Inextricably associated with the 1980s for her memorable, seven-season portrayal of bookish teen Carol Seaver on the family-oriented sitcom Growing Pains (1985-1992), actress Tracey Gold grew up in a show-business family. The older sister of Missy Gold (Benson), Brandy Gold (Wildcats), and Jessie Gold (A Crime of Passion), Tracey signed for her first part at the age of seven in the miniseries Captains and the Kings. Major projects during the early '80s included a key supporting role in Alan Parker's critically acclaimed, divorce-themed psychodrama Shoot the Moon (1982, as one of the central couple's daughters) and a stint on the short-lived sitcom Goodnight, Beantown as the daughter of single working mom Mariette Hartley.
Growing Pains, of course, represented Gold's major career break. She experienced difficulty around the end of the program by enduring and surviving a well-publicized bout with anorexia nervosa. After the sitcom wrapped, Gold began tackling parts in occasional telemovies that would come to shape and define her career in the years to follow. These included For the Love of Nancy (1994, which dramatized the story of a girl suffering from anorexia), Lady Killer (1995), Dirty Little Secret (1998), and Wildfire 7: The Inferno (2002). Gold made television headlines in 2004 when cast in the fourth season of the reality series The Mole, which featured celebrity participants.