Howard Rollins, co-star of NBC's "In the Heat of the Night," said his addictions to drugs and alcohol drove him to consider suicide three days before Christmas.
The actor, who portrays Detective Virgil Tibbs, said an inner voice was telling him: "Just go ahead and kill me. I'm sick of it. I'll never straighten out my life, I'll never have the career I want.
"How can I talk about a career when I can't even stop using drugs? Why can't I just take a gun to my head and be out of this misery?"
In an interview in the March 17 issue of TV Guide, Rollins said he took his last drug on Dec. 28. Then he packed up his drug paraphernalia and stomped it to pieces.
"I have a thing inside, a needing or craving, that I am constantly dealing with," he said.
Rollins said he was only an occasional user when he landed the Tibbs role in 1987 but was addicted within six months.