Tracey's Golden Year
Her life hasn't always been such unbridled domestic bliss. She became a household name in 1985 for her role as the boy-crazy Carol Seaver in the hit TV series Growing Pains, but four years later the 5'3" actress's weight dropped to 90 lbs., forcing her to seek treatment for what became a very public battle with anorexia. She survived another nightmare in 2004 when, following a car accident in which Sage's clavicle was broken, she pleaded guilty to driving under the influence. But for Gold, who celebrated her 40th birthday in May by donning a tiara at a princess-themed bash, those demons have been put to rest. "When you turn 40, you look at your life and ask, 'Am I happy?'" she says. "I couldn't be happier."
Happiness resides in her four-bedroom suburban home, where she is primarily a stay-at-home mom. "I wake up at 6:30 with the boys, drop the older ones off at school, hang out with Dylan, pick them up, come home and do homework," says Gold. Most evenings, her clan congregates for viewings of reality shows like The Amazing Race and Survivor while she makes dinner (their favorite dish: pasta casserole). "They always want something that's different from what I planned," she says, rolling her eyes. "I'm always at the grocery store!"
She has developed an appetite as well. Already working toward a healthy weight when athletic club manager Roby Marshall, now 44, proposed in 1993, Gold says becoming pregnant with Sage ended her body-image problems. "When you have a life inside of you, it changes your focus," she says. "Each baby, you gain weight, you lose weight. I've never felt the need to go back to [starving myself] again."
Her 2004 DUI, however, still haunts her. In a 2005 TV interview, she told Larry King that she believed she was not inebriated when she got behind the wheel. "I've never known what it truly felt like to be just so, so sad and desperate inside," she told King. Now she shudders as she says, "Everything was great except that one moment. It's in the past." The obstacle reaffirmed the strength of her marriage. After all they have overcome, she says, "I think we could weather most storms."
With her youngest son still in diapers, Gold is planning on returning to work. She's putting acting on hold to concentrate on hosting, a job she enjoyed on TLC's Secret Life of a Soccer Mom and GSN's GSN Live, and is developing a reality show. "I've been acting since I was 4 and have played so many different characters," says Gold. "I really like being me."
Now that she's 40, exactly who that is remains a work in progress. "I started working out for the first time in my life," she says. "I feel very empowered, but I don't know if I love it." There's also another big first on the horizon: "Sage is hitting his teenage years. I didn't have boyfriends or brothers, so I'm heading into uncharted territory!" It's enough to make Gold consider doing something very familiar—having another child. "When I turned 40, I was like, 'I want more kids!'" she says. "I know you have to be careful what you wish for, but I just love it."