Don Johnson was ready to quit acting before he landed his iconic role in 'Miami Vice'
The 71-year-old actor starred in the TV show - which ran for five seasons between 1984 to 1989 - as Detective James ‘Sonny’ Crockett, the partner of Detective Ricardo Tubbs, played by Philip Michael Thomas, 72
26 November 2021
The ‘Nash Bridges’ star admitted that when was cast in the programme he “was thinking about quitting the business".
© 2021 Bang Showbiz, NZCity
Speaking on the SiriusXM's 'The Jess Cagle Podcast with Julia Cunningham', he said: “And well, with the business quitting me."
But after Don was cast in the cop show “everything changed”.
He said: “I was thinking about, ‘Well, I don’t know what I’m going to do but I gotta do something’, and then I got Miami Vice’ and everything changed.”
The ‘Knives Out’ star admitted that throughout his career - until he got his big break - he went through periods of great financial difficulty and wanted to leave Hollywood because he had no money after he had
“p***** it away on women, booze and horses”.
He said: “I was a working actor and struggled along for some years, making well under the national poverty level. Some years were pretty good, but you know, like Georgia raft, I p***** it away on women, booze and horses.
“It was a very tricky time. And you know, I was still growing up. There were a lot of things I was not aware of.”
However, the ‘Watchman’ star did know that his looks, namely being “too pretty”, was something that he “vowed to overcome”.
He also reminisced about how he and his ex-wife Melanie Griffith - who he met when he was 22 and she was 14 while on set of ‘The Harrad Project’ in 1972 - would rear big cats with Melanie’s mother Tippi Hedren, the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’, and they “hand raised” roughly “20 or 30 lions and tigers".
Don said: “We hand raised those lions and tigers ... Probably between Melanie and I, we hand raised 20 or 30 lions and tigers.
"And when they get to be teenagers, which is around six months old, then we would take them out to the reserve. But yeah, we would would raise them, bottle feed them and then move them over to regular cat food.
"And I got pretty good at working with the wild cats."
Along with the lions and the tigers, Melanie and Don raised their daughter, actress Dakota Johnson, 32, after they were married for the second time in 1989.
They first married in 1976 in Las Vegas after getting engaged on Melanie's 18th birthday, but split six months later.
The actor has four other children; Jesse Johnson, 38, whose mother is model Patti D’Arbanville, and three kids with his current wife Kelley Phleger, 21-year-old daughter Grace and two sons Jasper, 19, and Deacon, 15.