Remember Wendy, the Snapple Lady? In the memorable 90s commercials, she would read customer letters aloud in her distinct Long Island accent and answer them with her charming wit. For Wendy, the Snapple commercials were more than just a job—they may have saved her life.
Here, she tells Oprah: Where Are They Now? that before she landed a job with Snapple she turned to cigarettes, booze and cocaine to help her cope with being overweight. "I always had a weight problem, and I always felt less than in some way," Wendy says. "I think that through the years, you know, it started to evolve into other problems."
"I was a cigarette smoker by the time I was 13, and I did enjoy having a drink every now and again, and I have to tell you, I did try coke and I loved it," Wendy admits. She started doing cocaine in 1980, and by 1989, Wendy says, she could press on her cheek and blood would come out her nose. "I was so sick that it really did bring me to my knees, and I said, to God, on my knees, hysterical crying, either kill me or please, please help me get well. I cannot live like this for one second longer."
Then Wendy was thrown a lifeline from an unexpected place. "What most people don't know about me is Snapple was much more than a job. It was a lifeline, and it was a way for me to stay sober," Wendy says.
"It was a vehicle to do wonderful, nice things for other people, and people just love me, and I remember crying literally, like 'What did I do to myself? What did I do to myself for all these years?' So the addiction was great because in a way it made me really look at myself and reevaluate everything."
In 2008, after seventeen years, Wendy and Snapple parted ways. "How do you separate when everybody says, 'Oh my God, it's the Snapple Lady'? I didn't even have a brand, so I'm the Snapple Lady without being the Snapple Lady, so I had to embrace that the personal part of me was far greater than the Snapple persona and that it was time to move on."