ONCE-stunning LARA FLYNN BOYLE is look­ing horrible and acting weird, sparking fears about her health and mental well-being!

Recent photographs show the 42-year-old star of “The Prac­tice” with a distended stomach, unnaturally puffy face and gro­tesquely inflated lips.

The shocking photos were snapped Oct. 20 when the ac­tress stopped for gas in Santa Monica, Calif.

“She’s a mess,” declared an insider about Lara, who dated Jack Nicholson for two years before they split in 2002. “Jack’s very worried about her – and he’s not the only one!”

Lara has been haunted by an­orexia rumors for years, and in August, The ENQUIRER revealed that the 5-foot-4 star weighed about 90 pounds. She still appears to be frightfully thin.

“She’s not eating, and her be­havior has become increasingly bizarre,” said the insider.

In a startling disclosure, a source who observed Lara at La­guna Beach, Calif., over the past Labor Day weekend revealed the actress had a minder that cared for her like a child.

“Lara was wearing a bikini, and it made me almost ill to look at her,” recalled the source. “She was skin and bones. A woman who appeared to be a caregiver kept adjusting her clothes, fixing her bra and putting her hair in a ponytail.”

The source said that Lara also screamed at her husband – 47-year-old San Antonio real estate agent Donald Ray Thomas – then gushed about how much she loved him.

“Her husband seemed embarrassed by her behav­ior and mostly ignored her,” noted the source.

“Lara was acting so strangely. She got up and stumbled toward the wa­ter, mumbling to herself. Then she staggered back and collapsed onto the sand. Wherever she went, the woman companion dutifully followed to make sure she didn’t hurt herself. Lara appeared incredibly frail and unable to take care of herself.

“Meanwhile, families sitting nearby moved because Lara kept using foul lan­guage and was scaring people. She also reeked of alcohol and sweat. I got the im­pression she hadn’t showered in days.”

A longtime drinker, Lara’s life seemed to fall apart after she and Nicholson part­ed ways a decade ago. She dulled the pain with alcohol and tried to spruce up her appearance with cosmetic procedures, say sources.

At one point, Lara turned to Alcoholics Anonymous for help, The ENQUIRER reported.

“She seemed to have settled down af­ter she married Donald in 2006,” said the insider. “But now she’s acting   out again and looks worse than ever!”