What Happened to Ricki Lake? Actress Opens About Hair Loss

What Happened to Ricki Lake? This article examines the hair loss battle of the 54 years old television host and actress Ricki Pamela Lake, take a look.

by A Maria

Updated Jun 07, 2023

What Happened to Ricki Lake? Actress Opens About Hair Loss

Who is Ricki Lake? 

Ricki Pamela Lake, a name that sparks curiosity, is an American television host and actress. She emerged into the spotlight with her remarkable portrayal of Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 film Hairspray, a role that garnered her a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. But Lake's talents extend beyond the silver screen.

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You might be intrigued to learn that Lake ventured into the world of talk shows, creating a name for herself as the host of the aptly named show, Ricki Lake. From September 1993 to May 2004, her captivating presence graced screens internationally.  What makes this even more fascinating is that Lake was a mere 24 years old when she made her debut, earning her the distinction of being the youngest person to host a syndicated talk show at the time.

But Lake's quest for talk show success didn't end there. In late 2012, she embarked on a new venture, hosting her second syndicated talk show, aptly titled The Ricki Lake Show. While the series, unfortunately, met its demise after just one season, it can't be denied that Lake's passion for the medium shone through.

In fact, her efforts were recognized when she won her first Daytime Emmy Award for the project—an achievement that adds another layer of intrigue to her already captivating journey. Ricki Lake's multifaceted career has not only showcased her acting prowess but also her ability to connect with audiences on a personal level through the art of talk shows.

From her early breakthrough in Hairspray to her ventures into the world of daytime television, Lake's story continues to pique our curiosity, leaving us wondering what new and captivating endeavors she will undertake in the future.

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What Happened to Ricki Lake?

In a heartfelt ceremony, Ricki Lake and her fiancé Ross Burningham tied the knot in an intimate setting, surrounded by close loved ones. As the news spread, fans flooded them with an outpouring of support and well-wishes. There is one actress who has managed to maintain her presence in the media over the years – the talented Ricki Lake.

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She has proven to be both a legend in the acting community and a prominent figure on daytime television. What sets Ricki Lake apart is her incredible achievement of becoming the youngest talk-show host at a mere 24 years old. 

This remarkable feat propelled her into the limelight and garnered significant attention. In fact, Lake's talent and charm were recognized when she won her first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host, solidifying her status as a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

While her talk show success was impressive, it was Lake's unforgettable portrayal of the iconic Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 classic Hairspray that truly solidified her place in the hearts of audiences. Her stellar performance earned her an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, showcasing her versatility and acting prowess.

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Even today, Ricki Lake continues to receive offers for acting roles and talk-show hosting gigs, a testament to her enduring appeal and talent. With a career spanning over three decades, she has made it abundantly clear that she is here to stay and remains a relevant figure in showbiz. However, amid the glitz and glamour of her successful showbiz career, Ricki Lake's personal life has been marred by various tragedies. Despite the challenges she has faced, Lake has persevered, displaying her resilience and determination to overcome adversity.

Ricki Lake's journey in the entertainment industry has been a rollercoaster ride, marked by highs and lows. Yet, through it all, she has emerged as a formidable talent, capturing the hearts of audiences with her acting prowess and magnetic presence. As she continues to navigate the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood, Ricki Lake's enduring legacy serves as a testament to her unwavering passion and enduring spirit.

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Ricki Lake Husband Christian Evans

In mid-2009, Ricki Lake embarked on a romantic journey with jewelry designer Christian Evans. Their relationship blossomed, leading to an engagement in August 2011 and a joyous wedding celebration on April 8, 2012. However, the course of their love story took an unexpected turn. On October 29, 2014, Lake made the difficult decision to file for divorce from Evans, citing "irreconcilable differences" as the reason behind their separation.

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The news sent shockwaves through their circle of friends and admirers. Yet, despite the initial decision to part ways, the couple later revealed a surprising development. In December 2014, Ricki Lake and Christian Evans announced that they had decided to put their divorce on hold, suggesting a glimmer of hope for reconciliation.

