Delta Burke had given up on getting married until she met a man who refused to think less of her because of her weight gain. He proposed shortly after they met, and now that they are married, he does not condone any slander about her looks. This is their story.
Delta Burke was doing very well for herself, and her career was at its most successful when she starred in "Designing Women" as 'Suzanne Sugarbaker" — a character she played so well, it won her two Emmy nominations.
The nominations were the same — Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series — however, they came in different years, with the first being in 1990 and the next, 1991. They were a clear indication her career was blossoming, but for some reason, tabloids paid more attention to her weight gain rather than her career.
[Left] Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke during the November 23, 2003, at the after party for the opening night of the Broadway musical Wonderful Town at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City; [Right] Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke during the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images
It began when she started participating in beauty pageants as a teenager. The whole experience was a bit too much for her to handle, and it was tough for her to deal with the fame that came with it, so she put on weight.
She eventually gave up on the pageants and started schooling in London, which was around the time she decided to start losing the weight she had put on.
It was not easy, so she would go to a doctor to get diet control pills called "black beauties," and they would help her abstain from eating for the whole day.
Picture of actress Delta Burke | Source: Getty Images
At around age 20, Burke had starved herself so much she could not make it to the top of the stairs without having heart palpitations. She also passed out a lot even when she was doing something as simple as standing up and got very thin, which had been her goal from the onset.
Of course, it was always temporary because when she started to eat regularly again, all the weight she'd lost would come rushing back, and she would be right back where she left off.
This continued throughout her 20s, and she would always crash diet just to get back in shape and gain it all again in an unending cycle.
Delta Burke attending the 27th Annual International Broadcasting Award on March 17, 1987 in Los Angeles | Source: Getty Images
Her weight was never good enough for those she wanted to impress, and they would tell her she was not thin enough, which made her try harder because, at the time, she had no bravery to stick it to them and tell them she had done her very best.
The diet got worse over time, and eventually, she turned to crystal meth, which has been known to remove the desire to feed — just like the diet pills had been designed to do.
SHE WAS RESIGNED TO A LIFE OF SINGLEHOOD
Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney at the Designing Women Party on August 28, 1987 , at Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood | Source: Getty Images
Growing up, Burke was a very single-minded person who put her all into whatever she was pursuing. As a teen, it was the pageants, and she gave everything she had to excel at it. Indeed while her mates had been messing around with boys, Burke would be busy trying to perfect her craft.
If one does not look closely enough, they will easily mistake her for an average citizen.
She had little interest in exploring her sexuality and instead devoted all her attention to her "showmanship." The talented woman did not go on dates and was always around much older people who exposed her to sexual abuse and her weight gain issues.
Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke during The Hollywood Reporter and SAG-AFTRA Inaugural Emmy Nominees Night presented by American Airlines, Breguet, and Dacor at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on September 14, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images
Burke would later reveal that as a teen, she was pretty naive and "sexy" but had been clueless about the effect she had on men, many of whom were married with families of their own.
As a result, her romantic life was in the gutter for a long time until she met Gerald McRaney, the man who would become her future husband.
The meeting happened at a publicist's party in 1987, and during their interaction, the chemistry between the two was as clear as day. Nevertheless, nothing happened between them until three months later when he made his guest appearance on "Designing Women," and they ran into one another again.
Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke during Delta Burke Makes Broadway Debut in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at The Marquis Theater in New York, on September 30, 2003 | Photo: Getty Images
It led to a date during which he asked her what she thought about kids. That was their first actual date, and the second time the two went out again, McRaney proposed to her.
Burke was just as in love with him, so she accepted, but up until that moment, the gorgeous woman had believed she would remain a single woman till death arrived to claim her because she simply sucked at dating.
Just like when she was a kid, Burke had been single-minded and career-oriented, so she did not even fancy going on dates.
Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater inside The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on July 27, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images
In her words, "When I first met Mac, I figured at that point that I wasn't ever going to get married because I didn't do well with dating. I did not like dating."
There was also the fact that many men she met wanted to change something about her, so she had decided that she would rather stay single than devote herself to making those changes for a man she did not choose.
