Ricki Pamela Lake is an American actress and television host, best known for her starring role as Tracy Turnblad in the original Hairspray and for her talk show. She was was born to a Jewish family in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, the daughter of Jill, a housewife, and Barry Lake, a pharmacist on September 21, 1968. She attended Ithaca College and the Professional Children’s School.
Ricki Lake Personal Life and Career: Ricki Lake met artist/illustrator Rob Sussman at a Halloween party in 1993. The couple married shortly after in Las Vegas. Their two sons are Milo Sebastian Sussman (March 22, 1997) and Owen Tyler Sussman (June 18, 2001). The two divorced in 2003 after ten years of marriage.
In early 2007, Lake pursued a “new routine” resulting in over 125 pounds of weight loss, taking her down to 120 pounds from a high of 260. In November 2007, Lake cited sexual abuse as a child as a reason for her problems with obesity.
Acting and Talk Show Career: Lake made her film debut as Tracy in John Waters’ 1988 adaptation of Hairspray, before going on appear in several other Waters films including Cecil B. Demented, Cry-Baby and Serial Mom. In 1989, Lake joined the cast of the Vietnam War drama series China Beach as Red Cross volunteer Holly. She later went on to have recurring role as Doug’s sister Stephanie on the 1998-2007 TV series King of Queens.
She also appeared in such films as Mrs. Winterbourne, Cabin Boy, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Cookie, and Inside Monkey Zetterland and in the television movie Baby Cakes.
Lake made a cameo appearance in the 2007 movie musical Hairspray as a William Morris talent agent and teamed up with star Nikki Blonsky (who plays Tracy in the 2007 remake) and Marissa Jaret Winokur (who played Tracy in the Broadway musical was based on the original 1988 film) to record “Mama I’m a Big Girl Now” for the soundtrack, which is played at the film’s end credits. She will reunite with original Hairspray co-star Deborah Harry for the upcoming film Grammercy Park Hotel, set for a 2008 release. In October 2007, Lake appeared in the Lifetime original movie with Holly Robinson Peete titled Matters with Life and Dating.
Ricki Lake was originally cast in the TV show The Middle, but was replaced by Patricia Heaton after ABC announced it had greenlighted the series as a midseason 2009 replacement. She has also guest-starred on television series including Drop Dead Diva and a voice role on King of the Hill.
Ricki Lake was a daytime talk show. The show specialized in topics involving invited guests and incorporated questions and comments from a studio audience.
The show debuted in syndication on September 13, 1993 and ended first-run episodes on May 25, 2004.
In 2000, Lake told Rosie O’Donnell in an interview she had signed on for four additional years. Although Sony Pictures Television had many stations contracted through the 2004–2005 season, Lake decided to end the show in August 2004, citing (among other things) a desire to spend time with her family. She moved from Los Angeles to New York to tape the 11th season of the show, then returned to California when taping was complete.
Ricki Lake photos and hot pictures gallery: