Ricki Lake
Ricki Lake
Ricki Lake
Vital statistics
Gender: Female
Birthname Ricki Pamela Lake
Born: (1968-09-21) September 21, 1968 (age 51)
Birthplace Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, TV Talk show host & personality
Years active 1987-present
Family and Personal
Character information
Appeared on: The King of Queens
Episodes appeared in: 6 in Season 3
Appears as: Stephanie Heffernan, Doug's sister

Ricki Lake (born September 21, 1968) appears as Stephanie Heffernan, Doug's younger sister in six episodes of The King of Queens in Season 3. A talented actress and comedian, Ricki also has served the world of entertainment as a television producer, and TV talk show host. She is best known for her starring role as Tracy Turnblad in the original Hairspray film (1988), her documentary film The Business of Being Born, and her Ricki Lake talk show which was broadcast internationally from 1993–2004.[1][2][3] In fall 2012, Lake will embark on a second syndicated talk show endeavor airing on weekdays.

Early lifeEdit

Ricki was born to secular Jewish parents, Barry (a pharmacist) and Jill (a housewife) Lake, in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York [4] but was largely reared by her paternal grandmother, Sylvia Lake, until the latter's death from breast cancer in 1978. Ricki attended Ithaca College and the Professional Children's School.[5]



Lake made her film debut as Tracy Turnblad, the lead character in John Waters' 1988 cult-classic Hairspray. Lake also starred in other Waters films including Cry-Baby (with Johnny Depp and Susan Tyrell), Cecil B. Demented (with Melanie Griffith and Stephen Dorff), and Serial Mom (with Kathleen Turner and Sam Waterston). She starred in Mrs. Winterbourne with Shirley MacLaine and Brendan Fraser, Cabin Boy, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Cookie, and Inside Monkey Zetterland.

She joined the cast of the Vietnam War drama series China Beach as a Red Cross volunteer, Holly "the Donut Dolly" Pelegrino, for the show's third season. She also had a recurring role on the CBS sitcom King of Queens as Doug's sister Stephanie. She guest-starred on television series including Drop Dead Diva and a voice role on King of the Hill, and starred in the made-for-TV movie Baby Cakes. She has a cameo appearance in the 2007 remake of the original cult-classic Hairspray as a William Morris talent agent, and teamed up with star Nikki Blonsky, who had played the role of Tracy Turnblad in the 2007 movie musical remake, and Marissa Jaret-Winokur, who had played the role of Tracy Turnblad in the Broadway musical version based on the original 1988 film, to record "Mama I'm a Big Girl Now" for the soundtrack, which is played at the film's end credits. She later reunited with original Hairspray co-star Deborah "Blondie" Harry for the film Grammercy Park Hotel which was released in 2008. Lake is currently filming her next feature film titled "Angel" to be released in theaters in 2012.

Talk showsEdit

Ricki Lake was Lake's first daytime talk show; the wildly successful series specialized in topics involving invited guests and incorporated questions and comments from a studio audience.[6][7][8]

The show debuted in syndication on September 13, 1993 and ended first-run episodes on May 25, 2004. In 2000, Lake told Rosie O'Donnell in an interview she had signed on for four additional years. Although Sony Pictures Television had many stations contracted through the 2004–2005 season, Lake decided to end the show in August 2004, citing (among other things) a desire to spend time with her family. She moved from Los Angeles to New York to tape the 11th season of the show, then returned to California when taping was complete. Lake will return to the talk show platform when she hosts a second talk show called The Ricki Lake Show, newly premiering in September 2012.


  1. Shopping In Syndication Hell,, accessed 2010-03-03.
  2. TALKING TRASH, Time magazine article (, January 30, 1995. accessed 2010-03-03.
  3. Cinema: Buxom Belles in Baltimore HAIRSPRAY, by Richard Corliss, Time magazine article (, February 29, 1988, accessed 2010-03-03.
  4. Ricki Lake Biography at Film Reference
  5. Ricki Lake Biography at Yahoo! Movies
  6. Respect earns Ricki Lake success on TV, Baltimore Sun article,<|accessdate=2010-10-30
  7. Ricki Lake, Entertainment Weekly article by Jess Cagle, December 30, 1994, accessed 2010-12-07.
  8. Gen-X Cinderella has the knack, Baltimore Sun article, accessed 2012-04-11.

External linksEdit

Template:IMDB name

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.