Lake was an 18-year-old college student when she played Tracy in the 1988 movie, and she told us she almost didn't audition.
"It was during finals week at Ithaca College, and I drove 5 hours. I got a speeding ticket on the way," she recalls. "I met [writer/director] John Waters at the audition and it literally changed the entire trajectory of my life. You don't think of a 200-pound girl being the ingenue and selling it and getting the guy, so it really did open every door for me. It gave me this crazy career I've had for almost 30 years."
Fifteen years later in 2003, Winokur was accepting a Tony award for her performance in the Broadway musical adaptation.
"In my speech, I was like, ‘For a short, chubby girl to be an ingenue on Broadway and win a Tony for it was like… It's not given to us every day,’" Winokur says.
Baillio will be the latest to take on the character after getting cast in NBC's Hairspray Live!, airing Dec. 7, and she had to beat out more than 1,000 young women to score the gig.
"I started crying and I just had to call my mom because she's my No. 1 supporter," Baillio says. "So I called my mom and I said, 'Mom, I got Tracy!'"
For NBC's upcoming live show, Baillio will be joined by Ariana Grande, Derek Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth and Harvey Fierstein, who is reprising his role as Tracy's mom Edna, for which he won a Tony award in 2003.
"Ariana Grande is playing my best friend on the show, Penny, and Kristin Chenoweth, one of my biggest idols, is in the show too. It's crazy," Baillio says.