However, despite their efforts, the challenges they faced proved insurmountable, and the divorce was ultimately finalized in 2015, marking the end of their marital journey. Tragically, the story took an even more heartbreaking turn. Christian Evans, battling personal demons, succumbed to the pain and anguish he carried, choosing to end his life on February 11, 2017. The devastating loss left Ricki Lake and their loved ones grappling with profound grief and sorrow.

The personal life of Ricki Lake, filled with its share of ups and downs, has been marked by the complexities of relationships and the tragic loss of a beloved partner. Through it all, Lake has demonstrated resilience and an unwavering spirit in the face of adversity. Her ability to navigate the challenging aspects of life reflects her strength and serves as a reminder of the human capacity for healing and growth.

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Ricki Lake Kids

Ricki Lake's family expands beyond her own persona, as she shares a deep bond with her two sons, Milo and Owen, from her previous marriage to Rob Sussman. Milo and Owen had an early immersion into the captivating world of show business, a realm familiar to their talented mother.

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Milo, the older of the two siblings, made his initial foray into the industry at a tender age of 5 when he landed roles on two episodes of the beloved children's television series, Blue's Clues. It was a stepping stone into the realm of acting, granting him a taste of the limelight. Both Milo and Owen played a pivotal role in a 2008 documentary entitled The Business of Being Born, a project personally produced by Ricki.

The documentary featured intimate footage of Ricki's own labor with Owen, capturing the remarkable experience of giving birth at home in a bathtub. Following the documentary's release, both Milo and Owen seemed to have retreated from the public eye. Over the next decade or so, their appearances on the red carpet or in public became scarce, leaving their current involvement in the entertainment industry uncertain.

However, glimpses of their lives occasionally emerge through Ricki's Instagram, where she shares snapshots of their adventures to captivating destinations like Venice, Italy, or London. Through these posts, she offers glimpses into their shared experiences as a family, showcasing their cherished moments together. Additionally, Ricki takes pride in sharing their latest endeavors, such as their music-making sessions, providing a glimpse into their creative pursuits.

While Milo and Owen may have chosen to keep a lower profile, their bond with Ricki remains strong. Though they may have largely disappeared from the spotlight, their shared experiences and the memories they create together continue to shape their lives. As they navigate their own paths, the love and connection they share as a family serve as a foundation of support and understanding.

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Ricki Lake Hair Loss Battle

Celebrating a significant milestone, Ricki Lake commemorates two years since she courageously shared her personal struggle with hair loss. The renowned talk show host, now 54, took to Instagram on Friday to reflect on her transformative journey of self-discovery and acceptance, which began with the bold decision to shave her head.

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In a heartfelt Instagram post, Lake shared a series of three photos, one of which captured the poignant moment of her hair being shaved off. Accompanying the images was an emotional caption in which she expressed gratitude for her leap of faith, stating, "2 years ago today I took a leap of faith."

Lake went on to describe the experience as both daunting and liberating, acknowledging the initial fear she faced in sharing her decades-long battle with hair loss. She expressed gratitude for the transformative journey she has embarked upon, emphasizing the invaluable lessons of self-love and acceptance she has learned along the way. The message resonated deeply with her followers, who applauded her courage and authenticity.

Expressing her appreciation, Lake extended gratitude to her supportive network of friends, loved ones, and role models, acknowledging their pivotal roles in helping her embrace herself unconditionally. Back in January 2020, Lake first opened up about her hair loss through heartfelt posts on her Facebook and Instagram accounts. At the time, she revealed her readiness to unveil a long-kept secret, candidly describing the profound impact hair loss had on her life.

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Lake shared the debilitating, embarrassing, and painful experiences she endured, confessing that the depth of her struggles had led her to moments of despair. In her candid disclosure, she shed light on the immense emotional pain and trauma she had silently endured, a burden that very few were aware of. Since her decision to come forward, Ricki Lake has become a beacon of inspiration for those grappling with similar challenges.

Her courageous act of vulnerability has not only empowered herself but has also created a safe space for others to share their own stories and find solace in the journey toward self-acceptance.

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As the two-year milestone approached, Lake's reflection on her remarkable transformation serves as a testament to the power of authenticity, resilience, and the healing that can be found in embracing one's true self. Her story resonates with countless individuals who continue to draw strength from her journey, knowing that they too can find beauty and self-love in the face of adversity.

