A beautiful woman married to a successful lawyer and the perfect suburban mother turns out to be a closeted bulimic.

Writers:

(teleplay), (teleplay)
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sharing the Secret (TV Movie 2000)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A teenage girl who feels she must always seem happy for her parents and friends secretly binges and purges.

Director: Katt Shea
Stars: Mare Winningham, Alison Lohman, Lawrence Monoson
Thin (2006)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of four women suffering from anorexia and bulimia in South Florida.

Director: Lauren Greenfield
Stars: Shelly Guillory, Brittany Robinson, Alisa Williams
For the Love of Nancy (TV Movie 1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The parents of an anorexic woman fight to save her life.

Director: Paul Schneider
Stars: Tracey Gold, Jill Clayburgh, Cameron Bancroft
Perfect Body (TV Movie 1997)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Andie Bradley is a gymnast with big dreams for the Olympics. When offered to work with one of the leading coaches in the U.S., she gratefully accepts. When she gets to the gym, she is ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Barr
Stars: Amy Jo Johnson, Brett Cullen, Wendie Malick
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A 17-year-old dancer joins a "thinspiration" website and devotes herself to the almost religious glorification of "thin", until she becomes completely possessed by the dark world of anorexia.

Director: Tara Miele
Stars: Laura Wiggins, Izabella Miko, Callie Thorne
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After sixteen years of marriage and four children, Betty Broderick's high-powered attorney husband decides to leave her for a younger woman with whom he's been having an affair. Hurt by his... See full summary »

Director: Dick Lowry
Stars: Meredith Baxter, Stephen Collins, Michelle Johnson
Secret Cutting (TV Movie 2000)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dawn Cottrell (Peterson) seems like a typical sixteen-year-old girl, but she has a very dangerous secret. Unable to express her true feelings, whenever Dawn is upset she grabs a knife and cuts herself.

Director: Norma Bailey
Stars: Sean Young, Kimberlee Peterson, Robert Wisden
Darkness Before Dawn (TV Movie 1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A family struggles with a daughter's addiction.

Director: John Patterson
Stars: Meredith Baxter, Stephen Lang, Gwynyth Walsh
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Casey Powell is a young teenage girl who is secretly suffering from anorexia nervosa, a mental and physical illness of deliberately starving herself or self-induced vomiting, because of her... See full summary »

Director: Sam O'Steen
Stars: Charles Durning, Eva Marie Saint, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Hunger Point (TV Movie 2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A family is pushed to its limits when one of the daughters' lives is blighted by an eating disorder.

Director: Joan Micklin Silver
Stars: Barbara Hershey, Christina Hendricks, Susan May Pratt
Dying to Dance (TV Movie 2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young man must teach a woman to dance - at any cost.

Director: Mark Haber
Stars: Mary-Margaret Humes, Kimberly McCullough, Natalija Nogulich
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two friends keep their vomiting a secret until one friend almost dies.

Director: James A. Contner
Stars: Lynda Carter, Katie Wright, Marley Shelton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kate Stark (as Meredith Baxter Birney)
...
Jack Stark
...
Faith
...
Patch Reed
...
Gail (as Shari Belafonte-Harper)
Leslie Bevis ...
Monica Fields
...
Dr. Resnick
...
Deyna
...
Becky Stark
Sharon Spelman ...
Liz Reed
...
Markie
Isabel Grandin ...
Dot
...
Laura
...
Lorna
Rosanna Huffman ...
Megan
Edit

Storyline

A beautiful woman married to a successful lawyer and the perfect suburban mother turns out to be a closeted bulimic.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bulimia | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El secreto de Kate  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Jack Stark: Were you doing it in the car?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Joey: Joey and the Christmas Party (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
20 years later...and Still no Change
5 August 2006 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Let me say that this was one of the most visible TV movies to focus on 'closeted bulimia'. In this made for TV film, you have what seems to be the perfectly wonderfully "looking" wife who kept her secret of binging, exercising and purging until her body could not take it anymore - then her secret was out.

At the time this movie was aired, I didn't care to see it - I thought it was just another one of those overblown melodramatic features about selfish folks and their selfish chase after materialism. I thought I'd never meet any folks like this. But time has a way of exposing you to the truth.

Around the very same time this movie came out, after my graduation from college, I hadn't a lot of money from my new job so I had to live in an apartment building that catered to young working month to month people. We all discovered each other - and there I met a woman who every man was falling over. She was pretty, erotic, skinny. Everywhere she went men fell all over her. She was the kind of woman who could buy a man's undershirt and put it on (without underwear, mind you!)and make it look like a dress. She made me, who was of regular height and the right weight for my height feel really, really, fat. I went out to dinner on several occasions with my new friend. And she could put away the food! I thought "Wow!" and here I am...watching what I eat and I still don't look like this. What was her secret? By accident, I found out. She would buy BOTTLES of Senecot and take them promptly after each meal. When I confronted her about this her answer: "It's okay. My mom taught me how to do this. I need to look like this or men wont come near me - just like they don't come near you." At that time, I knew I could not talk any sense into her and just a few weeks after I discovered her secret, she moved away from the building.

Years later I actually sat down and watched this program - then and only then could I identify with each and every character. Especially during the group session scenes where the heaviest woman there said, "You all are afraid of looking like me." And another scene where this character's husband wascommenting on how one of the women makes $1,000 an hour and she couldn't because she was "a fat slob." That hit home. Hits home for many women. And because there was so much pressure on looking great to be on the arm of some guy, women DO go through horrible things just to be a "doll"/"trophy" figure, instead of men (and women) just loving people the way they are -- AND letting them know just that.

Did I say ... was? That this the beauty of this film. Done in 1986, it's 2006 and nothing has really changed. The same old ideals that put these characters in the position they're in, has only gotten worse. The difference is that there are tons of diet (oh forgive me for writing 'diet', I mean 'weight loss') pills and products consistently shoved down the faces of women. (I mean, the other day when they showed this film on Lifetime TV network, every other commercial was on weight-loss!!! SHAME ON YOU!!!) There is nothing wrong with looking or feeling good. There is nothing wrong with controlling and maintaining a healthy weight. But Bullemia (and anorexia) distorts that view, that though process. Add in media messages, female celebrities that are rails but look great in designer dresses at award events, music messages that constantly degrade women, personal family issues -- what can women do?!?! Closeted Bullemia has not gone away. Women are not feeling better about themselves and sadly 20 years later, nothing has been done to help - only hurt the situation.

"Kate's Secret" is a good film, and a nice place to start to show to every man and woman to begin the understanding of what many women feel they must go through just to be accepted in this society. But even in showing a film like this, there are going to be, women who were young once like me, who may not fully understand or have compassion for what is in the film - until it gets close to you.


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD? VHS? Laserdisc? shoelover96
Is this the movie where she stuffs her face in the Supermarket? aarone2884
One problem with this movie FrameXFrame
ugh watchesbyhelen
watch it here albert-carpenter
Discuss Kate's Secret (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?