This Is How Tim Allen Ended Up In Prison

Several of the famous faces who appear on our TV and movie screens have done time behind bars — either before becoming big celebrities or after they'd already made it big. Martha Stewart, infamously, had been a household name for decades before she went to prison in 2004 for lying about a stock sale, per History. By comparison, Mark Wahlberg was an anonymous Boston teenager back in the 1980s when he did time for assaulting several Vietnamese men, as The Independent reported. While he received a two-year sentence, Wahlberg ultimately served only 45 days for the attacks. 

Another once-anonymous person who did time and then later became a celebrity is standup-comedian-turned-actor Tim Allen. The star of "Home Improvement" and "Last Man Standing," and the voice actor behind Buzz Lightyear in the "Toy Story" franchise, spent a little over two years in a federal pen, as All That is Interesting reported, and had he not cut a deal, he could still be in prison to this day.

Tim Allen once faced life in prison for cocaine trafficking

Back in the 1970s, Timothy Alan Dick (his real name) had just graduated college and had taken to dealing cocaine, as John F. Wukovits' book, "Tim Allen (Overcoming Adversity)," explained.

Wukovits alleged that an undercover officer named Michael Pifer had taken an interest in the young dealer's activities, and had tracked him for several months. Pifer then set up a sting to nab Dick: the two would make a deal at an airport. Unfortunately for Dick, it was a setup, and soon he was cuffed and charged with possession of over 650 grams (about one and a half pounds) of coke. And in a case of unfortunate timing, earlier Michigan had passed a law that made possession of 650 or more grams of cocaine punishable by life in prison.

Dick, however, instead cut a deal that sent him to a federal pen in Minnesota, rather than a state one in Michigan, in exchange for naming names. Indeed, Dick's testimony is believed to have nabbed another 20 or so criminals. Meanwhile, Dick served two years and four months of a three-to-seven-year sentence, according to All That Is Interesting. He walked out of prison a free man in 1981.