Delta Burke

Delta BurkeBorn in Orlando, Florida, Delta Burke is the eldest of three. She began modeling and participating in beauty contests at an early age, having won 18 pageant titles by the time she was 17. She represented Florida in the Miss America Pageant, winning a talent scholarship, which she used to attend a two-year study program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

In Hollywood, Delta won the co-starring role in the television movie Charleston, followed by starring roles in the miniseries The Seekers and The Chisholms and guest spots on numerous television movies and series. She landed the leading role in the series Filthy Rich and a starring role in HBO’s first weekly series, First and Ten. Of course, she is best known for her five-year stint as Suzanne Sugarbaker in CBS’s Designing Women, for which she received two Emmy award nominations for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.

After leaving Designing Women, Delta produced and starred in the ABC television series Delta where she actually sang and dyed her dark hair blonde. She later reunited with Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to star in and produce Women of the House, a spin-off where she reprised her popular Suzanne Sugarbaker character.

It took Delta time, and therapy, to realize she liked herself better as a size 16 than as a “starved” size 6. The self-described “beautiful, curvy woman” is now on a mission to make other “real-size” women feel good about themselves with her line of plus-size clothing. She started designing fashions for herself during her very public weight gain on Designing Women. Fan letters helped her through that difficult time, making her want to give back. So the actress created her first size 14-26 collection several years ago, and now Delta Burke Designs is in several clothing chains and catalogs.

Delta’s autobiographical book, Delta Style: Eve Wasn’t a Size 6 and Neither Am I, explains how she dealt with a lot of problems, including sexual abuse as a child and her very public battle with her weight.

In addition to managing her successful New York design company, she continues to act and produce through her production company Perseverance, Inc. and is married to actor Gerald McRaney, star of television hits Simon and Simon, Major Dad, and Promised Land.

In 1999, Delta took on the recurring role of Cherry Cherry on the WB’s Popular. A part written specifically for Delta, Cherry is a former Miss Texas 1974. In addition, she filmed Sordid Lives with Olivia Newton John and landed the part of Mel Gibson’s secretary in What Women Want. For the 2000-2001 TV season, she appeared with David Alan Grier in the series DAG, where she played the First Lady. Delta followed that up with a starring role in the Lifetime Original Movie, Dangerous Child.

For 2003, The WB signed Delta as the lead in Sweet Potato Queens, a comedy based on the series of books by Mississippi writer Jill Conner Browne, however the Pilot was not picked up. Delta and Mac also starred together in the Lifetime Original Movie, Going for Broke.

In 2004, Delta made her Broadway debut as villainess Miss Mears in the musical comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie, followed by a 2005 broadway run in Steel Magnolias.


Sarah Zammit is the Founder and Editor of the Plus Size Clothing Network, which includes web properties such as, the Plus Size Clothing Scoop, The Plus Size Bride and Wide Width Shoes Online. Learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.


  1. Sandi Duncan says:

    Is there ANYPLACE I can find and order Delta Burke denim jeans for women? I’m interested in the denim jeans that are made with a v-shaped yoke in the front, elastic waist pull-on jeans. I’ve purchased many, many in the past but cannot find them anymore! They’re the best and I love them! Thanks!



  3. R K Pete says:

    My daughter has not yet been diagnosed with Cushing’s ( a very serious endocrine disorder) as of yet, but she has all but 4 of the symptoms. One of the symptoms is weight gain in the mid-section…legs stay the same.. I think they call it ‘apple Shape”.

    To buy clothes that fit her waist then they are way way to big in the crotch , legs, and behind. She has to buy a size 20 pants because of her waist, but her legs, butt, and crotch area need the pants to be size 16. It breaks my heart to see her wearing clothes that do not fit because I know that she is embarraessed, Embarrassed enough about the weight gain and physical appearance without not being able to find clothes that fit. She an others have all those plus size clothing, But nothing fits their needs.

    BUT we just realized that Maternity clothes could fit the “apple” shaped body perfectly. And they are cute clothes…not gawdy with the rinestones and sequins that for some reason clothing manufactures think large people should wear.

    There are other plus size women that don’t have Cushing’s also have the apple shape body.

    There is the stigma of having others know that they are wearing maternity clothes…even though they are over weight, that still bothers them. I don’t have the brains, money, time , or energy to do this…but you could and so many women would be grateful to be able to find clothes that fit..even made them look smaller.

    Please consider this and if you are not interested..please forward it on to someone that will. I think it would be very financially successful (if you do not price them out of our reach…some of people with Cushings are unable to work).

    I just looked at maternity clothes online. They are just perfect EXCEPT..they are MATERNITY Clothes. (that I am going to get her, but it would be so much better if they were not labled maternity clothes).

    I just want my daughter and others in her situation to be able to find clothes that they are able to feel good about them selves when they wear them. Plus size clothing as it is does not meet the needs of Apple shaped women at all.

    Symptoms of Cushing’s: Found at

    Thank you

  4. Lori says:

    I purchased a Delta Burke bra with the underwire…The underwires came out the first time I wore the bra….Not very well made. Like thowing money down the drain.

  5. LINDA BURNS says:


  6. footballmom says:

    Hello, I recently purchased a Delta Burke swimsuit and loved the style. I loved it until I wore it in the water! The fabric “grew” or stretched and I had to hold the bottoms on. I spent 3 days at the beach with a suit that would almost fall off everytime it got wet. This was the most expensive suit I have ever purchased and now I am stuck with a swimsuit that I can’t wear in the water! Total disappointment and a waste of money!!!

    • retiredteacher says:

      The same thing happened to my Delta Burke swim dress. I loved the fit until the skirt began to lengthen every time I swam. Now it comes below my knees! As you said, a waste of money!

  7. Dee says:

    I am writing about Delta Burke Intimates strapless “band” bra. Although the material was really stretchy and cut generously, the removable inside bra padding was horrible! The bra was sized at 1x but the padding was cut for a 34B cup. Please go back to your design team and check if they are using prototypes for real women measurements. Its so off its amazing. Also you panties are cut weird too. . . . . . the pattern for the panties is off – especially by the legs . . . . the high cut is off that is leaves a gap from the crotch to leg. Something is definitely wrong. It would be wonderful if your intimates line was revamped.
    Thanks for listening.

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