From Princess Diana to Oprah: Famous Celebrities Who Battled Horrendous Eating Disorders

During her time as a member of the Royal Family, Princess Diana was hailed for her seemingly laissez-faire attitude and effortless beauty. But what few knew at the time was that the late royal battled with eating disorders. Sadly, Diana isn’t the only celebrity to develop this debilitating habit — far from it, actually.

Here is a look at other celebrities who battled eating disorders. Some of them may shock you.

Jane Fonda

 Jane Fonda gestures with a peace sign at a fashion show.

Jane Fonda wasn’t immune to eating disorders. |  Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

Crazy, right? How could the queen of aerobic videos have an unhealthy eating disorder?! Fonda revealed a few years back that she was told from a young age that she had to maintain a certain body image — an idea from her father, Henry Fonda. The idea developed into a battle with bulimia that stretched over decades. Thankfully, Fonda has emerged healthier than ever, and looks younger than women half her age, no less.

Next: It wasn’t just plastic surgery and gossip with this late celebrity.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers wearing jewelry and a fur coat at an event.

Joan Rivers dealt with an eating disorder many women can relate to. | Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

The late comedian and Fashion Police host was not immune to the pressures of the limelight. Her extravagant personality was accompanied by many demons, including a fight with anorexia. It has become a piece of lore that her diet often contained a meal consisting of only Altoids and red wine.

Next: There was an unknown disorder hiding behind that piano.

Elton John

Elton John holding out his hands while standing in front of a bright wall.

Elton John is using his experience to save other men battling eating disorders. | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Underneath the sequins and giant glasses, Sir Elton battled his fair share of demons. He checked himself into rehab in the early 1990s for bulimia, as well as alcoholism and drug abuse. Since going public about his battle, Sir Elton has become an advocate for young men talking about their struggles with eating disorders. He has also openly spoken about discussing the disorder with his close friend, Princess Diana.

Next: This actor’s battle affected more than just her weight.

Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton onstage accepting her AFI Life Achievement Award dressed in black and white.

Diane Keaton has been open about her difficult battle with bulimia. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Before she rocked lady tuxedos like a boss, Keaton had trouble with bulimia. The battle with binging and purging was extreme, with Keaton reporting that she was consuming nearly 20,000 calories a day. The Annie Hall actress reportedly had such a severe struggle with bulimia that the vomiting ruined her teeth.

Next: Being an icon didn’t come without a price.

Audrey Hepburn


Belgian-born actress Audrey Hepburn wearing a white satin evening gown and long gloves.

Audrey Hepburn’s frail frame was often a hot topic. | Fox Photos/Getty Images

Hepburn will forever be hailed as one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. But she will also be remembered for the swirl of rumors surrounding whether or not she suffered from an eating disorder. Her notoriously slim figure raised eyebrows, causing critics to draw parallels to her younger years starving during World War II. There are still conflicting accounts as to whether she was anorexic or bulimic — a question strengthened by her family’s insistence that she suffered from neither.

Next: A TV star’s very public battle.


Oprah Winfrey smiling while wearing thick black glasses.

Oprah Winfrey’s struggle has not been an easy one. | Mike Windle/Getty Images

Not all disorders revolve around disliking or purging food. Such was the case for Winfrey. The TV megastar has been upfront in more recent years about her struggle with binge eating as a means of handling her stress. In an interview with Piers Morgan, she claims to have eaten upwards of 30 pounds of macaroni and cheese.

Next: This actor had a hard time getting out of character.

Dennis Quaid

Dennis Quaid smiling in front of an orange backdrop.

Dennis Quaid fell under the Hollywood pressure. | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

You’ve heard of actors dropping ghastly amounts of weight for movie roles, right? Well, here’s an instance of that developing into an eating disorder. Quaid dropped a whopping 40 pounds to play Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp, but losing weight for the job developed into a battle with anorexia in the mid 90s. He later said the disorder warped his body image of himself, to the point that he struggled to put healthy weight back on.

