The wife of former Coronation Street star Bruce Jones told a court he subjected her to years of drink-fuelled physical and emotional abuse.
Jones (57), who played Les Battersby in the soap, is accused of trying to crash the couple's car as they travelled at high speed along a busy road.
Sandra Jones (59), who has been married to the actor for 26 years, said he was drunk in the passenger seat of their Mercedes M Class when he became angry and grabbed the steering wheel and jerked it up and down, causing the car to swerve dangerously.
Mrs Jones managed to maintain control of the vehicle and bring it to a stop.
But as she got out of the vehicle, the prosecution said, Jones assaulted her by grabbing hold of her wrist.
Jones, of Alderley Edge, Cheshire, is on trial under his real name Ian Roy Jones and denies dangerous driving and common assault.
He played Weatherfield layabout Les for 10 years until 2007. His wife said he lost his Coronation Street job because of his drinking and has found it difficult to get parts since.
Giving evidence, softly-spoken Mrs Jones said she became aware that her husband had a drink problem within six months of their living together.
She said he would get drunk and shout at her, occasionally pushing and grabbing her or knocking over items of furniture.
Questioned about the pattern of her husband's behaviour, Mrs Jones said: "He's hit me with things and thrown things at me. Once he hit me that I specifically remember."
She said it always took place "when he'd been drinking".
She told the court that on one occasion his behaviour had led their daughter to call the police and an ambulance.
The family had to sell possessions, including a £150,000 yacht which Jones had bought his wife, and they were up to £100,000 in debt. The case continues.