Ever since she appeared on TV as Kelly Bundy, the daughter, sister and girlfriend that every guy in America WISHED he had, Christina Applegate has held a special place in the heart of the sitcom lover. And now that she’s been named People magazine’s ‘Most Beautiful,’ all eyes are on the easy-on-the-eyes actress.
She had her start on ‘Married With Children’ in the late 1980’s, a groundbreaking new series. For the first time ever, here was a show that portrayed the average family in a way never done before. That is to say, much closer to the truth.
Dad wasn’t all-knowing; Mom was half tease, half lazybones; Bud wasn’t the star athlete, and Daddy’s Little Girl? Well, let’s just say she wasn’t very chaste. It was a winning formula and, along with The Simpsons, helped put FOX on the map as a viable prime time contender.
But it wasn’t until she returned to series television on Samantha Who? that Christina Applegate was welcomed back into our livingrooms – and hopefully for a nice long run.
Unfortunately, in May of 2008 she was hit with a bombshell. A routine mammogram revealed that the actress had breast cancer. In the prime of her life, and at the top of her game, Christina Applegate waged a public battle against the disease and beat the odds. Today she is cancer-free and enjoying success as a fan favorite once again.
Things are going so well in fact, that she is the cover girl for People Magazine’s 2009 Most Beautiful People issue. Let’s take a closer look at how Christina Applegate is dealing with her life after cancer and her plans for what will hopefully be a very bright future.
In her Good Morning America interview last October, Christina Applegate talked about how she reacted when she learned she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer:
“I was so mad,” she said in the “GMA” interview when she first heard the news. “I was just shaking and – and then also immediately, I had to go into … ‘take-care-of-business-mode,’ which was … I asked them, ‘What do I do now? What – what is it that I do? I get a doctor, I get a surgeon, I get an oncologist? What do I do?”‘
Applegate, 36, said she “immediately made those appointments and immediately called around for … someone to start teaching me how to live macrobiotically.” She was referring to following a healthy diet of fish, grains, beans and vegetables, and avoiding processed foods. The actress, whose mother also had breast cancer, says she began getting mammograms at the age of 30.
On announcing the results of the operation:
“I’m clear. Absolutely 100 percent clear and clean. It did not spread. They got everything out, so I’m definitely not going to die from breast cancer.”
After beating cancer, Christina Applegate is busy trying to make sure that Samantha Who? continues to be a hit with viewers. She told Maggy Furlong at AOL how she hopes the show will evolve, and how her battle with cancer has changed her life:
Is the show focusing on being an ensemble?
Well, finally we’ve gotten the show established, as far as what is the show about, and I think now we can get rid of that and really concentrate on these other characters, and that’s what we’ve been trying to do. Get them interacting, instead of always just with me. There’s a lot of scenes that are gonna be coming up that it’s just Andrea and Dena and no Sam. It’s a really weird friendship — it’s kind of fantastic. [Laughs] I love that dynamic.
What TV couple do you think you and Todd are most like?
Every show has their Sam and Diane, and people love that. Like on ‘Who’s the Boss?’ Tony and the … you know? [Laughs] The sexual tension also can be misconstrued as hatred as well, and I think that’s what works for the Todd-Sam relationship. That fire — they don’t really know what it is. Can they not stand each other? Or are they just madly in love? Whatever it is, they kind of butt heads, and when one turns their back on the other one, the other one tries to run after that one. It’s always that push-and-pull.
What’s the one storyline that you’re really hoping you all get to do on the show?
Oh gosh … it’d be kind of funny to watch us all ice skate. I don’t know if that’s anything I’ve ever wanted to do, but now that I think about it … they need to teach Sam how to ice skate. She doesn’t know how to ice skate. Like the dance episode — why couldn’t she have been like an award-winning ice skater as well? Doing like triple salchows or whatever. [Laughs] But we’ll definitely need [a stunt double] — I can’t ice skate.
Do you identify with either Sam — Good or Bad?
You know, I do — it’s me, it’s your soul, so you’re in there. But my voice is so different than both of them. The way I walk is different than the two of them. So on the outside, just characteristics and the way they are physically is very foreign. It feels foreign to do. There’s a way that Good Sam walks in heels and a way that Bad Sam walks in heels — it’s completely two different things, and very different from the way that I walk and behave and conduct myself. I’m kind of an amalgamation of the two I think. Like confident yet completely idiotic at the same time. [Laughs]
What scoop can you give us about Billy Zane?
