Robson Green catipulted to fame in his twenties after the huge success of the TV series Soldier Soldier.
But while his fame grew, he struggled to cope with all the attention, which led to his battle with drink and drugs.
He opened up about his addictions for the first time in an interview with the Mirror, and told how these ended up wrecking his love life.
In the early nineties he was busy starring as Fusilier Dave Tucker in the ITV series, and married his first wife, occupational therapist Alison Ogilvie, in 1991.
Robson said: “I was just 26 years old when real fame came knocking at my door with a drama called Soldier Soldier watched by 21 million people.
“I was enjoying fame. I was enjoying recognition, I was enjoying all the approval.
“I was enjoying the awards, I was enjoying the parties, I was enjoying the drinking and everything else that went with fame.
“But, and I wish this was a more original story, my relationships were a car crash.
“And I was losing touch with what mattered in life.
“I grew up in a close-knit mining community in the North East of England where my dad worked down the pit.
“I started having real problems with fame and alcohol and drugs.”
The actor says an encounter with his dad, also called Robson, was was what made him seek help.
He added: “Dad turned up, he’d worked hard all his life and he looks at his son who he has given everything to, blood, sweat and tears, and he goes ‘Are you happy?’, and I went ‘Yeah,’ but deep down I knew I wasn’t and I realised I didn’t have anything.
“Because all I was doing in my life was acting.
“I was a people pleaser, always desperate for recognition, reassurance and I needed help.
“So I went to see a therapist. He said to me, ‘So tell me who Robson Green is’. I said ‘I am this guy who acts’. He said, ‘No, that’s your career. Who are you?’ I didn’t have a clue.”
Robson and his first with Alison split after eight years of marriage.
He met his second wife, former Page 3 model Vanya Seager, while he was recording Unchained Melody in 1995.
The couple later had a son, Taylor Seager-Green, now, 20, before splitting up in 2011.
They issued a statement that October saying the marriage had “irretrievably broken down” and that they were separating.
It was widely reported at the time that Robson had had an affair with a vicar’s wife, which led to the breakdown of that marriage.
He now lives in his native Northumberland with partner Zoila Short.
Robson has said that his therapist discovered his love of fishing and suggested doing that again, which he credits with saving him.
He said: “Getting back into fishing was a turning point for me. It has been and still is my road to Damascus.
“If I had the chance to go to that therapist again, I would say go fishing with me and you will see that’s who Robson Green is.
“I needed something in life that made sense and, for me, fishing makes sense. I’ve learnt so much from fishing and found an inner peace that was missing.”
Robson and close pal and actor James Murray, known as Jim, go fishing in Iceland in their TV show.
And Robson says that he now shuns the celebrity lifestyle.
“I don’t like being classed as a celebrity,” he said. “I’m a normal actor who’s survived.”
*Robson and Jim’s Icelandic Fishing Adventure is on ITV on Monday at 10.45pm