The Celebrity Alumni Of The Betty Ford Center
On Friday, Betty Ford, former First Lady, wife of former President Gerald Ford and founder of the Betty Ford Center, died at the age of 93 from natural causes. She was a recovering alcoholic who helped found the influential rehabilitation clinic, vowing to help those in need who were in the grips of various addictions but needed extra help away from a hospital setting.
She was also a tireless supporter of various, somewhat taboo, social causes at a time when most people were still scared to talk about things like drug use, premarital sex and gender equality. Some would even go as far as to say she was more important to the country in the early '70s than her husband was. He was busy cleaning up the messes of his predecessor, Richard Nixon, and found it hard to crawl out of the shadow of Watergate.
Since its opening in 1982, the Betty Ford Center has been a beacon of hope for many celebrities and other well-heeled figures who could afford expert care at high prices. There is a reason why the clinic is so star-studded. Take a look at their current rates for patient care. I don't know about you, but the figures alone would scare me off a crack pipe or bottle of bourbon.
Here's a partial list of some actors, actresses and musicians who have found themselves for one or more reasons behind the gates at the Rancho Mirage, California facility, and why they were there, more or less. OK, we fabricated the reasons, but still, they were there.
Addiction: Bat blood.
Addiction: Faked a painkiller addiction to escape wife Nicole Kidman's Botox-ridden face.
Addiction: Walking the line.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Addiction: Leather, lace.
Mary Tyler Moore
Addiction: Throwing things in the air in a triumphant fashion.
Robert Downey Jr.
Addiction: Career meltdowns and comebacks.
Addiction: Being a batshit, drug-addicted, recovering redhead.
Addiction: Getting drunk and signing curse words at the children aboard school buses.
Addiction: Making strangers (OK, prostitutes) watch 1996's Down Periscope and forcing them to laugh.