Overweight celebrities under the microscope

From left: Filmmaker Kevin Smith, Kirstie Alley, writer and comedian Bruce Vilanch.
(L-R: Carlo Allegri / Associated Press, Brian Doben / A&E Networks, Chris Carlson / Associated Press)
Los Angeles Times

Life in a fishbowl naturally comes with fishbowl moments. For celebrities who battle weight problems, those moments can be painfully embarrassing — or divinely cathartic:

• In an interview with the L.A. Times’ Chris Lee in 2008, Kevin Smith fessed up to this scenario: “I broke a toilet. That’s how heavy I am. I can’t take all the credit — that was an old toilet and a very waterlogged wall — but my size took that toilet down. I cannot cognitively reframe it and be like, ‘It wasn’t me — it was the toilet.’ It was definitely me. And that’s a wake-up call!”

• In 2009, the National Enquirer declared that, because of Kirstie Alley’s unhealthful ways, the actress had only four years to live: “Locked in a deadly cycle of binge eating and yo-yo dieting, the former ‘Fat Actress’ star has shaved years off her life span, according to doctors who have reviewed her medical history.” In January of this year, the Enquirer reported that she’d allegedly blown her diet at a “decadent” birthday dinner at Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills, indulging in dumplings and chocolate cake.


Then there are the ongoing assessments:

• Several celebs who lost weight on “Celebrity Fit Club” regained it after filming stopped, including writer and comedian Bruce Vilanch, Chaz Bono and actress Kelly LeBrock. Actress Maureen McCormick dropped 34 pounds when she was on “Fit Club” in 1997 but gained it all back. She was featured on “Access Hollywood” in 2009 trying again to diet her way back to slimness.

—Jeannine Stein