Rene Carson, the shark who terrified a generation of movie-goers in the hit film Jaws, has checked into an exclusive Beverly Hills rehabilitation clinic.
Carson's family said in a statement that he had struggled to cope with his dwindling fame and had become increasingly reliant on alcohol and "other substances".
Unconfirmed reports from America claimed that the shark was found by his family "out of water and unconscious", although his agent has refused to confirm this.
Last week, a Sunday tabloid printed pictures of the fallen star snorting cocaine through his gills from a dolphin's fin.
Carson shot to fame after Stephen Spielberg cast the previously unknown shark to play the antagonist in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws.
His performance as the man-eating Great White Shark was so highly-rated that he was re-cast for the film's sequel, despite his character being killed off at the end of the original.
A Hollywood star soon followed and he remains the only shark ever to be entered into the Hall of Fame.
For many years he was the toast of Hollywood, with a string of high-profile romances with famous fish and endorsement contracts.
But despite a six-year relationship with dolphin actor Sheena Grieves - who had a small part in the Flipper films - Carson never married.
His career took a turn for the worse when was conversationally dropped from the third Jaws film after a dispute over his contract and amid rumours he had eaten several of the child actors on set.
A close friend said this week: "After he was dropped from the Jaws franchise, Rene carved out a pretty good career working on the nature show circuit, still trading off the success of his Jaws films.
"But recently the television companies have been demanding more authentic reality TV, meaning the need for sharks to re-create the ways of the wild has all but disappeared.
"He ended up performing at kids' parties and anybody who knows Rene knows that sort of work is just a real waste of his talent.
"I desperately hope he can rid himself of his demons or else Hollywood will have lost yet another once-great star to the pitfalls of fame and celebrity."