The year was 1985 and 18-year-old actress Claudia Wells was making her big-screen debut as Jennifer Parker, Marty Mcfly’s girlfriend in Stephen Spielberg’s blockbuster classic Back to the Future.
Claudia tells CBN, “I’m excited, I finally got a movie! Because it got down to me and two other girls, and Michael J. Fox, I was excited about him because he’s so cute.”
While the movie catapulted her to international fame, Claudia would soon fade into obscurity.
Claudia, the youngest of three, was a natural in front of the camera. By 12 years old she was living in L.A. with her single, divorced mom, and landing a number of small television roles. She loved the work, attention, and the chance to be someone other than herself.
“My fun and joy was when the camera was on and I got to be a person and act,” said Claudia. “Because every single role I played, the drug addicts, it was really so many wonderful parts; pregnant girl who was lying about it. I got to take a part of me and express it.”
That’s because, at home, her alcoholic mother made sure she knew the real Claudia was someone to be despised.
Claudia said, “I thought everyone grew up hearing, ‘I regret the day you were ever born.’ I really thought that was a normal thing. I was either the greatest or I was worse than my father, worse than her mother. I didn’t know who I was because I was told so many different things.”
Her mother burned through Claudia’s money, controlling every aspect of her daughter’s life. That included her weight.
“I used to have to stand in front of my mom’s bed and turn while she sat there and told me I was too fat. And I wasn’t. I wasn’t,” said Claudia.
Claudia became obsessed with being thin, and always on a diet. Then, at 14 she was found in her bedroom unconscious after trying to overdose on her mother’s prescription pills.
“It was not a cry for help. It was, ‘I’m done. I don’t deserve to be here anyway. I’m too fat.’”
By the time 1982 rolled around, two years later, little had changed for the budding star. Only now, she became bulimic, taking up to 60 laxatives a day. It was then she was cast in the tv series, “Herbie the Love Bug,” starring Dean Jones. Claudia became friends with the late actor and his wife Lori.
“He talked to me about the hole that was inside of me, and if I don’t fill it with God, and if I don’t fill it with Jesus Christ, it’ll get filled with men and drugs and problems,” said Claudia.
“So, I said the sinner’s prayer with Dean at lunch one day and I became saved. Not really understanding anything that that meant, but God heard me.”
So, Claudia continued to believe the voices in her head telling her she was a mistake. Meanwhile, her acting career continued to flo…