Dana Delany Recalls Her Botox and Eating-Disorder Nightmares

10/04/2010 at 11:00 AM ET

Courtesy Prevention

Think getting Botox is just a silly little procedure with no potential long-term downside? Listen to actress Dana Delany’s story. “Seven years ago, I had never heard of Botox,” the former Desperate Housewives star tells Prevention magazine in its November issue. “My dermatologist was saying, ‘You should try it.’ He injected my forehead, hit a nerve, and created a huge hematoma. The nerve has been dead ever since. It affected the muscle in my right eye, so my eye has started to droop a little bit.” The experience left Delany, 54, wary of plastic surgery, and impressed by women in Hollywood who shun it. “I won’t do it, no,” she says. “My hat’s off to Jamie Lee Curtis. She’s so smart, and she doesn’t dye her hair or anything. And Meryl Streep still looks like herself. Diane Keaton, too. I think the really great actresses don’t worry about that kind of thing.” Delany, who stars in the new ABC medical drama Body of Proof, also relates her struggles as a young woman with an eating disorder. “When I was a teenager and in my twenties, I had eating issues,” she says. “I binged. I starved. I was one step from anorexia — a piece of toast and an apple would be all I would eat in a day.” But despite her misadventures with Botox and food, Delany says she has a healthy outlook when it comes to the heaviest issue of all — her own mortality. “I think I have a pretty good relationship with death,” she says. “Ever since I was a little kid, it wasn’t something I feared.” To hear more from Dana’s interview visit prevention.com, or pick up the November issue of Prevention magazine, on newsstands tomorrow. –Tim Nudd

Courtesy Prevention

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ANN on

Nicole, She said like one step from being anorexic. Read before commenting or don’t post at all.

Donna on

And she also said when she was in the late teens and her twenties… Yes, Nicole… please read!

Lori on

Ann, while Dana did say that she was one step from being anorexic, Nicole makes a good point. By her insisting that she had an eating disorder, when she didn’t, she is being insensitive to those who really struggle with the problem. It’s like someone who weigh 140 lbs saying, “I was a step away from being obese! Please sympathize with me!” Clearly she just wants attention by having all these health issues. Botox, anorexia, etc.

Susan Lewis on

Remembering Dana from her soap days (remember Greg & Jenny? from AMC?, this is the lady who played Jenny), I can tell you she was pretty skinny back then. Not slim and trim; skinny.

Shannon on

I think living on a piece of toast and an apple a day qualifies as an eating disorder. Look up the definition. The point is she’s better now.

Amy on

Are you kidding- one apple and a piece of toast a day? That is having some food issues. Also, if she was purging then sheesh people…don’t say that an apple and piece of toast a day is “normal” and “not anorexic” There are varying degrees of anorexia and really she was eating far less calories than is recommended. Still not healthy. I think it is good for people to come out and say, “This is how I struggled but now am doing so much better”

Leah on

Nicole, horrendous spelling notwithstanding, makes a good point. I’m sick to death of every whiny celebrity claiming that just because they went on crash diets they were “one step from being anorexic.”

Actually, NO. Anorexia is a serious psychological disorder, and this bandwagon nonsense belittles the experience of millions of women who have suffered with it. Not only that, but it allows for this pearl-clutching horrified “OMG anorexia” attitude that is so pervasive in rags like People and I guess, Prevention.

An actress eating toast and an apple to get a part isn’t anorexia. A teenaged girl going on a crash diet to fit into a prom dress ISN’T ANOREXIA. It’s a DSM-categorized mental illness, NOT a diet.

Delaney assumed (correctly) that she could get a little press if she brought out the big A word to describe something that, while it may not have been healthy or smart, was not a potentially life-threatening disease.

This article sickens me. Good thing I’m not “one step away” from bulimia.

janey on

Dana Delany didn’t play Jenny on All My Children, KIM DELANY (sp?) did…..

Karen on


Uh, that was KIM Delaney, not Dana Delany, who played Jenny on “All My Children”. Dana starred in “China Beach”.

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