The 'Dead to Me' actress was celebrated Monday in her first public appearance since her multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
Christina Applegate was emotional as she recalled the ups and downs she's experienced throughout her life as she received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, which marked her first public appearance since her multiple sclerosis diagnosis. With the support of her family and friends, including Married With Children's Katey Sagal and David Faustino, Selma Blair and Dead to Me's Linda Cardellini, Applegate was celebrated in a moving tribute to her career accomplishments.
After Nov. 14 was officially declared "Christina Applegate Day" in Hollywood, the 50-year-old actress -- with the aid of a walking stick and Sagal's help -- took to the podium to deliver an endearing speech filled with her signature wit and humor. Applegate, who has spoken publicly about the impact MS has had on her life, brought Sagal up to the stage with her for the duration of the speech.
"So Katey to, like, steal the thunder," joked Applegate, who was barefoot for the whole event, as her Married With Children mom stood behind her for moral and physical support. "I'm kidding! I love you."
Applegate opened her brief speech acknowledging the circuitous journey she's been on, reflecting on a vivid memory as a little girl that brought her Walk of Fame moment full circle.
"I've had a really interesting life, but the life started as a little girl waiting in line to see the first Star Wars on this very street at that very theater. And looking at these things [the stars] and going, 'Who are these people? What are these things? Did they do something right? Did they do something wrong? Whatever it is, I want one. I effing want one,'" she recalled to laughs. "And I was five years old. So this day means more to me than you can possibly imagine."
Though the Dead to Me star never directly addressed her MS, there were points she made note of her new reality. "I can't stand for too long," Applegate continued in her speech, "so I'm going to thank the people I really need to thank."
"First of all, to my family who have spoken here today," she said gratefully, referring to Sagal, Faustino, Cardellini and Dead to Me creator Liz Feldman, who earlier during the event spoke glowingly about her. "You are my everything. I love that I started with you two and ended with you two," Applegate said, getting choked up as she referred to Sagal and Faustino, later calling them "my people" and "my loves."
She credited her team for sticking by her for more than 20 years, quipping, "My mom used to say changing agents is like changing deck chairs on the Titanic. I've stuck with mine, so I guess we're going down all together."
Applegate also thanked "most of all, [her] family." "I don't say that I have friends, I have family. These people take care of me. They take care of me every day of my life and without them I don't know what I would do," she said.
Applegate nearly broke down when speaking about her daughter, Sadie, who was present to honor her mother. "And lastly, the most important person in this world is my daughter," she said. "You are so much more than even you know. You are so beautiful and kind and loving and smart and interesting and I am blessed every day that I get to wake up and take you to your school. You are my everything. Thank you for standing beside me through all of this."
"Oh, by the way, I have a disease," she joked, her first acknowledgement of her MS. "Did you not notice? I'm not wearing shoes! Anywho, you're supposed to laugh at that."
"Thank you so much, this is an incredible honor," Applegate closed her emotional speech.
Later, as her star was officially unveiled on the Walk of Fame, Applegate was seated in a chair behind it with her walking stick in hand. She later posed seated for various photos with her Married With Children and Dead to Me co-stars, along with her husband, daughter and mother. She also posed for solo shots and even laid down on the carpet by her star.
Before Applegate took to the stage, her friends paid tribute to her with sweet tributes. Cardellini said she didn't know when she signed on for Dead to Me that she would be making "a friend for life" and Feldman called Applegate a "dream creative partner," before ending her speech with a joke, "I love you so much, but more importantly, I love your butthole."
Sagal also praised her TV daughter, crediting her for navigating through life's challenges with grace and bravery, and being one of her greatest life teachers.
"I've seen you the high highs of love and enormous success, coupled with extreme challenges. But you came in with those shoulders and you bear the weight, and you bend and you don't break. And your humility and reverence allows all of us to bend with you," she said to Applegate. "I continue to love you, to laugh with you and to learn for you... I love the fact to this day that you still call me 'Mommy.'"