Sure, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' " Kyle Richards loves to act, but her greatest passion is being a mother to her four daughters.
The Hollywood-born star first appeared at the age of 4 in Disney's "Escape to Witch Mountain" and later had roles in television series and films, including "CSI," "Days of Our Lives," "ER," "The Hunger Games," "Halloween" and "Little House on the Prairie." She is also a fashion entrepreneur and author. After being diagnosed with chronic dry eye disease, Richards also became a spokeswoman for Restasis, a medication to help treat the condition. I recently caught up with her to talk about "Housewives," motherhood and more.
Q. When did you realize you had chronic dry eye disease?
"I started noticing the symptoms five years ago while filming 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.' It kept getting worse. Someone recommended that I use artificial tears, but it didn't work. I was so uncomfortable and frustrated. I finally went to a doctor who diagnosed me with chronic dry eye disease. He prescribed Restasis, which helps to relieve the pressure from your eye to allow your eye to make its own tears. It took me a few months to feel the best results and it's been a huge improvement."
Q. Your daughter Alexia recently left for college in Arizona. How was it sending her off?
"It was such torture, I can't even begin to explain. They don't warn parents about how it feels. They say 'empty nest' for when your last child goes to school, but it's really what you feel with each of them leaving. I couldn't even talk about it for months leading up to it. I'm upset but so proud of her."
Q. Any tips to help other parents cope with their kids being away?
"I've honestly joked with my friends that we need a support group. It's just so hard. It's really hard and scary. You're always worried about what's going to happen to them. I worry about her feeling lonely or being alone. I worry about missing her. She would get ready with me in the morning, so it's a very empty feeling."
Q. How do you balance work and family life?
"Women are very good multitaskers. I'm good at having a lot on my plate at once. I try to be the best wife and the best mom. Now I have my store, Kyle by Aline 2 in Beverly Hills, a new clothing line, Kyle by Kyle Richards with HSN and 'Housewives.' I think women are just good at managing. I structure my life so that I make certain things easier and convenient so that I'm able to do it all. We bought our home to be near the schools. I have the dog groomer come to the house. I do things to make my life easier."
Q. What are some of your favorite things to do with your family when you have some downtime?
"When we go away, we like being outdoors. We love skiing in the winter. In the summer, we love to be on a boat or on a lake. Family all the time. We're all into watching movies -- we do Sunday movie nights together. Whatever keeps everyone together is fine by me."
Q. What’s up next for you?
"I have so much on my plate right now, I'm trying to take things off, not add things on. We're shooting Season 5 of 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.' In November, my fall line for HSN is coming out. I'm just staying busy."