Show Business: As a Matter of Fat . . .

Scales-tipping actors must stay heavy to keep working

While half of America skips lunch, or pledges to, and bemoans the thousand extra ounces flesh is heir to, one glamorously employed elite has a perfect excuse for staying plump. Fat actors and actresses—those who won their fame with an expansive physical image—often feel they must stay heavy to keep working.

Acting is usually a kind of seduction of the audience, and the conventionally unseductive, unless they are established stars, pay a price. They may be denied sympathetic or leading roles. They may be consigned to...

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