intro: The fun of "Dancing with the Stars" is watching our favorite celebrities bust a move on the dance floor.
More than half of this season's 12 star competitors have the added element of headline-generating backstories. From Chaz Bono's gender reassignment to David Arquette's recent treatment for substance abuse issues, the ailments of the new all-star lineup could make for its own reality show.
Besides Arquette, known for his role in the "Scream" films, and Bono, the son of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher, this season's roster includes HLN's legal analyst Nancy Grace, NBA player Ron Artest, model Elisabetta Canalis, reality-TV stars Kristin Cavallari and Rob Kardashian, talk show icon Ricki Lake, war veteran and actor J.R. Martinez, entertainer Chynna Phillips, World Cup soccer star Hope Solo, and fashion commentator Carson Kressley.
To prepare for the Sept. 19 two-hour season premiere, click through this list of stars' ailments:
quicklist: 1 category: title: David Arquette url: text:
Arquette started the new year in rehab for depression and alcohol issues.
The "Scream" star apparently nursed his broken heart following his breakup with Courteney Cox with too much drink.
In the weeks before entering rehab, Arquette told Howard Stern, "When I drink, I become a maniac."
"I've been drinking a lot because I'm heartbroken," he said on Stern's radio show. "It's really a personal, traumatic thing."
Arquette also revealed that he was "having a nervous breakdown," which he later characterized as more mid-life crisis than nervous breakdown.
Three months after leaving rehab, Arquette, 39, was still sober and his relationship with Cox had improved.
We're "probably the best we've ever been because we're being really honest with each other. We have such huge amounts of affection for each other," Cox told GMA in April.
Cox, 46, said it's due to their six-year-old daughter, Coco.
"We have 15 years of memories. There's no point in spoiling that," she said. "I don't know what's going to happen, but I think this is an important time and he will always be my guy."
quicklist: 2 category: title: Chaz Bono url: text:
After years of struggling with his gender, Chaz Bono is now happily living his life as a man.
"Life was always so much more difficult," he told Oprah Winfrey in May about his former life as Chastity Bono. "It also felt like my body was literally betraying me."
Bono, the 42-year-old son of Cher and the late Sonny Bono, made a documentary about his transition, "Becoming Chaz," which aired on Winfrey's OWN. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, which Bono attended with fiancee Jennifer Elia.
The Bono in "Becoming Chaz" is desperate to erase all signs of his femininity. He injects himself with testosterone; he binds his chest so tight he has trouble breathing. "I'll be really happy to get rid of these," he declares before finally going under the knife to remove his breasts.
Despite his insistence to get rid of his breasts, Bono told Winfrey that he doesn't want male genitalia.
"At this point, I really don't have any plans to do bottom surgery," he said. "I feel really good, I feel like a man now, and I'm really happy."
As for mom Cher, who admitted she struggled with her child's gender change, Bono told Winfrey that she regularly refers to him as Chaz now.
quicklist: 3 category: title: Nancy Grace url: text:
Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor turned tenacious talk show host, revealed her softer side when she became pregnant with twins Lucy and John David in her late 40s following her surprise marriage to Atlanta investment banker David Linch.
Grace, 51, has remained mum about the methods she used to conceive, feeling her children have a right to know first.
"Also, on behalf of women everywhere who have gone through fertility treatments, it is my firm belief that what happens between your legs is nobody's business but your own. Let me say this: They are my children," she told Good Housekeeping in 2008. "They look like me and my husband, and I can only hope that they get the best of our qualities."
Grace did open up about how life-threatening it was to carry her babies, now three.
She told Good Housekeeping that toward the eighth month of her pregnancy, her body was under extreme strain. Blood clots formed in her legs and fluid welled up in her heart and lungs. She was rushed to an Atlanta hospital, where an emergency cesarean section was performed.
The babies, born more than two months premature, were sent to the neonatal intensive care unit while Grace was being treated for dangerously high blood pressure.
Mother and children came through just fine, and while Grace shows her tender side at home, she's lost none of her trademark steeliness on television.
quicklist: 4 category: title: Ricki Lake url: text:
Another star mom who tapped into another side of herself is former talk-show host Ricki Lake.
These days, Lake has become the face of Hollywood home birth. In her documentary, "The Business of Being Born," she showcased the water birth of her second son, Owen.
"Normal birth to me is not being numb from the waist down and being hooked up to an IV and being flat on your back and waiting for the doctor to tell you push. That's not normal to me. That is what the normal is now but I don't think that's what normal should be," Lake, who had her first son in the hospital, told "Good Morning America."
Lake has also been outspoken about her struggle with weight. She made her film debut as the heavyset teenager in John Waters' "Hairspray." In 2007 she lost 125 pounds through healthy eating and exercise, citing child sexual abuse as the reason she put on the excess pounds.
quicklist: 5 category: title: Ron Artest url: text:
Even among this season's "Dancing" lineup, Los Angeles Lakers guard Ron Artest stands out for his eccentric behavior.
This is the guy who wanted to change his name to Metta World Peace last week. But a judge denied his request because of an outstanding traffic warrant resulting from a lot of unpaid parking tickets. Artest, who's also a rapper, blames that one on his college instructors at St. John's.
He told ESPN Radio in L.A., "Actually, when I was in college, they didn't teach me how to pay parking tickets. I didn't take the class. I blame that on my professors."
Not surprising from a guy who admits to drinking cognac in the locker room at halftime during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls, who applied for a job at Circuit City while playing for Chicago in order to get an employee discount, and who was at the center of a famous brawl between players and fans while playing for the Indiana Pacers against the Detroit Pistons.
quicklist: 6 category: title: J.R. Martinez url: text:
Iraq veteran J.R. Martinez turned his war injuries into a career as a motivational speaker and actor and now reality star.
At 19, he was serving as a humvee driver for the U.S. Army in Iraq when his left front tire hit a landmine in April 2003. Martinez suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns on more than 40 percent of his body. He spent 34 months in recovery and has undergone 33 surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery.
Rather than feel sorry for himself, he began sharing his experience with others and soon landed appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "60 Minutes" and CNN. In 2008, he joined the cast of "All My Children" as combat veteran Brot Monroe.
quicklist: 7 category: title: Chynna Phillips url: text: After Mackenzie Phillips went public with her alleged 10-year incestuous relationship with their father, John Phillips, her half-sister Chynna Phillips checked into rehab for anxiety.
"After much thoughtful deliberation, Chynna Phillips has checked herself into an undisclosed treatment facility for anxiety," her publicist Lizzie Grubman told People last February.
Before checking into rehab, Chynna told "Good Morning America" that she "completely shut down" after her sister wrote a book and went on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
"I'm still struggling with it. It's going to be a lifelong journey for me," Chynna Phillips told GMA. "It's a terrible, terrible thing."