Ricki Lake

updated 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Ricki Lake is sitting with her producers in her office in Manhattan going over the outline for a show she's taping that day on bisexual couples. The 26-year-old host of the syndicated Ricki Lake Show suggests having each couple specify what attracted them. Great idea, everyone agrees; so much more personal. Lake brings the fingers and thumb of both hands together to form an O. "Oprah Moment," she says.

For Lake, life in the past year has been chock-full of Ricki Moments. Her fledgling show, loud, fast-paced, decidedly nonintellectual (typical title: "Girlfriend, I Slept with Your Man and I'll Do It Again") and aimed squarely at fellow Gen X-ers, has blasted to No. 2 in the ratings behind only The Oprah Winfrey Show. (Lake has 5.8 million viewers to Oprah's 9.4 million.) What's more, the once dumpy star of John Waters cult films (Hair-spray and Cry-Baby) has kept off the 125 pounds she shed over the past three years, mainly through vegetarian eating. (Her respect for animals got her arrested last month in an antifur protest.) And—a big and—she wed political illustrator Rob Sussman, 28, in March, just five months after meeting him. "I've surpassed any goal I set for myself as far as my body, my career and getting married," she says proudly. Even Oprah can't boast all that.

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