Why child star Missy Gold quit Hollywood, became psychologist


Missy Gold has no regrets about leaving Hollywood to turn into a shrink.

The former child star — who’s finest recognized for portraying the governor’s daughter, Katie Gatling, within the sitcom “Benson,” which ran from 1979 to 1986 — tells Page Six completely that she “always knew” she wouldn’t be on TV perpetually.

“I didn’t go into acting as a child for some great love [of it],” explains Gold, whose sister Tracey Gold performed Carol Seaver in “Growing Pains.”

“In the family, we all sort of worked and acted … and I was always more the student,” Missy continues. “My older sister, who also was an actress and is an actress, is still very much in her wheelhouse. But for me, I’m much more of an introvert.”

When “Benson” was canceled, Missy was 16 and supplied to check for a cleaning soap opera.

“I thought, ‘No, this will interfere with what I want,’” she recollects. “I knew I wanted to go to college, and I knew I wanted to do something beyond that … so I said no to even testing, finished up school and applied to colleges.”

Robert Guillaume and Missy Gold in "Benson."
Missy Gold left Hollywood to turn into a psychologist.
©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Eve

Missy ultimately attended Georgetown University earlier than incomes a PhD from the California School of Professional Psychology. She is now a training psychologist.

The mother of two says she feels “very fortunate” to have been a child star and emerged unscathed in contrast to so many, together with her sister.

Tracey, now 53, battled anorexia whereas filming “Growing Pains.” At one level, her weight dropped right down to an estimated 80 kilos, and he or she was suspended from the present on account of her skeletal look. After a number of years, she recovered and co-wrote a ebook, “Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life with Julie McCarron,” about her battle and eventual restoration from the consuming dysfunction.

Missy Gold
Gold obtained her PhD from the California School of Professional Psychology.
Ron Galella Collection by way of Getty

“I think you cannot have that type of experience without giving pause and being thoughtful and reflective about what it was,” Missy tells us concerning being a working child actor. “And particularly as a mom myself, trying on the decisions, I can perceive the alternatives as an grownup now that my mother and father made that had been applicable for that second for them.

“I was fortunate. I was very fortunate. I have heard stories of people having really, really difficult experiences. And I credit my parents to some degree that it was positive, but we were just lucky. It’s a risky endeavor. I mean, I wouldn’t send my children into the industry, for sure. And my folks know that. But we were in a different place and in different circumstances. And it worked for me. It really did.”

Tracey Gold and Missy Gold as children.
Missy (proper) is the youthful sister of “Growing Pains” star Tracey Gold (left).
Courtesy Everett Collection

Missy additionally credit the solid of “Benson,” who “nurtured and supported” her.

“So often I’d spend my days in my dressing room, people would come in and visit. And I think of it these days in my practice where I’m [a] psychologist and I’m sort of doing the same thing,” she says. “I’m in my room and people come in and visit and share their thoughts with me.”

That’s to not say that Missy didn’t come away fully unscathed from the expertise, explaining that she started seeing a therapist whereas in faculty to “sort of make sense of my experiences.”

Missy Gold in "Benson."
Missy appeared in over 150 episodes of “Benson.”
Disney General Entertainment Con

She correctly describes childhood stardom as concurrently being handled like an grownup but additionally infantilized and fostering an unhealthy sense of entitlement.

“Here you are a child, assuming an adult’s role,” she explains. “But it’s the function of an actor … usually on set, actors are very a lot infantilized. And so it’s difficult to then develop an actual sense of self. And who am I? Psychologically to have that have of superstar is difficult, and to do it as a child, you already know, when your thoughts is forming …

“I see it for myself and what my experience was, but it helps in forms for me, sort of my work with all of my patients, everything that we live resonates through the course of our lives.”

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