Ricki Lake is an American actress and tabloid talk show host best known for her long-running Ricki Lake talk show (1993-2004) and for starring in the original version of the film Hairspray.
She was also a starring cast member in the third season of the drama series China Beach, from 1989-1990.
Lake was born in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, surprisingly as a blond. She has one sister, who is one year younger than, her named Jennifer. Her father, Barry, is a pharmacist and her mother, Jill, is a homemaker. The two currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ricki attended Hastings Elementary as a child, then on to Farragut Middle, and then attended Hastings High, for two years.
At the end of her sophomore year, she transferred to The Professional Children's School, in NYC, to focus on perfecting her craft as an actress. Also, Ricki began singing professionally at the age of nine, in cabarets and clubs.
After finishing high school, she attended Ithaca College for one year. During final exams of her freshman year, she received a call from her agent, telling her to audition for the lead in a John Waters film. She landed the role as Tracy Turnblad. Thus, Hairspray marked the movie debut for Ricki Lake.
She then went on to act in fifteen more movies and a starring role in China Beach, for one season.
At one point in her life, she hit rock-bottom. Then, she decided to take charge of her life and make a dramatic change. She began eating right and exercising and soon lost over 125 lbs.
In 1993, she was chosen, out of a hundred people, to host her own daytime talk show. She married Rob Sussman, a political illustrator, in Las Vegas in March of 1994 and currently resides in Manhattan.