Fortunately, McRaney was the man she chose, which is why she accepted his proposal. The 6'1" actor, who was known for playing villains at the start of his career, was born on August 19, 1947, in Collins, Mississippi.
Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney during the 46th Annual Genii Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images
His friends and family call him "Mac' but Burke knows him as her knight in shining armor. He started acting in high school and spent several years playing minor roles until 1981, when he featured as "Rick Simon" on "Simon & Simon," which ran for eight seasons.
He married Burke on May 28, 1989, in what was his third marriage, and they remain together even today.
THERE WERE A LOT OF RUMORS SURROUNDING THEIR MARRIAGE
Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke attend the 2020 Hollywood Show held at Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel on February 1, 2020 in Burbank, California | Source: Getty Images
Just two years after their wedding, there were many rumors surrounding them pointing to an imminent breakup. Some news claimed that McRaney had threatened to leave the marriage because of her weight gain and that he was seeing other women, but the man refused to rise to those baits and instead took them in stride.
He knew the news was fake, and so did Burke and those closest to them, so he felt no need to take any action whatsoever. Still, he would later admit that those rumors hurt her even though he could overlook them. He said:
"It doesn't affect me, except that it does hurt her. And some of them have gotten so nasty because they will take something that almost has an element of truth in it and they'll embroider on that."
DECADES DOWN THE LINE AND THAT SHIP STILL SAILS
Gerald McRaney (L) and Delta Burke attend The Hollywood Reporter and SAG-AFTRA Inaugural Emmy Nominees Night presented by American Airlines, Breguet, and Dacor at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on September 14, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images
It is not uncommon for celebrities to break up in Hollywood. Still, McRaney and his wife were totally different because, despite all the lies publicized about their relationship, the two still remained husband and wife.
More than three decades into the union, they remain as chummy as ever, and it is pretty obvious that love has not faded. This has shocked many who have expected McRaney to end things because of his wife's many issues.
Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke at the Los Angeles premiere of "What Women Want" | Source: Getty Images
The woman has struggled with depression, hoarding, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, all of which she had to seek medical help for in 2008. Besides that, her struggle with weight gain has remained public, but thankfully she is well aware that her husband loves her no matter what. She once said:
"He loved me when I got as big as a house. He loved me when I was a blonde. He didn't tell me he hated it until I went back to brunette. He has loved me through my up times and my down times. He still thinks my body looks great, and I can certifiably tell you it does not!"
Thanks to his constant support, Burke found the strength to keep going. With diet and exercise, she gradually lost weight; however, the progress was happening at a snail's pace until she realized what needed to change was her mindset.
Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke at the Television Academy's Performers Peer Group Celebration on August 21, 2017, in Beverly Hills | Source: Getty Images
She got really particular about losing weight when her doctor let her know that she would soon need insulin to survive if she could not get her blood glucose under control. From then, she started dieting and taking care of her health, but it was not an easy task.
Thankfully, McRaney encouraged her as often as possible and would always remind her to avoid some things or help administer her shots because it made him feel like he was caring for her.
Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 10, 2017, in Los Angeles | Source: Getty Images
"I think, as opposed to a lot of married people, we do better when we're together 24/7."
HER LIFE AFTER FAME
Actress Delta Burke attends the Television Academy's Performers Peer Group Celebration at The Montage Beverly Hills on August 21, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images
Burke stopped acting in 2012 after she took a nasty fall on the set of her pilot, "Counter Culture," which led to the show getting brushed aside. Despite that, the actress is doing quite okay even though she is no longer as interesting.
According to her husband, Burke has all but given up on acting; however, he has stated that he would still love to work with her if he was given a chance. He even went as far as saying that he was ready to "walk a mile in tight shoes" if it meant they got to work together again.
Delta Burke at the BraveHeart Awards on October 3, 2009, in Los Angeles | Source: Getty Images
Indeed, in recent years that she has been spotted, Burke has been with McRaney, either on outings or lowkey events, and if one does not look closely enough, they will easily mistake her for an average citizen.