Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
In this made-for-TV movie, Meredith Baxter plays Kate, a homemaker who suffers from the eating disorder bulimia. On the surface, slim, attractive Kate's life seems perfect. Her husband, Jack (Ben Masters), is a successful lawyer, while her daughter, Becky, a Junior Girl Scout, adores her. But between strenuous workouts and gossip sessions with Gail (Shari Belafonte), her best friend and personal trainer, Kate binges on junk food and then purges by vomiting. Any stressful situation can set off these bulimic episodes, and Kate has three separate sources of aggravation to deal with: Jack is about to make partner in his firm; Monica (Leslie Bevis), another lawyer, is making a play for Jack; and Kate's controlling mother (Georgann Johnson) has just arrived for an extended visit. Soon, Kate's vomiting spirals out of control as she binges everywhere from a grocery-store dairy aisle to her own suburban kitchen. One afternoon, weak from lack of food and too much exercise, Kate crashes her car, almost killing herself and Becky. Soon an eating-disorder specialist, Dr. Resnick (Edward Asner), reveals Kate's secret to her husband and mother, and Kate must enter a clinic to face her demons in the company of the other bulimics and anorexics. Her roommate, Patch (Tracy Nelson), a gorgeous young model, teaches Kate the therapeutic ropes, but the road to healing isn't as smooth as either woman would like. Kate's Secret premiered on November 17, 1986. In addition to Family and Family Ties star Baxter and Mary Tyler Moore Show vet Asner, Kate's Secret featured fellow sitcom survivor Mackenzie Phillips, of One Day at a Time fame, as another clinic patient.
eating-disorders, family-secrets, homemaker, mental-illness, mother