Designing Women’s Delta Burke Used Crystal Meth to Lose Weight, Felt Like 'Goddess'

Designing Women s Delta Burke Was a Goddess When Using Meth to Lose Weight

Delta Burke.
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Designing Women alum Delta Burke tried something a little harder than Ozempic when it came to losing weight — crystal meth.

“I was in London going to drama school, and I went to this doctor,” Burke, 67, recalled during a recent episode of the “Glamorous Trash” podcast. “He gave me these pills, which made my heart race. But I lost weight.”

Upon returning to the United States, Burke — a former Miss Florida who competed in the 1976 Miss America pageant — asked for a refill of the medication.

“They were illegal in America. They were called Black Beauties I discovered,” Burke added, noting that she eventually found someone on the set of Filthy Rich — a show which ran on CBS from 1982 to 1983 — who could get the pills. “They were like medicine to me.”

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Black Beauties was the street name for “a combination amphetamine capsule” in the 1960s and 1970s, according to The pill was a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine which were marketed as diet pills. They were officially pulled from the market in 1998.

“It wasn’t a recreational thing,” Burke said, explaining that she built a tolerance to the pills. The next step was trying crystal meth.

“Nobody knew about crystal meth at the time,” she said. “[They told me,] ‘You chop it up. You snort.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to snort it.’ So, I’d put it in cranberry juice and drink it … and we didn’t eat for five days.”

Designing Women s Delta Burke Was a Goddess When Using Meth to Lose Weight

Delta Burke on ‘Designing Women.’

Despite the drugs, Burke was being told she was still too big. Looking back, the actress said she was “a freaking goddess” at the time.

Burke further discussed her weight loss struggles in her 1998 memoir Delta Style: Eve Wasn’t a Size 6 and Neither Am I.

Aside from her role on Filthy Rich, Burke famously starred as Suzanne Sugarbaker in the CBS sitcom Designing Women from 1986 to 1993 alongside Jean Smart, Annie Potts and the late Dixie Carter. During her tenure on the series, Burke nabbed two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

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“When I was doing the show, I knew I had always struggled with my weight and everything,” Burke also said on the podcast. “It wasn’t until I was making an appearance somewhere and some woman came up to me and thanked me for representing us. She was talking about full-figured gals, plus-sized women. I hadn’t even thought of myself that way.”

Burke said she received “letters of support” from women who also shared their thanks.

“They would send these letters that were so sweet and touching and encouraging that I would tuck then in my bra or in my purse when we were filming,” she added. “Because they would keep you keep it straight in your head.”

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