Tammy Faye Bakker

Tammy Faye Bakker

Birth
International Falls, Koochiching County, Minnesota, USA
Death 20 Jul 2007 (aged 65)
Belton, Cass County, Missouri, USA
Burial Waldron, Harper County, Kansas, USA
Memorial ID 20565033 · View Source
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Television Evangelist, Entrepreneur and Talk Show Host. Former wife of evangelist Jim Bakker. Known for the famous PTL scandal and her exaggerated eye make-up. Born Tammy Faye LaValley, she was the oldest of eight children born to Pentecostal preachers Carl and Rachel Fairchild LaValley. She was introduced to religion at a young age. She attended North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While attending college she met Jim Bakker. In 1961 the two married. The couple would have two children, Tammy Sue in 1970 and Jamie Charles in 1975. Jim and Tammy Faye were instrumental in building three Christian-based television networks: The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) with Pat Robertson, The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) with Paul Crouch, and PTL, which would become their most known venture. While working for CBN they co-hosted "The 700 Club," from 1966-73. The PTL club would be their largest venture, that would grow to include the theme park Heritage USA. By the 1980s the couples popularity and credibility faltered when they became embroiled in scandal. Due to financial misappropriations and Jim Bakker's extramarital affair with Jessica Hahn, the Bakkers relinquished control of the PTL club, and reverend Jerry Fallwell took over. Jim Bakker would spend five years in prison for his crimes, and the couple would divorce in 1992. A year later she married PTL member and construction worker, Roe Messner. Tammy Faye worked tirelessly to re-define herself and her reputation and hosted two shows: "Tammy Faye's House Party," and the 1996 syndicated talk show "Jim J. and Tammy Faye." The show was short lived as Tammy Faye was diagnosed with colon cancer. When her health returned she continued to work appearing on television, including guest spots on shows like:" Roseanne," and as Mimi's mother on "The Drew Carey Show." She also told her side of the story in the 2000 documentary "The Eyes of Tammy Faye." In 2004 she appeared as a contestant on the reality series "The Surreal Life," and made lasting friendships with her co-stars including an unlikely one with adult film star Ron Jeremy. Shortly after completing the show she was diagnosed with lung cancer, having formed from her 1996 bout with colon cancer. She had a brief remission, but the disease soon returned. She continued to fight the disease, believing that it was in God's hands. In May 2007 she revealed that they had stopped her treatment for the disease. She made one last reach out to her fans on July 18, 2007 when she taped a segment for "Larry King Live." She appeared frail and spoke with difficulty, and weighing only 65 pounds. She died just two days later at her home in Kansas City Missouri at the age of 65. Her legacy is one marked with scandal, but Tammy Faye turned her image around and got her story told. In 1996, she wrote her autobiography, "Telling it My Way." She also wrote "Run to the Roar," a book about overcoming fear. In 2003 wrote her last book, "I Will Survive, and You Will Too." She was also an accomplished Christian Singer recording over 25 albums, but she will be most remembered as the woman with an unshakable devotion to her God, who wore wild make-up, and was prone to tears.

Bio by: The Perplexed Historian


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: The Perplexed Historian
  • Added: 21 Jul 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20565033
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Tammy Faye Bakker (7 Mar 1942–20 Jul 2007), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20565033, citing Waldron Cemetery, Waldron, Harper County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated.