A Fat Actress and a New Poncho

Looks like American’s underdogs are transforming into overnight sensations. There is Kirstie Alley who has turned being fat into hit reality TV show, “Fat Actress”. And there is Martha Stewart who after serving five months in prison, returns to her Bedford estate, thinner and richer than ever.

“Fat Actress” isn’t a label many people in Hollywood would embrace, but former “Cheers” star Kirstie Alley is reveling in it. Alley plays an overweight, unemployed actress in her show. “I know very, very few actresses who are not called in to be reprimanded about their weight,” Alley said in the interview. “And that can’t be true of men because if you just turn on the TV … most men are fat.” Alley said when she was starring in “Cheers” and later “Veronica’s Closet,” she was constantly under pressure if she gained any weight. “I think on ‘Veronica’s Closet” I started at around 140 pounds and got up to 160 on and off, and still at 5-(foot)-8 that’s not tubby-go-lardy,” she said. But she added: “It doesn’t make me angry. We create our own lives.”

‘Fat Actress’ could be seen as embarrassing, but it works because Ms. Alley is a talented comic actress. ‘Fat Actress’ is not a comeback story – it’s the revenge of an overweight beauty and Kirstie can laugh all the way to the bank. She not only signed a deal to appear in ads for the Jenny Craig weight-management program but her new book, “How To Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life” is now #16 on the New York Times Best Sellers List after being out for 1Ã?½ weeks. She will also be on Oprah in May.

After getting out of prison last week, homemaking diva Martha Stewart landed on the Forbes’ annual billionaire list for the first time. According to the magazine, Stewart has a net worth of $1 billion, thanks to the value of stock in her company which has more than doubled while she was in jail. Although Stewart transferred ownership of her 29 million shares to her daughter Alexis before going to prison, Stewart ultimately has the control of the stake and the ownership would eventually be returned to her. This is in addition to two reality shows to debut this fall and a $5 million book deal rumored to be in the works.

And Martha being Martha, she has even brought the poncho back in style. When Stewart was released from prison, she wore a gray-and-white crocheted poncho over her blue jeans. Fashionistas are buzzing that Martha’s poncho is about to become the season’s hottest item. Crocheters rushed to their computers to chatter about the item. Lycos, for example, found that searches for “free Martha poncho pattern” increased 230% this week. Messages requesting the pattern poured into Stewart’s web site. Martha told her employees that the poncho was made by an unidentified fellow inmate who crochets about 12 hours a day, using yarn from the prison commissary. “I hope she is reading the news and looking at television, because I’m so proud of her,” Martha beamed. Thanking her friend for “a beautiful thing,” Stewart said she would try to get the pattern from her. But she won’t get any help from the Federal Bureau of Prisons: it refuses to comment on the poncho!

But hey, that’s still a good thing. While juggling three lemons in her hands, Martha asked reporters who were outside her home, “You know the saying about making lemons into lemonade? These are my first lemons. I really missed them. I’m looking forward to making hot lemonade. It’s the one thing they didn’t have in Alderson.”

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