The Same 5 Questions We Always Ask: Tracey Gold

The former star of "Growing Pains" and that infamous Lifetime movie is no longer scared of food, the Same 5 Questions We Always Ask, or your even more probing ones (Kirk Cameron's evangelism!)
Publish date:
December 2, 2011
Jane, anorexia, jane's stuff, Tracey Gold

I didn't realize that while I was asking Tracey Gold our standard orgasm, arrest-record, pill-head questions -- plus your questions about Kirk Cameron and her husband, Roby Marshall -- that that was her husband standing there in the back of the room listening and making hand signals. Oops. They were both very cool and nice. I'm definitely going to watch her new show on Lifetime. It's produced by some of the "Intervention" people!

Jane: What's the closest you have ever come to being arrested?

Tracey: Oh I have been, and it’s been public. Yes.

Jane: What pills do you take every day?

Tracey: None.

Jane: Oh! None!? Good for you. OK, I take the craziest amount of vitamins you have ever seen.

Tracey: I’m older. (She's 42.) I kind of want vitamins for my hair to make it nice.

Jane: I would say you have beautiful hair, but you could take folic acid.

Tracey: That’s what you take when you are pregnant.

Jane: Exactly, somebody told me that as you get older, if you take folic acid, it makes your hair thicker. Mine is thicker because of it. Who is on your celebrities to make out with list?

Tracey: Oh, I’m a married woman. I don’t have any.

Jane: OK, what is your most popular song on your iPod?

Tracey: I would say U2 “The Sweetest Thing.”

Jane: Oh, that’s good. I like that one, too. Have you ever faked an orgasm?

Tracey: Oh, NEVER.

Jane: You are so lucky! I have faked like 99% of mine. I know that you were anorexic; did you deal with bulimia as well?

Tracey: No. Not bulimia. It's so gruesome, but I was the anorexic. If you made me eat I would purge, but I was not a binger.

Jane: So you were on the control side of it?

Tracey: I was the control girl. I just wanted control, control, control. That was me.

Jane: I look at you now, and you look beautiful! Here is a question that came from our readers: Are you still affected by your anorexia and how does it affect your family?

Tracey: No, I’m not affected by my anorexia anymore. I’m a strong believer in being recovered, and I’m a recovered anorexic. I know the eating disorder community goes back and forth between whether you can be recovered or are you recovering. I consider myself recovered, because I think that if you live your life saying you are continually recovering, then it kind of gives you that outlet that when stuff comes your way that is tough, then that’s where you are going to go. I don’t want to give myself that option, so I’m recovered.

I look at food and I face food everyday with no fear or anxiety, and it's fine. I enjoy it and it's good; I’m a woman in today’s society, so obviously I want to eat healthy and all that body image stuff. But it’s not a part of my life. My boys don’t even understand what it is and don’t really know it as a part of my life. They have understood it a little more because of this show, but they would never even know that was a part of my past. And I’m proud of that.

Jane: I know that some people get rid of one thing and it turns into something else, did you ever have other things that you would consider addictions?

Tracey: No, I think my anorexia was really compartmentalized. It was very of the time and of the moment when I would have been in college, but I was on "Growing Pains." I fell in love for the first time, with my husband. And "Growing Pains" was ending and it was a lot of change for a person who hates change, and I was panicked. I didn’t know how to keep control of everything. It was a perfect storm of a diet and all of that other stuff happening that went into the anorexia. Once I went in and in, it was so hard to get out, I just didn’t know how. I didn’t know I was in it before I was in it and then didn’t know how to get out.

Jane: When you said "your husband," you meant husband that you are still with?

Tracey: Yes! We have been together for 22 years.

Jane: That’s craziness! And your husband, Roby Marshall, had his own trauma. [His father was convicted of contract killing his mother. There was a book written about it, "Blind Faith." Roby and Tracey met through Joanna Kerns, who played her mother on "Growing Pains,' and played the part of his mom in the movie version of "Blind Faith."]

Tracey: What I would say about that is that the two of us have had our own stuff in life and it just has made us stronger. There’s something that when I met Roby, he had so much depth and strength from going through tough times in life and coming out of it and being the person that he was and is. So I look at what people go through, and if you go through it and come out the other side and you have strength out of it -- I look at that as courage and being a good person.

Jane: Kirk Cameron? Are you still in touch with him? How do you feel about Kirk Cameron’s radical evangelicalism?

Tracey: He went through it when we were on "Growing Pains," and obviously it was a shock. I mean, overnight he became ultra religious. I’m a much more spiritual person so it was an adjustment. Like anything when you kind of fall in love with something or someone you may go kind of overboard. When I fell in love with my husband I was obnoxious; nobody wanted to hear from me. But I think he [Kirk] fell so in love with religion that he kind of was a little bit overboard. He has come back around, and he is still really religious, but he is much more gentle with it. He knows he doesn’t preach and he knows he is not preaching to the "Growing Pains" cast. He doesn’t need to do that.

The other thing I want to add to that is that he does walk the talk -- he’s good. He does good things: he helps kids and all of that. He is a nice guy and it's hard to criticize that.

Jane: Thank you so much, Tracey.... Oh, hi Roby! I’m talking about you like you are not in the room! So good to meet you, honey! [More talk between us here. Then... ] Roby, her husband, just admitted [off-mike] that he has faked an orgasm even though Tracy never has. Thank you so much, you guys. Bye.

Check out Tracey's new show, Starving Secrets, tonight at 10pm EST on Lifetime.If you want to hear the full version of this interview, listen to Tracey with me on Jane Radio (Sirius XM channel 107) tonight at 7pm EST. Thanks.