What happened to Christina Applegate and why did she quit acting?

Christina Applegate is one of the greats of the screen, first gaining notoriety for her comedic chops as Kelly Bundy in the sitcom Married…With Children.

In recent years, the actress, 52, has stepped away from Hollywood following a diagnosis with multiple sclerosis.

But at the 2024 Emmy Awards, Applegate surprised the audience and fans across the world with an appearance on stage amid her ongoing health battle.

It’s one of a few rare appearances the actress has made over the last several years.

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Christina Applegate

We’ve done a deep dive into everything from Christina Applegate’s iconic screen career to her dating history, and what the star is doing now after her MS diagnosis. 

What is Christina Applegate’s net worth?

As of 2024, according to Celebrity Net Worth Christina Applegate has an estimated fortune of $U25 million (approx. $38 million).

What happened to Christina Applegate?

In 2021, Christina Applegate announced she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The star shared her health update on X, formerly Twitter.

“Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition,” she wrote.

“It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some a–hole blocks it,” she continued in good humour.

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https://twitter.com/1capplegate/status/1424982406180704259

“As one of my friends that has MS said, ‘We wake up and take the indicated action.’ And that’s what I do. So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing. Thank you xo.”

The actress’ MS news came after she had undergone a double mastectomy in 2008 following a breast cancer diagnosis.

Since her diagnosis, Applegate has made a few rare public appearances but has largely stepped out of the limelight and away from the big screen.

What has Christina Applegate said about her MS?

Since announcing her MS diagnosis in 2021, the actress has shared occasional updates over the past couple of years.

Speaking to The New York Times in November 2022, the star opened up about her diagnosis, revealing she had gained weight and could not walk without a cane.

Applegate admitted she had taken some time to “process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me.”

“Although it’s not like I came on the other side of it, like, ‘Woohoo, I’m totally fine.’ Acceptance? No, I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed,” she admitted to the outlet.

Later that month, Applegate made her first public appearance since revealing her health struggle while receiving her Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

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“This will be my first time out since [being] diagnosed with MS. Walking sticks are now part of my new normal,” she tweeted prior to the ceremony.

In her acceptance speech, Applegate thanked her daughter for “standing by me through all of this.”

In December 2022, Applegate went on The Kelly Clarkson Show to reveal her reaction to her diagnosis.

“I found out on a Monday after work that I had MS, a disease I’m gonna have for the rest of my life,” she told host Kelly Clarkson.

“I didn’t know what was happening to me,” she said of her symptoms, which began four years prior.

“I couldn’t walk. They had to use a wheelchair to get me to set. I was freaking out. Someone was like, ‘You need an MRI.'”

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Speaking to Vanity Fair in May 2023, Applegate revealed she had developed a fear of showers amid the ongoing struggles of day-to-day life with MS.

“With the disease of MS, it’s never a good day,” she told the outlet.

“You just have little sh–y days. People are like, ‘Well, why don’t you take more showers?’ Well, because getting in the shower is frightening.”

“You can fall, you can slip, your legs can buckle. Especially because I have a glass shower. It’s frightening to me to get in there,” she explained.

In addition to showers, Applegate revealed she now struggles with driving long distances and with daily tasks such as walking up and down the stairs.

Christina Applegate movies and tv shows

Christina Applegate had her first taste of acting at just three months old with a small role on the iconic soap opera Days of Our Lives.

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She grew up to star on some other small projects such as the series Heart of the City.

But her breakout role came at aged 15 when she was cast in the sitcom Married…with Children in 1987.

Applegate starred as Kelly Bundy on the hit series for 11 seasons.

From there, she starred in other successful TV projects such as Samantha Who?, which earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

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The actress also had a guest role on the sictom Friends and has starred in films including Bad Moms, the Anchorman movies, and even lent her voice to the Alvin and the Chipmunks series.

Applegate’s latest role was in the Netflix drama Dead to Me as Jen Harding.

Did Christina Applegate quit acting?

Netflix's Dead to Me starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini.

Since her MS diagnosis, Applegate has only gone on to film the third season of her drama series Dead to Me – which is likely to have been her last contribution to TV.

Speaking to Variety in May 2023, the actress opened up about the “excruciating pain” she was in on set and admitted she’s “probably not going to work on-camera again.”

While filming the series, the actress needed a wheelchair to take her to set as well as regular breaks during shoots.

“I can’t even imagine going to set right now,” Applegate told the outlet amid her ongoing health struggles.

“This is a progressive disease. I don’t know if I’m going to get worse.”

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Amid her likely retirement from the screen, Applegate told Variety she was ”so glad that I went out with someone who is by far the greatest actress I’ve ever worked with in my entire life,” referring to her Dead to Me co-star Linda Cardellini.

Applegate starred across Cardellini on the drama series for three seasons from 2019.

What is she doing now?

Christina Applegate has stepped back from acting, rarely being seen in public since announcing her health condition.

However, the star recently received a standing ovation after making a surprise appearance on stage at the 2024 Emmy Awards.

Christina Applegate

She delivered an emotional speech while presenting the outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series award to The Bear‘s Ayo Edebiri.

Applegate walked out on stage during the ceremony with her cane, a year after she revealed her public appearances would become more limited as her health declined.

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“We don’t have to applaud every time I do something,” the star jokingly told the audience, who applauded and stood up as she made her way to the podium.

The star’s ex-husband Johnathon Schaechshared a sweet message of support for the actress after her Emmy’s appearance.

”She danced opening night on Broadway on a broken foot! Beat cancer! She’s the toughest human being I’ve ever met! F— MS! So proud of her! Go, Christina!,” he Tweeted.

Christina Applegate’s dating history

Christina Applegate and Martyn LeNoble

Christina Applegate has been married to Dutch musician Martyn LeNoble since 2013.

The couple welcomed their first child – and the actress’ only child – daughter Sadie Grace in 2011 before tying the knot two years later.

Applegate recently brought her teenage daughter on the red carpet as her plus one to the 2024 Emmy Awards.

Before saying ‘I do’ her second husband LeNoble, the actress was married to American actor Johnathon Schaech from 2001 to 2007.

Applegate was also romantically linked to Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt in the ’80s.