Actress Tracey Gold was born in New York City and was raised by her mom, an ad executive, and her stepfather, an actor. As a child, Gold tagged along to one of her stepfather's auditions for a Pepsi commercial and, much to his surprise, the little girl was cast instead. By age six, Gold was regularly appearing in print ads, TV shows and movies. She made an auspicious television debut in the award winning mini-series “Roots.” She also enjoyed seven years on the immensely popular ABC comedy series “Growing Pains,” after which she returned to drama with several movies of the week.
In 1984, 16-year-old Gold landed her big break: a role on the TV sitcom "Growing Pains," about a quirky family raised by a stay-at-home dad and a working mom. The show's popularity skyrocketed, and the public stress of the show added to her performance issues. One episode featured her television father offering her food and then laughing about her weight, which at the time was 135 pounds on her 5 foot, 3 inch frame. After the taping of the episode, Gold called her producers to beg them not to air the show. However, they ignored her plea and aired the show despite her protests. She found a doctor who put her on a diet. But she couldn’t stop losing the weight, so her producers demanded that she take a break from the show to get the help she needed.
Tracey Gold's road to recovery has been long and difficult, fraught with relapses and years of therapy. Fear sparked a motivation within her to gain the weight she needed to survive, and she determined to reach her goal weight of 100 pounds. She began taking anti-depressants and gained weight. This helped with her confidence and led to emotional improvement as well.
Gold has finally overcome her body-image battles and turned her recovery into a mission to help others. She starred in the well-received TV movie, "For the Love of Nancy," about a young woman who struggles with an eating disorder. Also, in 2003, she released a book, "Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life," which offers a personal look at her triumph over anorexia.
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