Know Your 'Dancing' Stars: Ricki Lake
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
This is one of a series of brief articles meant to introduce the DWTS viewer to each of the season 13 celebrities. Until Dancing with the Stars begins and we get our TV introductions, this will have to do!

Why You Know Her
Ricki Lake first came to prominence playing the overweight but exuberant lead role of Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 John Waters film, Hairspray. Much of her subsequent film career occurred in other John Waters' films like Cry-Baby and Serial Mom.

Despite starting out in feature films, Ricki really hit it big on television. Her syndicated talk show, Ricki Lake, debuted in 1993 and ran until she chose to end the program in 2004. In addition to her television-hosting duties, Lake has appeared in shows like China Beach, King of Queens and Drop Dead Diva.

Apparently, Ricki Lake was even set to be the star of ABC's The Middle before being replaced by Patricia Heaton prior to airing.

Why She's on Dancing with the Stars
Ricki Lake has been off television for a few years now, and you've got to imagine that she's looking for a comeback. A high-profile and charming stint on DWTS could be all that Ricki needs to propel herself back into the spotlight.

Dancing/Performance Experience
Ricki Lake's character in Hairspray did do a lot of dancing, and she was pretty good. But that '50s/'60s boogying isn't going to cut it on the dance floor. On the other hand, Ricki is easily one of the most charming of the season 13 contestants.

DWTS Potential
She's charming, well-known and easy to like. Add in a promising performance past and three-time winner Derek Hough as a partner, and Ricki Lake may just be the celebrity to beat this season.

Want more Dancing with the Stars info? Check out our DWTS Insider page on Facebook.

Want to know about the other Dancing with the Stars contestants? Click on any of the names below!

Carson Kressley
Chaz Bono
Chynna Phillips
David Arquette
Elisabetta Canalis
Hope Solo
J.R. Martinez
Kristin Cavallari
Nancy Grace
Rob Kardashian
Ron Artest

(Image courtesy of ABC)