Dedee Pfeiffer says being the younger sister of superstar Michelle Pfeiffer is absolutely not to blame for her addiction struggles.
the Cybilli alum, who now appears in TVs Big Sky, opened up to Page Six about her 10-year hiatus from Hollywood, during which she was a high-functioning alcoholic before seeking treatment. She spoke about what her addiction stemmed from – and what it did not.
“For me, it all revolved around my insecurity and then this undiagnosed trauma and addiction,” Dedee, 58, explained to the outlet. “I think people would love to say that being Michelle Pfeiffer’s sister has anything to do with any of my issues, and — excuse me — I can tell you right now: no, no and no.”
She said of the The Fabulous Baker Boys, Married to the Mob and Batman Returns star, who has long been hailed as one of the world’s most beautiful people, “She’s one of the most amazing, beautiful, smart, compassionate women I know, and I’m lucky to say she’s my sister. Are you kidding me? That’s a plus, not a minus.”
DeDee said Michelle, 64, and their family actually played a key part of her recovery. They approached her offering help. It led to DeDee’s admission that she knew she needed intervention but wasn’t sure where to start. She had privately considered anonymous helplines, but found herself “kneecapped with shame [and] embarrassment [and] failure because I couldn’t stop.”
She said, “I just didn’t know how to ask for help. I kept trying but I couldn’t do it, which just makes you feel like s*** about yourself.” Once she got it, “It saved my life.”
The single mother of two talked about the root of her addiction, saying the disease runs in her family. She long struggled with it in different ways — first with addiction to food, then to love and then alcohol. While in in-patient rehab, she started digging into her untreated trauma. Part of her journey was realizing she is worthy. Today, she has four years of sobriety.
“I never felt comfortable in my own skin,” said DeDee, who followed her sister into showbiz in the ’80s. “I kept trying to fight for that seat at the table until I realized somebody said, ‘If there’s no seat at the table, make your own damn table.’ But when I was young, I was so busy trying to be what everybody wanted me to be… And now I feel like I’m in a generation — at 58 years old — [where] I finally can say, ‘This is who I am, and if you like it, great — if not, that’s OK, go sit at a different table,’ and I’m totally fine with that.”
She continued, “I decided, in this generation, I’m not going to die with my disease. I’m going to show my boys and my family and my friends that you can change. You can change a whole generation by stopping right now and making those decisions.”
In her 10 years away from Hollywood, Dedee also went back to school, earning a master’s degree in social work from UCLA. Part of it saw her working with unhoused people via the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, which she was challenging but a good reality check.
Dedee said she’s currently in a period of “rebirth,” sober and starring in her brother-in-law David E. Kelley’s ABC series since 2020.
“When you’re active in your disease, you’re the identified problem,” she said. “The minute you go into recovery … the day you say I want to change, you become the identified possibility.”