Tracey Gold

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Tracey Gold
Born Tracey Claire Fisher
(1969-05-16) May 16, 1969 (age 45)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Roby Marshall (m. 1994)
Children Sage Gold (b. February 16, 1997)
Bailey Vincent (b. March 4, 1999)
Aiden Michael (b. May 9, 2004)
Dylan Christopher (b. April 1, 2008)

Tracey Gold (born May 16, 1969) is an American actress and former child star best known for playing Carol Seaver on the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains. In early 2009, she co-hosted with Fred Roggin on the live show GSN Live.

Early life[edit]

Gold was born Tracey Claire Fisher in New York City. Her younger sister is fellow actress Missy Gold, who appeared on the TV series Benson from 1979 to 1986; their mother, Bonnie Fisher, was an advertising executive.[1]

The name "Gold" is a shortened form of the name acquired by Tracey and Missy when they were adopted by Harry Goldstein, who married her mother when Tracey was a preschooler; an actor in his own right (he had supporting roles in Carrie and on The Secrets of Isis), he later became a Hollywood agent. Missy and Tracey have three younger sisters, Brandy, Jessica (Jessie), and Cassandra (Cassie) Gold. Both Brandy and Jessie are actresses.[citation needed]

Acting career[edit]

Gold has been an actress since the age of four, first appearing in a Pepsi print ad. She appeared in two canceled series, Shirley with Shirley Jones in 1979, and Goodnight Beantown, starring Bill Bixby in 1983. Gold was originally cast as the youngest daughter in the original pilot series of the show Gimme A Break! starring Nell Carter, but was replaced by actress Lara Jill Miller when the show went to series. She played one of Albert Finney and Diane Keaton's four daughters in the 1982 feature film Shoot the Moon. Gold also guest starred on her sister Missy's series Benson in 1985, playing the cousin of Missy's character, Katie Gatling.

In 1985, Gold auditioned for the role of Carol Seaver on Growing Pains, but was not initially cast. The actress chosen for the pilot was Elizabeth Ward, who had starred alongside Gold in The Hand-Me-Down Kid, a 1983 ABC Afterschool Special. However, test audiences did not favor Ward in the role of Carol, and she was promptly replaced by Gold. Growing Pains ran from 1985 until 1992. During this time, Gold became a famous teen star and battled anorexia. In 1988, Gold also starred as Angela Strull in the teen film Dance 'til Dawn.

After the end of the long-running series, Gold continued to work as an actress. Over the next decade, Gold starred in several television movies.

Battle with anorexia[edit]

Gold is also famous for her highly publicized battle with anorexia nervosa, which almost killed her. From about the age seven, she says that she thought about dieting, having learned the word and the concept on the many television sets she worked on as a very busy child actress. She became preoccupied with the television movie The Best Little Girl in the World, starring actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, about an anorexic teenager. In her autobiography, Gold says that in an attempt to control her development into a woman, she began restricting what she ate. When she was 11, she was diagnosed with the early stages of anorexia by her family pediatrician after a weight loss that accompanied a growth spurt. After some counseling, she eventually returned to a more normal weight for most of her teenage years. In 1988 at age 19, Gold gained some weight over the Growing Pains series hiatus. That season, the show's scripts called for her to be the brunt of fat jokes from her television brothers for many episodes in a row.

Beginning in October 1988, Gold dieted from 133 pounds to about 110 pounds on a medically supervised 500-calorie-a-day (2,100 kJ) diet, but still occasionally the scripts included fat jokes at her expense. In her autobiography, she says that between 1989 and 1991, she became increasingly obsessed with food and her weight and continued to slowly and steadily lose weight. In 1990 Gold began group therapy in an eating disorder program, but only learned more ways to lose weight. That season, her problem with weight loss was touched upon slightly on her television series, when Gold is seen looking at her body in a carnival mirror, and describes to another character the distorted image in her head. In 1991, she started starving herself more than ever and vomiting, and lost a massive amount of weight, to the point that she was admitted to a hospital in early 1992. Her lowest weight is estimated to have been near 80 pounds. She was suspended from the show for her skeletal appearance. Photos of Gold's emaciated body were plastered all over tabloid magazines, and she was one of the first celebrities ever to be formally outed for anorexia. She last appeared in the 1991 episode, "Menage a Luke" after missing the two prior episodes where her problem is very obvious in some scenes, and did not return until the last two shows of the series in the late spring of 1992, although she was not nearly recovered at this point.