Billy is just really sophisticated. That boy is dressed when he comes in. His own clothes are nicer than mine — like, a fedora. The man has it together! He’s awesome, and really great to work with. You kind of start to see what this relationship was — seeing flashbacks between [Sam and Funk] — and how Bad Sam really matched who he was and kind of controlled him. It’s really fun to sort of explore all of that. But he’s relentless. He wants Sam bad, and he’s gonna do anything and everything he can — whether good, bad or ugly — to get her. She ends up working for the company again, but in a different capacity.
How have your personal life and your work life changed since your breast cancer scare and double mastectomy?
You know, there’s been a lot of things that have happened — this was obviously an incredibly difficult year, not just because of that, but because I lost a good friend in the middle of it, and my cousin actually passed away in October from ovarian cancer. So kind of a big year, and you can’t help but change a little bit. But you know, on one hand there’s all of that, and on the other hand I’ve fallen very much in love, so that’s another thing that’s happened. So there’s a good end to every story.
And you were also doing good by getting involved to Stand Up 2 Cancer — have you continued to try to spread awareness about the disease?
Yeah, I’m putting together my own foundation right now called Right Action for Women. I didn’t realize how hard it was to put a foundation together — my lord! [Laughs] There’s a lot that goes into it, and my brain is, like, not functioning in order to do it right now, but I’m working on it. And I’m hosting the Revlon Run/Walk and doing a couple of speaking things. I think that’ll always kind of be a part of what people want out of me, is to talk about it, and I have no problem with that. Everything’s already out on the table — there’s really not much more that I could even say.
What has been the most touching response to your candor throughout this time?
I was just on ‘Good Morning America’ and Robin Roberts did my interview, and she’s the person who did my first interview after everything. And during the break she said, “I need to tell you something really amazing — this congresswoman is coming on here today because she’s putting in this legislation to bring education to doctors to women who are under 40 about breast cancer, because they don’t give them mammograms.” She said that the reason she did it and decided to come out about her own breast cancer was seeing Robin and I last year doing our interview. She had kept it a secret all these years, and now she’s coming out with her own story and she’s going to pass this bill. It’s extraordinary. She put me in tears, this woman. You don’t know, sometimes when painful things happen, how you can make something good out of it, and that’s all I’ve tried to do really.
Christina talked to TV Guide on trying to stay focused on the series:
After the terrible year you had, how happy were you to get to go back to work and mix it up with your cast mates?
Christina Applegate: I really missed them. I miss them now and I can’t believe if we go in for a third season it won’t be for another five months. It’s hard. Those are my friends now. I really miss being around them. It was great to finally go back after everything and put my mind into something else and go back to my show.
What can we look forward to this season?
Christina Applegate: There’s a lot of changes in everyone’s lives, actually. We decided to concentrate on giving everyone else a life outside of Samantha. And so there’s a lot of scenes I’m not in where the girls are together. And that I really like to watch because you really want to see who these people are. … There’s a new job in store for Samantha — kind of a new, old job. She ends up going back and working at Chapman and Funk, in a different capacity.
In the return episode, Todd seems to be getting serious feelings for Samantha again and she has to decide what to do about that.
Christina Applegate: With those two there’s always this push-and-pull, push-and-pull, push-and-pull kind of thing. I don’t know if they’re ever going to solve it… . There’s five more episodes that they may or may not show and there’s some really big things that happen in those with those two. I hope that we get a chance to show them. … We’re only scheduled to air six right now and we have eleven.
So it looks like Christina Applegate is back on track. Samantha Who? is thriving, the actress has beaten cancer and her love life couldn’t be better. And that’s why this lovely woman is the cover girl for People’s Most Beautiful People Of 2009. Here’s a preview of her People article:
She has an “angel” of a boyfriend, Dutch bass player Martyn Lenoble, “who loves me from head to toe.” She has a cozy Malibu beach house that she calls “the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.” And, after a very public battle with breast cancer that has given her a gratifying “feeling of purpose,” Christina Applegate has a new lease on life.
“I used to be really shy but I started to come into my own in my late 20s and early 30s,” Applegate, 37, tells PEOPLE in the cover interview for the annual Most Beautiful issue. “Now I’m not afraid to speak up in a room full of people and be a part of the conversation.”
The Samantha Who? star says she’s finding balance and embracing her body after undergoing a double mastectomy in July, followed by reconstructive breast surgery in November.
“You have to get through the physical transformations then buck up, go to work and try to be the normal, happy Christina for everyone around you,” she says.
One source of strength has been Lenoble. “He’s been a friend for about 13 years,” Applegate says. “Our relationship gets stronger and stronger. I’m really lucky.”
And, more importantly, he makes the actress feel “beautiful” about her new body.
“I’m very grateful to Martyn for coming along at a time that he did because he’s been my rock through all of this,” Applegate says. “He gave me something to really want to live for and something to smile about.”