When ‘The Santa Claus’ actor met the real Father Christmas

The Santa Claus‘ actor Tim Allen is a born again Christian, and he is not ashamed to tell the world about the God who saved his life.

Small beginnings

Allen was born in Denver, Colorado, USA. He began his professional career in 1976 by accident. After graduating from University with a BSc in radio and television production, one of his friends dared him to take part in a comedy night in Detroit. It all started as harmless fun, but the likeable and talented young comic was immediately offered parts in local TV commercials. From there, he appeared on the cable comedy show Some Semblance of Sanity, and following a move to Los Angeles, Tim became a regular performer at The Comedy Store doing stand-up appearances on late-night talk shows.

Despite his very limited acting experience, he rose to fame in the sitcom Home Improvement playing the main character Tim ‘Tool-Man’ Taylor. In 1994, he starred in the highest grossing movie of the year, Disney’s The Santa Claus. A year later, Tim provided the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the animated blockbuster Toy Story. Other notable movie roles include Galaxy Quest (alongside Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman), Santa Claus 2, The Shaggy Dog, Santa Claus 3, and Crazy on the Outside.

But despite the good times as a movie star, Tim Allen has certainly had some tough times and he does not and he doesn’t claim to be the ‘perfect Christian’. On the contrary, he admits that his life’s deepest struggles and the consequences of his far from perfect behaviour are what caused him to turn to Christ.

Battling with addiction and alcoholism

It began when, as a young man, he battled with addiction and alcoholism.

When Tim was only 11 years old his father was killed by a drunk driver. Through the unimaginable grief, Tim questioned whether he could have prevented this death if only he had been with his father on the fateful day. Confused and not knowing where else to turn, he eventually found comfort in excessive drug and alcohol use.

In October 1978, Tim was arrested for possession of over 1.43 pounds of cocaine. He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and served two years and four months in a US federal prison. It was a very low point in his life and things gradually began to turn around following his release. But he did not immediately become a Christian.

“For years, I just did not like this idea of God. I was still a churchgoer, but constantly a cynic.”

Gradually, however, Tim began to open up as he felt the love of God helping him and guiding him through the struggles. Eventually he turned his life over to Jesus Christ.

God the builder

“I always do ask The Builder [God] ‘what do You want me to do?’ I just want a relationship with Whoever built me. This is too much; too weird that it happened by accident. I don’t believe that I happened by accident.” 

Alcohol controlled Tim’s life for many years, but today he is both sober and a committed church-going Christian. He speaks of the goodness of God and is able to enjoy family life like henever could before.

“I used to live an isolated existence, even in relationships, but now my family knows me for who I really am…  Seeing the worst parts of my behaviour helped me to understand the better parts. So while I’m still more anxious than I want to be most of the time, I’m far less anxious than I used to be. I was doing comedy clubs, concerts, movies and TV, and didn’t ever realise how fatigued I was or how much I was missing in my life.”

Eventually, Tim found a way to incorporate his faith in Christ into the script of his sitcom ‘Last Man Standing’. Since dedicating his life to Christ, he looks for ways to share his faith. He believes that it is important to pray for God’s specific help and guidance in life, but he adds, “You’ve got to be prepared for the answer!

Turning our lives over to Christ does not always mean we get the answer we want, but God does look after us and He gives us what we need!


Story by Ralph Burden

Photo: Tim Allen 2012 – MingleMediaTV  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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