In the 1980s, three Gold sisters were on some of the most popular shows on television. Tracey Gold starred on Growing Pains. Brandy Gold was on St. Elsewhere. And Missy Gold starred on Benson. (They also have two other siblings, Jessie Gold, who acted later on, and Cassie Gold.)
Benson revolved around Benson DuBois (Robert Guillaume), the head of household for governor eugene X. Gatling (James Noble). Gold played the governor’s daughter Katie on the show for all seven seasons, from 1979 to 1986.
After the sitcom went off the air, Gold stopped acting for good and now works in a much different field. But, her child acting days have had a lasting effect and play a part in her career today. Read on to find out more about the former actor.
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Gold’s first credit—in the miniseries Captains and the Kings—is from 1976, when she was only six years old. In addition to Benson, the young actor appeared on the shows The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Eight Is Enough, Fantasy Island, and Trapper John, M.D.
When Benson ended in 1986, Gold stepped away from her career. That same year, she took part in her final movie. She had a voice role in The Blinkins: The Heart of Friendship.
“I didn’t go into acting as a child for some great love [of it],” Gold told Page Six in a September 2022 interview. “In the family, we all sort of worked and acted … and I was always more the student.” Referring to Tracey, she continued, “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.”
After Benson, Gold was invited to test for a soap opera, she but turned it down. “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,” she explained.
Gold is now a practicing psychologist and going by her full name, Melissa Gold Wiedmann. According to her Psychologist Today profile, she received her bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University and her PhD at the California School Of Professional Psychology. She works in private practice and her “special areas of interest and expertise include, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and issues related to pregnancy and postpartum.”
In her Page Six interview, Gold related her time as an actor to her job as a psychologist today.
“Psychologically to have that experience of celebrity is complicated, and to do it as a child, you know, when your mind is forming … I see it for myself and what my experience was, but it helps [inform] for me, sort of my work with all of my patients, everything that we live resonates through the course of our lives.”
She also said that her work reminds her of one particular aspect of her former job. “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 said. “I’m in my room and people come in and visit and share their thoughts with me.”
In 2000, Gold told People that she thinks fans might have played a role in inspiring her career. “Little girls would write to me about their experiences,” she said. “Looking back, I wonder if it influenced my fascination with psychology.”
Gold, who lives a very private life these days, mentioned to Page Six that she’s a mom and that she wouldn’t let her kids go down the child acting path that she did.
“I was fortunate. I was very fortunate,” she said of her time as a child star. “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.”