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Jeff Daniels recalls relapsing at 50 after 14 years of sobriety

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 31/05/2016 PETER SBLENDORIO

Jeff Daniels stars alongside Michelle Williams in "Blackbird.” - AP © Provided by New York Daily News Jeff Daniels stars alongside Michelle Williams in "Blackbird.” - AP Actor Jeff Daniels has been sober for the better part of 25 years — but he suffered a setback shortly after turning 50.

The 61-year-old star was 14 years clean at the time, but everything unraveled in one night while he was staying in a hotel two months after his birthday.

"I'm throwing the suitcase on the bed and I hear a voice behind me," Daniels recalled on WNYC's "Death, Sex & Money" radio show. "And it's me, clear as day (saying), 'Don't you think you've punished yourself enough?' And I stopped. I said, 'Yeah, yeah I have. Mini bar, here we go.'"

The Tony-nominated actor had his final drink three months later.

Jeff Daniels opened up about his relapse 11 years ago in an interview with WNYC. - Ben Gabbe/Getty Images © Provided by New York Daily News Jeff Daniels opened up about his relapse 11 years ago in an interview with WNYC. - Ben Gabbe/Getty Images The first time he attempted to quit, he tried to do it on his own by cutting himself off cold turkey. But after relapsing, Daniels decided to reach out for professional help.

"The second time was, 'you can't do this on your own,'" he said. "'You need help, you need some people who know a hell of a lot more about this than you do, Mr. Smart Guy.' It's in my family, which I came to learn."

Daniels says drinking "didn't need to be part of my life," adding that quitting helped him become a better family man.

The actor has landed a slew of major roles in recent years, reprising his campy gig as Harry Dunne in “Dumb and Dumber To” in 2014 before appearing in blockbusters “The Martian” and “Steve Jobs” in 2015.

He also recently returned to the Broadway stage for “Blackbird,” which netted him a Tony nomination for best performance by a lead actor.

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