How can Hollywood bad boy survive this grim tragedy? Writes ALISON BOSHOFF 

How can Hollywood bad boy survive this grim tragedy? Writes ALISON BOSHOFF 
How can Hollywood bad boy survive this grim tragedy? Writes ALISON BOSHOFF 

For once, Alec Baldwin has been felled by a disaster which is not at all of his own making.

Who knows how awful he must be feeling after what appears to have been a terrible accident, resulting in the death of one colleague and the wounding of another?

There is nothing to suggest that the actor, 63, was in any way at fault – but this is not the first time he has been caught up in a controversy.

In the past, he has overdosed on cocaine, allegedly thrown chairs and phones on set during ‘volcanic’ temper tantrums, been kicked off a plane for refusing to stop using his phone, had run-ins with police and in 2018 he shoved a man in a row over a parking space.

Troubled star: Alec Baldwin plays a gun-toting Irish priest in film Pixie

Troubled star: Alec Baldwin plays a gun-toting Irish priest in film Pixie

Along the way there have been repeated fracas with paparazzi, one of which included Baldwin making a deeply unpleasant homophobic slur.

He also is said to have told a photographer: ‘I hope you choke.’ And told a reporter: ‘I am going to f*** you up.’

In 2013, he claimed: ‘I find myself bitter, defensive and more misanthropic than I care to admit.’

And that’s without getting into the vicious seven-year custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger over their daughter Ireland – the low point of which was the leak of an abusive voicemail in which he called his then 11-year-old daughter a ‘rude, thoughtless little pig’.

Tirade: Baldwin calls a photographer a ‘piece of trash’ in California in 2016

Tirade: Baldwin calls a photographer a ‘piece of trash’ in California in 2016

He’s come a long way off the track from where he started in showbusiness, playing a corn-fed hunky leading man in Dallas spin-off soap Knots Landing.

In those years, Baldwin – one of four acting brothers – seemed golden with promise. Since then he has faced numerous scandals.

But whatever the calamity, he’s always bounced back and is still said to toy with the idea of running for political office – as mayor of New York or even president – despite his chequered past and complete lack of political experience.

Born on Long Island in 1958, he’s the eldest son of Alexander, a war veteran turned teacher. Baldwin remembers him as a ‘really good guy’ and recalled in an interview that his father would bite his own hand during arguments to stop him from raising it.

He moved to Los Angeles to star in Knots Landing in the mid-1980s and was devastated when his father died. Aged 25, and suddenly rudderless, Baldwin became addicted to booze and cocaine.

Pugnacious: He grabs and pins Paul Adao, a paparazzo, against a car in 2013

Pugnacious: He grabs and pins Paul Adao, a paparazzo, against a car in 2013

And in his 2017 memoir, he said he almost killed himself when he overdosed at 26, feeling his heart go ‘pop’ as he began a day of drug-fuelled debauchery with two (married) female crew members. He crawled to a phone and had a pal take him to hospital.

For two years, he said he was ‘a daily drug abuser [and] a daily drinker’. He added: ‘Boy, that was a tough time. There was really a lot of pain there, a lot of pain.’

Baldwin would recover from his binges by playing the video game Galaga at an arcade warehouse, which would allow him to come down enough to go to sleep.

He finally got sober in 1985 on the eve of his 27th birthday – and a Hollywood breakthrough came in 1990 when he starred as Jack Ryan in The Hunt For Red October.

Here he goes again: The actor takes aim at yet another snapper in 2013

Here he goes again: The actor takes aim at yet another snapper in 2013

And in 1991, he was cast opposite Kim Basinger. After the sensation of the 9 1/2 Weeks film, Basinger was immensely famous and the pair immediately started a red-hot affair – but they also accused of making life a misery on the set of The Marrying Man.

There were reports of temper tantrums thrown by both actors.

Amid all this pressure, the film’s director ended up in hospital with pneumonia and dehydration.

Baldwin reflected: ‘Life with Kim was largely centred around the narcissistic passions of two childless actors.

NEXT Australia: Terrifying moment teenager forced to ground gunpoint police BMW ...