BABY JOY FOR 'FRASIER' STAR

Published on: January 23, 2001

"FRASIER" star Jane Leeves was so huge with child that she claimed she was "giving birth to an Olympic weight lifter" -- but she couldn' t be happier with her beautiful baby girl Isabella.

The wacky actress and her husband, TV executive Marshall Coben, welcomed the 9-pound, 12-ounce girl into the world on January 9 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

And thanks to her extra-large size while carrying, "Jane' s pregnancy was the worst kept secret on TV!" a source close to the star declared.

"The producers decided not to write the pregnancy into the show and abandoned the whole traditional idea of camouflaging her growing tummy with pillows and countertops and carefully chosen camera angles. Instead, Jane made TV history by going through her entire pregnancy on-camera -- without her pregnancy ever being mentioned.

"And the result was sheer hilarity. At one point Jane -- who gained 45 pounds over the extent of her pregnancy -- became the focal point for an entire episode.

"In that show, Frasier and Niles go round and round about theamount of ' weight' Jane' s character Daphne has gained. "Baby Isabella is the biggest -- literally -- thing to ever happen to Jane and hubby.

"Jane was admitted to Cedars-Sinai and went through a 10-hour labor. But it was a labor of love -- and not without its comic moments. The doctors knew Jane's baby was healthy and large. At one point she had the doctors in stitches by yelling out, ' I feel like I' m giving birth to an Olympic weight lifter!'

"But mother and baby are fine and Jane' s taken to being a mommy like a duck to water.

"She told a friend, ' I never thought I could be so happy! It' s funny how one little girl can change the world for someone.' "

Added another source: "Isabella is a precious child -- and she looks just like Jane!"


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