MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE star Jane Kaczmarek learned about tough parenting skills in real life as a teenager - when her parents caught her with marijuana.

The 47-year-old actress, a mother of three, plays the no nonsense parent of three boys in the hit TV show - and she quickly realised the stresses children can put their elders through when she got up to a little mischief herself.

She recalls, "I was in high school and my mom found a joint in my purse.

"I came home and said, 'Where's mom and dad?' and my little brother said, 'They're at the police station.' They went down and said, 'Come and arrest her, if you will.'

"I never indulged again. My dad came in my room the next day and cried, telling me, 'Don't do drugs!' It was good tough love."

Kaczmarek's co-star Bryan Cranston was also on the receiving end of tough justice.

He says, "My mom had a weekly court and we'd get tickets during the week. On Saturdays, my dad would be the judge and mom would be the prosecutor. We could state our case, but she was like MATLOCK - she always won!"

30/05/2003 19:05