After a several year struggle, Gold eventually recovered, and starred in the 1994 TV movie For the Love of Nancy with Jill Clayburgh. The film explored a young woman's battle with anorexia and its effects on her family. Although she was warned of the possibility that she had done damage to her reproductive organs by the years of anorexia, Gold was later able to bear four children. As she entered her thirties, she maintained a normal weight for a woman her age, and often held speaking engagements warning young women about the dangers of eating disorders, all the while continuing work as an actress.[2]

Personal life and post-Growing Pains[edit]

Cover of Gold's 2003 book

Gold met her husband Roby Marshall through Growing Pains costar Joanna Kerns, who portrayed Marshall's mother in the TV miniseries adaption of the true crime book Blind Faith by Joe McGinniss. Roby had served as a consultant on the miniseries, which dramatized the 1984 case in which his father, Toms River, New Jersey businessman Robert O. Marshall, was charged with (and later convicted of) the contract killing of his wife (and Roby's mother) Maria.[3]

Gold and Marshall married on October 8, 1994, and have four sons: Sage Gold (b. February 16, 1997), Bailey Vincent (b. March 4, 1999), Aiden Michael (b. May 9, 2004), and Dylan Christopher (b. April 1, 2008).[4]

In 2003, Gold wrote the book Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life with Julie McCarron.

Arrest[edit]

In 2004, Gold was arrested for drunk driving after rolling her SUV—carrying her husband and three young boys—down a California freeway embankment.[5]

Gold was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers and charged with a felony count of driving under the influence causing injury. According to a CHP spokesman, Gold was driving a 2001 GMC Yukon on Route 118 on September 3 when she lost control of the vehicle. While Gold's husband and two of her sons (ages five and five months) were not seriously injured in the late-night crash, the actress's oldest child, 7-year-old Sage, suffered a broken clavicle and a head laceration. After CHP officers administered sobriety tests, Gold was arrested on the DUI charge, said CHP spokesman Steve Reid. Booked under her married name, Tracey Gold Marshall, she spent five hours in the Ventura lockup before being released on $50,000 bail.[6]

Present day[edit]

