Steve Guttenberg Admits to Hollywood Pitfalls: 'I Drank the Kool-Aid'

Hollywood star Steve Guttenberg shares personal and professional insights

by Zain ul Abedin
Steve Guttenberg Admits to Hollywood Pitfalls: 'I Drank the Kool-Aid'
© Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Steve Guttenberg, known for his iconic roles in '80s hits, has opened up about the highs and lows of his Hollywood journey. In an exclusive interview with Page Six, Guttenberg described the entertainment industry as “walking on the edge of a razor”.

He acknowledged that while show business is thrilling and enjoyable, it also presents significant dangers, emphasizing the need to stay grounded. Guttenberg credits his family's support, particularly his father, Stanley Guttenberg, for helping him navigate the temptations of Tinseltown.

In his upcoming memoir, "Time to Thank: Caregiving for My Hero," the "Police Academy" star shares the close bond he had with his father and details his father's decline and his role in caring for him. Reflecting on his father's influence, Guttenberg said, “I was in love with my dad.

He was one of the smartest, strongest, kindest guys ever born on this earth. He was a US Army Ranger, a New York City policeman, an electronics executive, and a devoted husband, father, and friend. He was a great citizen and patriot.

I loved being in his company”.

Early Successes and Pitfalls

Guttenberg left Long Island for Hollywood at age 17, quickly rising to fame with the "Police Academy" franchise. He recalls his then-manager, Sandy Gallin, initially condemning the first film as “the most horrible movie I’ve ever seen”.

Gallin, who also managed Dolly Parton, booked Guttenberg a TV series, fearing the film had ruined his movie career. However, the 1984 film became a massive success, leading to several sequels. In addition to "Police Academy," Guttenberg starred in other major box-office hits, including "Cocoon," "Three Men and a Baby," and "Short Circuit." Despite his success, he admits to succumbing to Hollywood’s allure at times.

“My God, I drank the Kool-Aid several times and bought a Ferrari, thinking I was a big deal,” he shared. However, Guttenberg eventually realized the fleeting nature of fame. “You get to the end of that tunnel and realize you’re not that big a deal.

The biggest star or CEO isn’t a big deal because we’re all human with limited time on this earth. Try to do the right thing all the time”. The actor also highlighted the importance of his parents' unwavering support.

“My dad would say, ‘Anytime you want, get your marbles and leave. You don’t have to stay in this thing,’” Guttenberg recalled. This assurance gave him the strength to handle the pressures of Hollywood while remaining true to himself.