"That was the time when I could not forgive myself," the actor told Vanity Fair

By Jacqueline Andriakos
Updated April 16, 2015 12:05 PM
Walter McBride/WireImage

He now stars in Broadway’s Finding Neverland and lives a happy life with wife Kayte Walsh and their two children. But Kelsey Grammer still revisits a family tragedy that occurred 40 years ago.

The 60-year-old actor opened up about the 1975 murder of his sister and the looming guilt and self-destruction he battled in the aftermath in a new interview in Vanity Fair‘s May issue.

The Frasier alum spoke candidly about his alcohol and cocaine addiction that spiraled at the height of his success and about the death of his sister Karen Elisa, who was murdered by serial killer Freddie Lee Glenn Jr. when she was 18. Grammer was 20 at the time.

“I’ll speak to the straight of it. That was the time when I could not forgive myself for my sister’s death,” he told the magazine.

Grammer also explained that he couldn’t help but feel responsible for not protecting his sister: “It’s hard to explain. It’s not rational. But it happens anyway,” he said.

“I know a lot of people who’ve lost their siblings and blame themselves.”

But Grammer still holds on to the “biggest lesson” that he took away from the family heartbreak: “Every one of us is going to experience some terrible loss.”

“I just got a big dose,” he told VF. “For every story you hear that’s tragic, there’s another that’s equally tragic or more so. I think you come to look at it as part of life.”

Now the husband and father of six focuses on a life full of family with British flight attendant Kayte Walsh, whom he married in 2011. The couple have two children together, Faith Evangeline Elisa, 2½, and Kelsey Gabriel Elias, 9 months.

“This lovely young woman lit up my world and changed my heart, which was a bit calloused and hardened against a lot of things. And we are good, and I feel young and alive,” he said of his wife.

He’s also balancing a busy schedule, appearing as both producer Charles Frohman and Captain Hook in the stage version of the 2004 Peter Pan film Finding Neverland, alongside former Glee actor Matthew Morrison, 36. The show premiered Wednesday at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City.

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