April 24, 2013: The famed songwriter and actor – now playing at the Cafe Carlyle – returned from the brink to come back clean and sober with a message of gratitude and trust.
Paul Williams says he has lived a blessed life and is grateful.
Not so much because of his many successes as an actor, singer and songwriter – but because he has been given a second chance.
You wouldn’t know his troubles from screaming headlines, though. Williams was lucky to have never became tabloid fodder.
“The fact is I did rehab twice and was never ‘outed’ by the press,” he says.
“By the time I got sober I was hardly the high profile performer I’d been,” he continues. He had somehow managed to keep it under wraps, at least in public at the height of fame. “I did ‘The Tonight Show’ with Johnny Carson forty-eight times. I remember six!” he confesses.
“When my addiction to alcohol and cocaine outran my need to be in front of an audience I hid out. And drank. You know you’re an alcoholic when you misplace a decade and I did.”
He managed to pull out of the nosedive that claimed so many talents back in the 80s.
“I’ve been sober for twenty-three of the most amazing years of my life,” he reveals. “And now, rather than being outed by the press, I’m happy and honored to speak at a public level about the gifts of recovery. It’s a life blessing and I speak all over the world about addiction and the way out of that nightmare.”