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Ricki Lake Career 

In March 2011, news circulated that three prominent television studios—Twentieth Television, Universal Media Studios, and CBS Television Distribution—expressed keen interest in bringing Ricki Lake back to the talk-show realm in 2012. Lake had been making appearances on various programs, openly expressing her desire to return to the genre, sparking curiosity and anticipation among viewers. The talks indicated a potential resurgence for the beloved host.

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Adding to her versatility, Lake showcased her dancing skills on the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars. Paired with three-time champion Derek Hough, she drew inspiration from Kirstie Alley's appearance on the show. Lake's performances were marked by remarkable success, consistently earning high scores.

Despite her impressive run and higher scores than her fellow contestants, Lake ultimately secured third place, as television personality Rob Kardashian and actor and Army veteran J. R. Martinez claimed the top spots.

Seizing new opportunities, on April 20, 2011, Lake signed with Twentieth Television to develop The Ricki Lake Show, which debuted in September 2012. Departing from her earlier talk-show format, Lake embraced a more Oprah-like style, embracing meaningful discussions and engaging content.

 However, the show faced cancellation after its first season, marking a turning point in Lake's career trajectory. Notably, she received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 2013, a testament to her ability to connect with and captivate audiences.

Continuing to make noteworthy appearances, Lake made a cameo in the television musical Hairspray Live! on December 7, 2016, further cementing her ties to the iconic production. She also served as a guest judge on the British talent show Let It Shine alongside Gary Barlow, Dannii Minogue, and Martin Kemp on the BBC in February 2017.

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Additionally, Lake appeared on the British television show Through the Keyhole, hosted by Keith Lemon, on February 17, 2018, displaying her versatility and widespread appeal.

In March 2018, Lake and Epstein premiered their documentary film Weed the People at SXSW. The thought-provoking film delved into the use of cannabis as medicine and highlighted its status as a Schedule I prohibited drug in the United States. The documentary specifically explored the potential of cannabis in the treatment of pediatric cancer, shedding light on a compelling and controversial topic.

Stepping into the realm of reality television, Lake took on the persona of "Raven" in the Fox series The Masked Singer, captivating audiences with her performances of "Rainbow" by Kesha, "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga, and "Brave" by Sara Bareilles in February 2019. Further demonstrating her versatility, she embarked on a journey as a contestant in The X Factor: Celebrity, commencing in October 2019, showcasing her talents in a new and exciting arena.

Lake's career continued to evolve, with a guest appearance on the ITV Daytime program Loose Women on October 28, where she filled in as a last-minute addition to the panel, offering her unique insights and perspectives to viewers in an unexpected manner. Ricki Lake's professional journey spans numerous accomplishments, demonstrating her ability to adapt and shine across various platforms.

From her groundbreaking talk show success to her forays into reality TV, film, and advocacy, Lake continues to captivate audiences and leave an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

Ricki Lake Bio




Ricki Pamela Lake


September 21, 1968



Place of birth 

Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, U.S.


Ithaca College (attended)


  • Television host
  • actress
  • producer


  • Rob Sussman - ​(m. 1994; div. 2004)​
  • Christian Evans - ​(m. 2012; div. 2015)​
  • Ross Burningham ​(m. 2022)​



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What Happened to Ricki Lake - FAQs

1. Who is Ricki Lake?

Ricki Pamela Lake is an American television host and actress known for her roles in the film Hairspray and as the host of the talk show Ricki Lake.

2. What is Ricki Lake famous for?

Ricki Lake gained fame for her lead role as Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 film Hairspray, which earned her a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. She is also well-known as the host of the talk show Ricki Lake, which aired from September 1993 to May 2004.

3. What other notable accomplishments does Ricki Lake have?

Apart from her acting and hosting career, Ricki Lake has made appearances on reality TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars and The X Factor: Celebrity. She has also been involved in documentary filmmaking, with her work Weed the People exploring the use of cannabis in medical treatments.

4. How long did Ricki Lake host her talk show?  

Ricki Lake hosted her self-titled talk show, Ricki Lake, for a span of 11 years, from September 1993 to May 2004. The show gained international popularity during its run.

5. Did Ricki Lake receive any awards for her talk show?

Yes, Ricki Lake won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 2013 for her talk show, Ricki Lake.

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