Next: On-camera life didn’t show the personal struggle.

Katie Couric

Katie Couric sitting on an arm chair while speaking on stage.

Katie Couric is no longer afraid to talk about her history with an eating disorder. | Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Women in Cable Telecommunications

The TV reporting figurehead has no trouble asking the tough questions. But she had to start questioning herself when her unhealthy habits got out of control. Couric revealed in an interview that she battled bulimia for about six years prior to making it big on TV. She told the New York Daily News that interviewing pop singer Demi Lovato — who also fought the disorder — inspired her to come forward about her struggle.

Next: This celebrity became terrifyingly thin.

Victoria Beckham

 Victoria Beckham posing for the paparazzi in a black and white gown.

Victoria Beckham’s health has since improved. | Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

It was never a secret that the former Spice Girl battles with food. Beckham’s thin frame has always come under scrutiny, especially since it has been made known that she eats very, very little. All that being said, Beckham has never fully admitted to having an eating disorder — to the point that many think she is in denial. In summer of 2017, she reportedly sought legal advice after a pizzeria mocked her to name its thin crust pizza, calling it “thinner” and referring to Beckham as anorexic.

Next: Pressure drove this starlet to develop unhealthy weight loss habits.

Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet posing for the paparazzi in a gray gown.

Kate Winslet is now proud of her body. | Mike Windle/Getty Images

Clearly, the pressures of Hollywood can cause many starlets to go to extreme lengths to look a certain way. And Winslet is no exception. The outspoken Oscar-winner has admitted to becoming addicted to losing weight in her early years, even going so far as to take laxatives to shed weight. She has since then, of course, proudly embraced her curves.

Next: A fitness icon’s battle with food.

Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons sitting in front of a microphone while wearing headphones.

The fitness icon previously battled with disordered eating. | Michael Buckner/Getty Images

You wouldn’t expect the flamboyant fitness figurehead to eat a lot. (Heck, you can’t hoover a cheeseburger and then sweat to the oldies, right?) But his relationship with food was actually quite unhealthy, to the point that he was anorexic. In fact, Simmons’ view of food was reportedly so negative that he would go up to total strangers and shame them for eating.

Next: Struggle dove this young actress out of the limelight.

Susan Dey

Susan Dey posing for photos on a red carpet.

Celebrities aren’t completely above getting eating disorders. | Dan Steinberg

Dey was the slender doe-eyed darling on The Partridge Family in her teen years. And that is, understandably, a rough time to be in the public eye. Dey reportedly battled both anorexia and bulimia during the 1970s. She has since come forward about her battle with eating disorders.

Next: Rhythm Nation met pain and starvation.

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson performs in Dubai in a black dress.

Janet Jackson has had her share of struggles.  | Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

Miss Janet’s body weight has yoyo-ed up and down so many times, it’s hard to keep track. She has binge-eaten away her stress. Then, she has avoided food in order to slim down. Jackson has been connected to many a fad diet over her long-standing career. There is almost no unhealthy eating habit that the triple threat hasn’t been rumored to partake in.

Next: It isn’t easy growing up on camera.

Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci standing in front of formal dinner tables.

She battled anorexia as a teen. | Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Being in the public eye as a child star took its toll on Ricci, who developed anorexia at a young age. But unlike others on this list, she didn’t wait until adulthood to confront her problem — she was literally outed for being anorexic at the tender age of 14. Although Ricci claims to have kicked the disorder, she maintains a very small frame.

Next: A royal’s pain.

Diana, Princess of Wales

Princess Diana stands in front of photographers and paparazzi in a pink suit.

Princess Diana’s past included struggles with anorexia. | Vincent Amalvy/AFP/Getty Images

Diana’s personal struggles weren’t widely known when she was married to Prince Charles. (In fact, it has been reported that few members of the Royal Family, including the Queen herself, were aware of how bad the struggle was.) In addition to starving herself, Diana also afflicted pain on herself and made a number of suicide attempts.


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