Ricki Lake was born in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, surprisingly as a blond. She has one sister, who is one year younger than she, 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, went 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 New York, 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 in her freshman year, she received a call from her agent, telling her to audition for the lead in a John Waters film. Unsurprisingly, she landed the role as "Tracy Turnblad." Thus, Hairspray (1988) marked Ricki Lake's movie debut. She then went on to act in 15 more movies and had a recurring role in ABC's China Beach (1988), 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 pounds. In 1993, she was chosen, out of a hundred people, to host her own daytime talk show. After only three years, Ricki Lake (1992) became rated second in its time frame. Also, in 1993, she met the man of her dreams. At a Halloween party, she locked eyes with Rob Sussman, a political illustrator, who was to become her husband. It was love at first sight, on both sides. The two married in Las Vegas in March 1994 but divorced in 2004.
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