Celebrities and Hollywood, in general, are often pictured in the media as a perfect world where the rich and talented gather to produce a brilliant performance for everybody else to enjoy.

Behind the attractive façade, several stars had to endure challenging years before fame. Many experienced difficult upbringing; others almost fell into the trap of drug addiction.

The careers and lives of celebrities can be tumultuous, to say the least, which is why returning to the spotlight after a series of rough years is nothing unusual in the entertainment industry.

That said, some never recover their stardom reputation following run-ins with the law, let alone convictions.

Among the most celebrated Hollywood, comeback stories is that of Tim Allen, a comedian best known for his roles as Tim Toolman in Home Improvement and the voice of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story.

For much of Tim’s career on the small and big screens, he has always been an easily relatable, lovable character.

Long before the prominence, he was a cocaine dealer once busted and imprisoned for more than two years in Minnesota.


10 /10 Mad At God

Timothy Alan Dick, better known as Tim Allen, was born on June 13, 1953, in Denver, Colorado. He spent much of his younger years in the city.

When he was 11, his father took him and his brother to a football game in Boulder. On the way home, their car was hit by a truck.

Tim and his brother survived the accident, but their father did not. From that point on to early adolescence, the once happy child became mad at god.

9 /10 Booze Thief

Tim knew a drunk driver had killed his father. Colorado’s 1964 highway patrol records have been destroyed; until today, that’s the only thing he knows about the person who took his father’s life.

Tim doesn’t even see the driver’s name. All sorts of the problem began following the death of his father.

It started with alcohol consumption and then stealing the booze from adults. He would play games, tell them what they wanted to hear, and take their drinks away.

8 /10 To Michigan

In young Tim’s head, the pain of losing his father was too much of a burden to bear. When Tim was 13, his mother took the family to Michigan shortly after she remarried.

He wasn’t anything extraordinary as a student. Most would say Tim was an indifferent young man in college.

At that time, money didn’t come easy, but Tim found a way to inject some cash into his wallet; he was dealing cocaine.

It was more like an aimless drift rather than a carefully planned lawlessness.

Kalamazoo Michigan Sheriff’s Department

7 /10 Cocaine Dealing

It was Monday, October 2, 1978. Tim was carrying more than 650 grams of cocaine with his partner at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport in Michigan.

They didn’t know that an undercover cop had already been on the scene watching their every move.

Tim was subsequently arrested and faced a possible life sentence in federal prison.

Without much of a defense, he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and provided the names of another drug dealer in return for leniency. He was awarded a three to seven years sentence instead.

6 /10 Another Arrest

Tim spent no more than two years and four months in a federal prison in Sandstone, Minnesota.

He was granted an early release in June 1981. His subsequent arrest came 16 years later, in 1997, for drunk driving.

His alcohol blood content was 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit in Michigan.

Tim received one-year probation and was required to enroll in rehab following a DUI conviction.

Tim has been sober since. At the time of the arrest, he was in the final two seasons of Home Improvement.

Federal Bureau of Prisons

5 /10 An Ex-Convict

In an interview in 1997, Tim claimed he was still perfectly capable of selling narcotics.

Despite the arrest and imprisonment, he still knew how to do it, but there was no need for that.

Home Improvement first aired in 1991 and continued for eight seasons until 1998.

Being a TV star was a much safer and more convenient profession than dealing drugs.

Tim never denied he is an ex-convict and had caused much pain in people’s lives in his younger days.


4 /10 Turning Life Around

Tim has been sober since and managed to turn his life around. Some say prison changed people; in the case of Tim Allen, the change couldn’t be any better.

At one point, he said the stint in jail rendered him powerless. A real glimpse of hope came in 1984 with an appearance as a guest in Northwest Afternoon.

He also was in An Evening at the Improv for two episodes. Then in 1991, Home Improvement came up and became an instant hit.


3 /10 Last Man Standing

After the 8th and final season of Home Improvement, Tim Allen was busy appearing in various movies.

One of his most prominent roles was as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story, and he would reprise the role in every single sequel.

His next significant role in TV was as Mike Baxter in Last Man Standing. The first six seasons aired on ABC from 2011 to 2017.

Fox picked up the series and produced three more seasons, ending in 2021. By then, Tim was already an established name in the entertainment industry.


2 /10 Apple Insider

In 1999, Tim Allen was named a “Disney Legend” for his work on The Santa Clause and Toy Story franchises.

He has also been regarded as an Apple “insider” thanks to his (voice) role as Buzz Lightyear.

Toy Story has been produced by Pixar, which Apple owns, and distributed by Disney.

As Buzz Lightyear, Tim has made himself a respectable actor in the eyes of the two companies. It is a distinction not many other actors are lucky (or talented) enough to have.

Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

1 /10 Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Tim Allen earned his motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004 for all his contributions to the industry.

He has also been in the Diecast Hall of Fame since 2017 as Automotive Legend.

For the 69-year-old, the actor still has at least one major upcoming Disney+ miniseries, The Santa Clauses.

He will reprise his role as an aging Santa/Scott Calvin, who is starting to lose his grip on the profession of being Santa and wonder if an everyday life would be better for him.

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