABC sitcom, Grace Under Fire for five years, many people would be surprised to learn that actress, Brett Butler found herself homeless.

Butler was nominated for a Golden Globe award twice for her role in the series that aired from 1993-1998.

She has now admitted that she struggled with substance abuse while starring in the Chuck Lorre-created show. The sitcom was cancelled in 1998 after she was asked to leave the set because of her drug use.

"I almost died like Michael Jackson. ... I was dying of addiction," she said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

"I did everything but crack and needles pretty much," she added. "I had a variety of things given to me by doctor, and other things. I'm not doing it to be coy, but I'm not going to go through what I did. I did it 'til the wheels came off."

It was the producers that pulled the plug on the show because they felt the actress couldn't work any longer.

"Well yeah, after eight vicodin and a coffee at a table read," she says. "It was just getting ridiculous... It's a rarefied playing field to have your own show and everything you need. There's just something inside of me that could not get filled up on this alone."

She was in and out of rehab, and after the show was cancelled she moved out of her L.A. mansion to a farm in Georgia. There, she lived with 15 pets, but soon ran out of money and found herself in a homeless shelter.

"It's amazing, not just that I didn't die, but that somebody didn't kill me," she says. "The Hollywood experience is so surreal to begin with, to add drugs to it, it's like you're inside a kaleidoscope. And by the time I started feeling besieged, it was much worse than I knew."

The actress is now making an attempt at a comeback by developing a reality TV show about her self-professed psychic abilities.

"I really feel like an old dog, though," she said. "It's almost lke I was a horse that ran in the derby once. The kids are coming up and going, 'Are you still doing this?' I think it's something to do with me living through it."

She remains optimistic about the future, however.

"I don't think about what I survived," she said. "I hope I forgive, I hope I'm forgiven, and I'm just really glad that I think things are funny and there's no end to that."

She is not the only one with a story after the show ended. See what the rest of the cast has been up to.

Casey Sander

A seasoned Hollywood veteran, Sander has spent over thirty years in the industry. He has appeared in over 300 episodes of television, including Home Improvement, Sons of Anarchy, Big Bang Theory and Criminal Minds.

He can also be found in 25 TV movies, as well as 18 feature films.

Needless to say, he has continued to be a familiar face in entertainment, even after his role as Wade Swoboda in Grace Under Fire was cancelled.

Kaitlin Cullum

You may recognize her as Libby Kelly from Grace Under Fire, but she was also on 7th Heaven, Malcolm in the Middle and 8 Simple Rules in the early 2000s.

Her last project was in 2013, called Jug Face, but hasn't worked on anything in Hollywood since.

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Dylan and Cole Sprouse

Along with his twin brother, Cole, Dylan started his acting career on Grace Under Fire and his career shot up from there. Playing in titles like Big Daddy and That's '70s Show he has kept busy in Hollywood.

Cole also appeared in Friends as Ben Geller, Ross's young son.

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The brothers also started their own clothing brand in 2005 and went on to graduate college in 2015.

Cole is also in the new Riverdale series as Jughead Jones, so we have that to look forward to!

Dave Thomas

In the early '90s Thomas appeared as Russell Norton in Grace Under Fire. After the show ended he was the voice of Hugo in The Legend of Tarzan, the voice of Ernst and Harv Hickman in Justice League, as well as playing Trevor in the 2005 series Arrested Development.

He has had a very full career that recently includes roles in Bones and How I Met Your Mother.

Julie White

Playing Grace's best friend in Grace Under Fire, White had a falling out which resulted in her giving her notice to the show.  ”Julie felt it was time to move on and do other things.” But network and production execs revealed that White had grown tired of Butler. ”It’s awfully difficult to play her best friend when you don’t get along in real life,” says a production source.

Sitcoms Online

She has since gone on to major roles on the TV series Six Feet Under, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Caveman. She has also had roles in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

What did you think of Grace Under Fire? Were you surprised at how hard it fell?

Source: Hollywood Reporter / TV Guide

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