Delta’s first attempt at returning to the spotlight was the show “Delta” in 1992, in which she played an aspiring country music singer. She had to go blonde for the part. Unfortunately, the show never got a good footing, and after a single year, the season was canceled — Delta was back to being brunette.
The show had Delta working as a hairdresser, eager to follow in the footsteps of her character’s childhood idol, Patsy Cline. The show was an early appearance of famous comedy Bill Engvall, who acted as Buck, Delta’s husband. Delta utilized her own singing abilities to provide the tunes viewers heard.
Because of the Tabloids
One of the reasons the show decided to address Suzanne's — and Delta's — weight gain was because of the rumor rags. The tabloids couldn't get enough of teasing Delta about the pounds she'd packed on. The public, lemmings that they are, started joining in, and they laughed at the expense of her health and sanity.
Even when her personal life was going well, the unkind words continued. The toll on Delta's mental health grew and grew. Even when she went on radio shows — with no visual component — the hosts would come right out and ask her: “How much weight have you put on?” Through all this, Delta found it possible to rely on only one person.
After the Show
When her time on her Emmy-nominated show finally ended, Delta retreated to her home in New Orleans. She needed to stay out of the spotlight for a little while until she figured out what she wanted to do next.
After periods of such intense ridicule, the idea of widespread attention for anything was anathema for her. Rather than try to address her sunk image right away, she decided to keep her head down and let the talk peter out for a little while. However, it wouldn't be too long before she made her move to get back into the spotlight.
“Designing Women” tanked without Delta on board. Whether it was because she was such an important piece of the sitcom puzzle or for another reason, it's hard to tell. It got one more season of good ratings — thanks mostly to the drama of Delta leaving the show — and then audiences stopped caring.
A few years later, in 1995, Thomason and Delta were able to repair their relationship, with Linda offering Delta the top spot in a “Designing Women” spin-off called “Women of the House.” This show would feature Dixie Carter since she was still at loggerheads with Delta, but there was still a lot of work to be done before Delta was ready.
The Weight Gain Comes Home
In the year 1997, Delta was ready to get back to her old ways of charming audiences and bringing in the Emmys. A new problem arose, stemming from her weight gain and unhealthy eating habits.
Doctors informed Delta she had Type II Diabetes, forcing her to rethink her entire lifestyle. She was forced to now not only try to find a way to rebuild her career, but she needed to manage a dangerous and potentially deadly disease, which came with a whole host of complications. And, as a surprise, some unexpected benefits.