VIDEO: Willie Aames — From Hollywood To Being Homeless

Willie Aames, the TV actor of Eight Is Enough and Charles In Charge fame, said on the Today Show Thursday that he’d never dreamt his luck could run so bad — after a two-year stretch in which he declared bankruptcy, his wife of 25 years left him and he even started cutting away at his own flesh — on the Today Show Thursday.

Aames, who said he once pulled in $1.5 million a year, would sleep at friend’s homes, parks and parking garages, and once recalled sleeping under a bush thinking, “Is this how my life turns out?”

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Aames, whose struggles will be chronicled in an upcoming VH1 special, Broke and Famous: Willie Aames, tabbed a pseudo-suicide incident he was involved in last year, in which he was cutting himself, as a “scream for help;” he declined to elaborate on the details out of respect to his ex-wife and estranged daughter.

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Aames, 49, said his marriage was one of “his largest sources of personal pride … and when that went away, I was devastated, I was absolutely devastated.”

Aames said he is working towards becoming a financial adviser and advocate to others to avoid the same financial pitfalls he had.

“I believe we can start over in this country,” he said.

Broke and Famous: Willie Aames airs on VH1 Thursday night at 10/9c.

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