In 2003, Gold appeared in an episode of the TV show The Dead Zone as the character Penny Barton.[7] Gold was a contestant on the program Celebrity Mole 2: Yucatán in 2004, and starred in the movie Safe Harbor in 2006. She is currently hosting the TV Guide Channel mini-show Trapped in TV Guide. In addition, she is the host of the TLC series The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom, which debuted on March 3, 2008.[8] Recently, Gold appeared as the spokesperson in "Baby Sleeps Safe", a national television infomercial for Baby Guardian.[9] On January 2, 2012, she appeared on the ABC network's reality series, Celebrity Wife Swap, trading places with singer Carnie Wilson for a week. On July 24, 2013, Gold returned to sitcoms with an appearance on the Melissa & Joey episode, "Something Happened," as one half of a lesbian couple with a home-schooled daughter.[10] Gold starred in the first episode of "Heartbreakers" called "Shot Through The Heart" on ID on August 13, 2014.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1978 Rainy Day, AA Rainy Day Stephanie as a Child Short film
1982 Shoot the Moon Marianne Dunlap
1986 Best of Times, TheThe Best of Times Jaki's Friend (uncredited)
1990 Willies, TheThe Willies Carol Seaver
2000 Wanted Sue Bentley
2001 What's the Worst That Could Happen? Woman at Auction (uncredited)
2008 Solar Flare Dr. Joanna Clark
2011 Your Love Never Fails Samantha Pierce Video
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1976 Captains and the Kings Rosemary Armagh TV miniseries
1977 Roots Young Missy Reynolds TV miniseries
1978 Dark Secret of Harvest Home, TheThe Dark Secret of Harvest Home Missy Penrose TV miniseries
1978 Night Cries Donna Blankenship TV movie
1978 Little Mo Cindy Brinker TV movie
1978 Quincy, M.E. Lisa Carson Episode: "A Test for Living"
1979 Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel, TheThe Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel Laurie Mae Moon TV movie
1979 Eight Is Enough Tracey Kappleton Episode: "Best of Friends"
1979 Jennifer: A Woman's Story Emma Prince TV movie
1979 Child Stealer, TheThe Child Stealer Pam TV movie
1979 CHiPs Donna Episode: "Drive, Lady, Drive: Part 1"
Episode: "Drive, Lady, Drive: Part 2"
1979 Fantasy Island Monica Episode: "Amusement Park/Rock Stars"
1979-1980 Shirley Michelle Miller 13 episodes
1980 Here's Boomer Laurie Episode: "Overboard"
1980 Trapper John, M.D. Ellie Episode: "Girl Under Glass: Part 1"
Episode: "Girl Under Glass: Part 2"
1980 Marilyn: The Untold Story Young Norma Jean TV movie
1981 CBS Afternoon Playhouse Carrie Episode: "I Think I'm Having a Baby"
1981 Few Days in Weasel Creek, AA Few Days in Weasel Creek Buddy TV movie
1981 CBS Library Jane Episode: "A Tale of Four Wishes"
1982 Father Murphy Jenny Episode: "Eight-Eight Keys to Happiness"
1982 Beyond Witch Mountain Tia TV movie
1982 Phoenix, TheThe Phoenix Jan Episode: "The Fire Within"
1983 Another Woman's Child Lisa TV movie
1983 ABC Afterschool Special Ari Jacobs Episode: "The Hand Me Down Kid"
1983 Thursday's Child Alix TV movie
1983 Who Will Love My Children? Pauline Fray TV movie
1983 Fantasy Island Michelle Robbins Episode: "Three's a Crowd/Second Time Around"
1983-1984 Goodnight, Beantown Susan Barnes 18 episodes
1984 Trapper John, M.D. Jennifer Robins Episode: "Where There's a Will"
1985 Reason to Live, AA Reason to Live Ellen Maynes TV movie
1985 Lots of Luck Cindy Maris TV movie
1985 Benson Laura Episode: "Katie's Cousin"
1985-1992 Growing Pains Carol Seaver 166 episodes
1986 Blinkins, TheThe Blinkins Shady (voice) TV movie
1988 Dance 'til Dawn Angela Strull TV movie
1990 DuckTales: The Movie Special Hostess TV movie
1990 ABC Afterschool Special Shauna Kelly Episode: "A Question About Sex"
1993 Labor of Love: The Arlette Schweitzer Story Christa Uchytil TV movie
1994 For the Love of Nancy Nancy Walsh TV movie
1995 Sleep, Baby, Sleep Sylvie Pierson TV movie
1995 Lady Killer Sharon TV movie
1995 Beauty's Revenge Beth TV movie
1995 Stolen Innocence Stacy TV movie
1996 Kidnapping in the Family, AA Kidnapping in the Family Sarah Landers Taylor TV movie
1996 Face of Evil Darcy Palmer / Barbara Richards TV movie
1996 Perfect Daughter, TheThe Perfect Daughter Alexandra Michaelson TV movie
1996 Diagnosis: Murder Amy Episode: "An Explosive Murder"
1996 To Face Her Past Lori Molina TV movie
1998 Dirty Little Secret Sarah Wheetley TV movie
1998 Touched by an Angel Darlene Jones Episode: "Vengeance Is Mine: Part 1"
1998 Promised Land Darlene Jones Episoede: "Vengeance Is Mine: Part 2"
1998 The Girl Next Door Anne 'Annie' Nolan TV movie
1999 Crime of Passion, AA Crime of Passion Alyssa Pierce TV movie
2000 Chicken Soup for the Soul Anita 1 episode
2000 Stolen from the Heart Leslie Wagner TV movie
2000 Twice in a Lifetime Blair Wilson / Polly Murtaugh Episode: "Party Girls"
2000 Growing Pains Movie, TheThe Growing Pains Movie Carol Seaver TV movie
2001 She's No Angel Liddy Carlyle TV movie
2002 Wildfire 7: The Inferno Nell Swanson TV movie
2003 Stephen King's Dead Zone Penny Barton Episode: "Misbegotten"
2004 Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers Carol Seaver TV movie
2005 Captive Hearts Elizabeth Sorenson TV movie
2006 Safe Harbor Carly Segan TV movie
2006 Trapped in TV Guide Host TV series
2007 Final Approach Lina Howren TV movie
2009 Sight Unseen Molly TV movie
2012 Arachnoquake Katelynn TV movie
2013 Melissa & Joey Polly Episode: "Something Happened"

References[edit]

External links[edit]