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Denis Leary Talks About Acting, Marriage, Kids, and Health

The star of the hit drama Rescue Me, Leary tells us about his family, his comedy, and the Leary Firefighters Foundation.


Do you take vitamins regularly?

I have a bad shoulder from various injuries and aging over the years, so I take glucosamine and a couple of other things.

You act, write, and even sing -- and still find time to regularly do philanthropic work, including founding the Leary Firefighters Foundation, which provides fire departments with up-to-date equipment and training. What has the foundation been doing lately?

We opened up the first high-rise simulator in the history of the New York City fire department last spring. So now we have a working facility that allows firefighters to create scenarios that would occur in high-rise buildings. They're able to work with real fire and real smoke in circumstances that reflect all the standard situations they'd be in, in any building in the New York.

What's your best health habit? Your worst?

My best is hockey. It involves your entire body and your brain. My worst health habit: I probably drink too much coffee. Every six months they come out with a new thing that says coffee is beneficial to your body, so it's not a bad vice to have.

In your household, who makes the doctor's appointments?

In my profession, whenever you start a film or a television show, you have to have a physical. But in terms of the kids, let's be honest: If it were up to the dads to make doctor's appointments, there wouldn't be any doctor's appointments because there wouldn't even be any Band-aids. Every time a kid got hurt, you'd say, "Come on, suck it up, walk it off."

You're known for your stream-of-consciousness brand of comedy. Do you feel that letting it all out is good for your health?

I think spewing your venom and venting your spleen are two very good ways of getting things out of your system and off of your chest, literally and figuratively.

If you could tackle any physical task, athletic or otherwise, what would it be?

Having raised two kids without them getting too damaged, it kind of feels like my wife and I climbed Mount Everest.

What are your kids doing now?

My son is in college, and my daughter is about to go off to college. They're both terrific kids and good students. We did something right; we're not exactly sure what it is, otherwise we'd probably be writing a book about it.

Do you read for fun?

I must admit, I read every single sports book that you can imagine. Right now, I'm reading the new Willy Mays autobiography. I just finished a book about Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. I've read the new Red Sox book. I'm a sports fanatic. I am the worst person at math in the history of math, but I've got every single insane baseball statistic, hockey statistic, football statistic, and basketball statistic in my head. For some reason I'm like Rain Man, only with sports.

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