In 1982, Dee Wallace starred in her most-icon role as Elliot's mother, Mary, in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Since that time, Wallace has continued to find roles in hit TV shows and movies. But when she's not acting, Wallace loves playing slots.
The 67-year-old wrote about her affinity for slot machines in a piece for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. And one of the key features that Wallace appreciates about slots is how, contrary to public perception, you can really stretch your dollar out.
"I love Las Vegas! It’s one of my standing three-day vacation getaways," Wallace wrote. I have to admit that I’m a slot slut. It’s true. Turn me loose on a Willy Wonka penny machine, and rescue me 4 hours later. I never lose more than $20, and sometimes I win $600. I have fun for a long time for very little. I figure that everyone wins."
Given that Wallace comes from an addiction background - her father was an alcoholic - one might wonder about her playing slots. But the actress isn't at all worried about her gambling hobby.
"I don’t worry about becoming addicted to gambling," she wrote. "There is nothing in me that wants anything else to have control over me. My dad was an alcoholic, and my brain decided to go the opposite way. One of my family members has not been so fortunate with alcohol addiction."
Besides playing slot machines and acting, Dee Wallace is focused on studying addiction and the brain.
"My family member certainly didn’t love them self or they wouldn’t be drinking them self to death," she explained. "And the more I pondered why I wasn’t an alcoholic and they were, I began studying brain science. I learned this alarming fact: How we see our self-worth in the world and how we perceive how we are valued in the world is completed and wired in our brain by the age of 4."
As for her film career, Wallace's most-recent credits include TV roles in General Hospital, Grimm, Switched at Birth and The Office, while recent movie roles include Love & Mercy, Hansel & Gretel, and Exodus Fall.
Dee Wallace is far from the only celebrity who likes playing slot machines. Golfer John Daly reportedly loved playing slots so much that he sat down to a $5,000 coin denomination game in Las Vegas and proceeded to lose $1.6 million in a single session. Unlike Wallace, who discussed losing $20 a session, Daly was pretty bad at bankroll management.
Former Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson is another celebrity who enjoys playing slot machines, and there's never been any rumor that she lost a bunch of money with slots. But there's a rumor that $250,000 in poker losses led to her short-lived marriage to celebutante Rick Salomon.
Another celebrity who was open about his slots play was David Gest. The late music producer and former husband of Liza Minnelli reportedly spent as much as £10,000 a day playing slot machines. Gest's bets weren't unreasonable - 50p a spin - but the problem is that he would continue playing for days. He's just a reminder of how important it is to limit your play on slots, much like Wallace does.