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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.


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.

That can come in handy.

Yes, if you're in Vegas.

With all the physicals, your health must be pretty good.

I've always played a lot of hockey. I'm very prone to hyper activities. So it's never really been a problem of mine.

Do you still smoke?

Yes, but nowhere near as much I used to. I also play a firefighter, and we use real smoke and flames on Rescue Me. So we eat a lot of smoke during the course of a shooting day.

Is there anything you do for relaxation, like knitting?

The day you see me knitting is the day that you have my permission to take those knitting needles and stab me in the neck with them. I haven't had a lot of down time. Usually I go home, I learn my lines for the next day, and maybe I do a little bit of writing, and then I go to bed.

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