DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES star Felicity Huffman has revealed she suffered from eating disorders throughout her late teens in a desperate bid to look perfect.

The actress admits she eventually called on the help of a family therapist when her weight plunged to just 98 pounds (44.45 kilograms) in her early 20s, and she never imagined she'd become one of the sexiest women on TV.

She says, "I was bulimic and anorexic for a while, just hating my body. As an actress, I was never thin enough, never pretty enough. My boobs weren't big enough.

Huffman credits having two kids and turning 40 for helping her to come to terms with her body at last.

She adds, "I think I've always had a 40-year-old body, and now that I'm actually there I'm like, 'Hey, pretty good.'"

But the actress insists her past eating disorders and dissatisfactions have had their use - in helping her prepare for TV roles.

She explains, "The self-loathing that goes along with bulimia or anorexia helped me understand (character) BREE's internal journey."