Lake, Ricki 1968–

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LAKE, Ricki 1968–


Full name, Ricki Pamela Lake; born September 21, 1968, in Hastings on Hudson, NY; daughter of Barry (a pharmacist) and Jill (a homemaker) Lake; married Rob Sussman (a political illustrator), March, 1994 (separated, 2003); children: Milo Sebastian, Owen Tyler. Education: Attended Manhattan Professional Children's School, New York City, and Ithaca College. Religion: Judaism.

Addresses: Agent—The Gersh Agency, 232 North Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210 and 41 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010. Publicist—Jill Fritzo, PMK/HBH Public Relations, 650 Fifth Ave., 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10019.

Career: Actress and talk show host. Performed as a singer in cabarets and nightclubs, New York City; appeared in commercials. Involved in the Artists against Racism campaign, beginning c. 1999; also a social activist.

Awards, Honors: Independent Spirit Award nomination, Independent Features Project/West, best female lead, 1989, for Hairspray; Daytime Emmy Award nomination, outstanding talk show host, 1994, for The Ricki Lake Show; Aftonbladet TV Prize, best female foreign television personality, 1996; Gracie Allen Award, American Women in Radio and Television, 2001; two Angel awards, Excellence in Media.


Film Appearances:

Bridesmaid, Working Girl, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1988.

Sharon (some sources cite Nichole), Starlight: A Musical Movie (musical), 1988.

Tracy Turnblad, Hairspray, New Line Cinema, 1988.

(Uncredited) The In Crowd, RCA Columbia, 1988.

Donna, Last Exit to Brooklyn (also known as Letzte Ausfahrt Brooklyn), Cinecom, 1989.

Pia, Cookie, Warner Bros., 1989.

Pepper Walker, Cry–Baby, Imagine Entertainment, 1990.

Brenda, Where the Day Takes You, New Line Cinema, 1992.

(Uncredited) Charlotte, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1992.

Bella, Inside Monkey Zetterland (also known as Monkey Zetterland), IRS Releasing, 1993.

Figurehead, Cabin Boy, Buena Vista, 1994.

Misty Sutphin, Serial Mom, Savoy Pictures, 1994.

Kerry Tate, Skinner, Cinequon Pictures International, 1995.

Connie Doyle/Patricia Winterbourne, Mrs. Winterbourne, TriStar, 1996.

Libby, Cecil B. DeMented, Artisan Entertainment, 2000.

Television Appearances; Series:

Holly Pelegrino, China Beach, ABC, 1989–1990.

Voice of Cleofatra, Rick Moranis in Gravedale High (animated; also known as Gravedale High), NBC, 1990–1991.

Host, The Ricki Lake Show (also known as Ricki Lake), syndicated, 1993–2004.

Stephanie Heffernan, a recurring role, The King of Queens, CBS, 2000–2001.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Grace Johnson, Babycakes (also known as Big Girls Don't Cry and Sugarbaby), CBS, 1989.

Tammie Davis, The Chase, NBC, 1991.

Velour, Based on an Untrue Story, Fox, 1993.

Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, "Murder She Purred: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery" (also known as "Murder, She Purred"), The Wonderful World of Disney, ABC,1998.

Herself, Jackie's Back! (also known as Jackie's Back: Portrait of a Diva), Lifetime, 1999.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Carmen, "A Family Again," ABC Family Theatre, ABC, 1988.

Idols, Fox, 1991.

Sandra after Dark, with Your Hostess, Sandra Bernhard, HBO, 1992.

Tom Arnold: The Naked Truth 2, HBO, 1992.

CityKids All Star Celebration, ABC, 1996.

Herself, In Bad Taste: The John Waters Story (also known as In Bad Taste), Independent Film Channel,1999.

The Great American History Quiz: Heroes and Villains, History Channel, 2000.

Guest, Introducing Graham Norton, Comedy Central, 2004.

Herself, Totally Gayer, VH1, 2004.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The 61st Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1989.

The Teen Choice Awards, Fox, 2000.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Teri, "Send Me No Flowers," Kate & Allie, CBS, 1987.

Guest, Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1989, 1990, 1992.

Guest, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1990.

Guest, The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, multiple episodes, beginning 1994.

Voice, "Lady Hawke," The Critic (animated), Fox, 1995.

Guest, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1996.

Guest, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 1996.

Behind Closed Doors III with Joan Lunden, Arts and Entertainment, c. 1996.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Ricki Lake, Lifetime, 1998.

Guest, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 1998.

Guest, Sin City Spectacular (also known as Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular), 1998.

Herself, Divine: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 1999.

Guest, "Jenny's 10th Anniversary Show," Jenny Jones, syndicated, 2001.

Guest, So Graham Norton, Channel 4 (England), 2001.

Guest, The View, ABC, 2001, 2002.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Eve Ensler, Lifetime, 2003.

Guest, V Graham Norton, 2003.

Herself, "Most Starlicious Makeovers," E!'s 101, E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Herself, "Tournament 4, Game 3," Celebrity Poker Showdown, Bravo, 2004.

Guest, Pyramid, syndicated, 2004.

Appeared in episodes of The Entertainment Business, Bravo; Fame, NBC and syndicated; and The Oprah Winfrey Show (also known as Oprah), syndicated.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Ricky Ross, Starting Now, CBS, 1989.

Stage Appearances:

The Early Show, off–Broadway production, c. 1983.

Youngsters, off–Broadway production, c. 1983.

Lurene, A Girl's Guide to Chaos, Tiffany Theater, West Hollywood, CA, 1990.

Fanny Brice, Funny Girl (benefit performance), New Amsterdam Theatre, New York City, 2002.

Appeared in Five Dine, No Exaggeration (revue), off–Broadway production.


Music Videos:

"She Drives Me Crazy," by the Muppets, 1994.



Nickson, Chris, Go, Ricki!, Avon Books, 1996.

Shattuc, Jane, The Talking Cure: TV Talk Shows and Women, Routledge, 1997.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press, 2000.

Waldron, Robert, Ricki!: The Unauthorized Biography of Ricki Lake (also known as Ricki!), Boulevard Books, 1995.


Billboard, June 5, 1999, p. 117.

Broadcasting and Cable, February 8, 1999, p. 48.

Entertainment Weekly, December 30, 1994, p. 37.

Interview, January, 1988.

Journal of Popular Culture, Volume 26, number 4, 1993, pp. 195–206.

Mademoiselle, April, 1990.

New York Times, November 24, 1993.

People Weekly, November 21, 1994, pp. 115–120.

Premiere (United States), April, 1990, pp. 105–109.

PR Newswire, September 3, 2002; December 4, 2002.

Time, April 7, 1997, p. 25.

Village Voice, March 1, 1988.

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Lake, Ricki 1968–