Tim Allen had been so busy working during his first marriage that he never got to see his daughter, but he changed things around during his second marriage by being more present.
Nobody is perfect. Lots of people make life-altering mistakes but what matters is that they take accountability and grow from it. There are many celebrities who have paved the way by learning from their errors. One of those celebrities is comedian Tim Allen, 66. He has publicly acknowledged that during his first marriage he was working too much and never really there for his family. So, when he got a chance to do it the second time around, he became a better man.
Allen, known for lending his voice to Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story as well as starring roles in Home Improvement and Last Man Standing, has been working in Hollywood for many years. However, he wasn't always the family man we see on TV. Around 40 years ago, the almost 26-year-old had been busted by the police for distributing narcotics in Michigan, which led to him spending 28 months in a federal penitentiary, according to PEOPLE.
His college sweetheart, Laura Deibel, stood by him and waited until he was free again to marry him. "We loved each other. It was that simple," she told PEOPLE. They had gotten married in 1984, but by 1999 things went south in their marriage. They divorced that year and decided to raise their daughter, Katherine "Kady" as co-parents. They had been seen together at the premiere of Toy Story 2 together but a friend of the comedian said that they were only "acting as a family." Four days later, they had filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.
"They were lifelong soulmates," says Allen’s close friend, Michigan comedy-club owner George Kutlenios. His mother, Martha Bones said, "The situation is very unhappy for everyone."
Allen believes that it was the amount of time he spent working, away from family, which caused their marriage to perish. "I never see my daughter at all," he told the Detroit News, according to PEOPLE. In finding success in his career, “I let my family slide,” he admitted.
When Home Improvement was on the air, he would rehearse Monday to Thursday and tape on Fridays. Then, he would go out with the cast and crew for a few beers, though he was battling his addiction to alcohol at the time. In 1997, he was arrested for drunk driving near his second home in Beverly Hills, Michigan. He joined a rehab program in 1998 and has been sober since.
For the tapings, his wife and daughter could have joined but Deibel "wasn’t around all that much,” recalls Billy Riback, the producer of the show. "She was raising a child, trying to maintain the home life," he added. Once the show was off-air, Allen started a production company and continued racing cars. "He’s like a CEO who retires after 30 years on the job and suddenly comes home and has nothing to do but bother his wife," said Allen’s longtime friend and business partner Rob Cowin, who is godfather to Kady. "He’s driving her crazy."
The couple didn't reconcile and eventually in 2006 Allen married Jane Hajduk in a small outdoor ceremony in Grand Lake, Colorado. Only his teenage daughter was in attendance at the wedding. Kady is close to Hajduk and the three of them have appeared together on the red carpet many times. "I’m not the same guy I was the first time [I was married], when I was hiding and doing what people who drink too much do. I was not connecting," he said in 2017 to Closer Weekly. "But I’ve been sober for almost 20 years. I’m much more present."
And he did change. When Hajduk and he had a daughter, he made sure that he spent time with her. "I was gone so much in my first marriage. I love the moments when I engage with my youngest daughter now. It’s not my thing to sit on the ground and play tea party, but I’ll do it because it’s a moment that will stick with me forever," he told Parade.
The father of two daughters, who are 19 years apart, revealed that in his experience "it’s all wonderful with girls until about 16." "Around that time, boys kind of calm down and start focusing their testosterone. Girls get a little challenging, especially for fathers," he said.
"The older one will roll her eyes, and the younger one just stares at me — I think she’s done with me," The Santa Clause actor tells Closer. “But I still try to play jokes and make them laugh.”
He described what a Sunday looks like in his household and it was fairly domestic. "My wife and I will go to church; then, if we’re lucky, we’ll get a sitter and play golf. We have a nice early dinner, and I end up watching TiVo’d Meet the Press or Fox or CNN. That’s a great Sunday," he said in 2011.