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Health & Parenting

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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.


Your kids are 18 and 20. What did you learn in bringing them up?

Everything your parents tell you is true, which is that it's over before you know it. Also, there's no such thing as a cool parent, no matter who you are. Even the coolest person's children look at him or her and go, "Oh, my God, I can't believe they're wearing that. I can't believe that they just said that."

Who influenced you most when it comes to your health?

Hands down, it was my parents. They are the people who influenced me the most in every aspect of my life. In terms of health, my dad was a very active guy. My mother is 84 and she walks three miles a day.

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."

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