TV's new BIONIC WOMAN MICHELLE RYAN begged bosses of top British soap Eastenders to write her out of the show for four months so she could recover from an emotional breakdown.
The death of her beloved grandfather and the media's fascination with her weight turned Ryan into a depressed recluse back in 2002 - and she decided to step away from the limelight to recover.
And as she prepares to reprise Lindsay Wagner's iconic TV role in the new Bionic Woman, Ryan hopes her dark days are behind her.
She says, "I am a perfectionist and put huge pressures on myself to perform well. I always used to put in 100 per cent, and it was so draining.
"People were saying I looked too big on screen and commenting if I put on the slightest amount of weight.
"I felt terrible. I was at an age when I was still trying to come to terms with my body."