Jon Provost, who played Timmy in the beloved TV series “Lassie,” has written a memoir about his life.
“Timmy’s in the Well: The Jon Provost Story,” tells the story of Provost’s movie debut at 2, and of his life-changing role as Timmy, which he quit at 13 after seven years.
“The main problem with being a child star was not having an identity other than your character’s,” Provost told the Associated Press. “Everybody called me Timmy, which was not my real name; it was Jon. Having that thrust on you and not having any control over it is not good.”
Provost quit Hollywood altogether to go to college. In 1995, his 16-year marriage to Sandy Goosens, which produced two children, Ryan, now 24, and Katie, now 22, ended.
“I spiraled down hard and fast,” he writes. “I drank too much. I binged on ice cream. No matter what I did, the depression never seemed to let up … I was in the deepest, darkest well I’d ever been in, and there was no dog in sight.”
“Lassie,” however, would save Provost in the end. Trips to weekend autograph shows lifted his spirits. He would meet future wife Laurie Jacobson, who was autographing one of her books, at one. The couple married in 1999.
“She’s devoted to my kids, and she is head over heels about our dog, Barney,” Provost writes of Jacobson at the end of his book. “She tells me I was meant to play second fiddle to a dog my whole life through. That suits me just fine.”