Tammy Faye Messner - Rotten Tomatoes

Tammy Faye Messner

Highest Rated:   86% The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000)
Lowest Rated:   86% The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000)
Birthday:   Not Available
Birthplace:   Not Available
A woman whose legacy is a mixture of love, faith, theatrics, and scandal, Tammy Faye Messner was born to two preachers in International Falls, MN, in 1942. Messner was the eldest of eight children, and her parents divorced when she was young; she soon became extremely involved in her aunt's church, the Assemblies of God. She began setting upon a career to become a minister, enrolling at North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, where she met future husband Jim Bakker, whom she married in 1961. The two became extremely involved in televangelism -- ministering through television -- and helped found the 700 Club, also hosting a children's show called Jim and Tammy. In Messner's preaching, she distinguished herself from other evangelists by extolling tolerance toward gays and lesbians, and focusing on joy, love, and celebration rather than on fire and brimstone. Messner became known just as much for her words on God as for her over-the-top eye makeup, as she was never seen without a heavy combination of eye-shadow, permanent eyeliner, fake lashes, and ultra-thick mascara that had her frequently caricatured in the press. She and her husband founded the PTL Club, which became an extremely successful religious/commercial empire. Simultaneously, however, the couple came under criticism for the opulent lifestyle that they enjoyed as a result of their supposedly pious company's success. Soon, it was revealed that Jim Bakker had directed millions of dollars in PTL funds for personal use. This, coupled with the revelation that Bakker had been sexually involved with his 21-year-old secretary Jessica Hahn, brought he and PTL crashing to the ground. Messner, who had always publicly defended her husband, was shocked and disillusioned, and she focused on caring for their children as, in 1991, Bakker was sentenced to 18 years in jail. The two subsequently divorced, and a few years later, she married church builder Roe Messner and took his name. She repaired her public image by returning to preaching, while developing a public sense of humor about her image, poking fun at herself with a appearances on shows like The Drew Carey Show. In 2004, Messner appeared on the reality TV show The Surreal Life, which put her in a house with other celebrities like Erik Estrada, Vanilla Ice, and, most notably, Ron Jeremy. Audiences were impressed at Messner's ability to remain accepting and amicable in the company of housemates that many would think lived too far outside Messner's Christian lifestyle for her to tolerate. She bonded closely with the entire household, becoming something of a mother figure to them and remaining friends after the taping. Messner had a bout with colon cancer in 1996 that she overcame successfully, with the cancer going into remission. Then, in 2004, Messner announced that she'd been hit with cancer again, this time of the lung. It was inoperable, but she underwent chemotherapy and once again it went into remission. The next year, however, the cancer returned, and she returned to treatment. The cancer caused her great pain and made it difficult for her to eat, resulting in a steady and dramatic weight loss. In 2007, she announced via her website that all treatments had been unsuccessful, and she was receiving hospice care in her home. On July 19 of that year, Messner appeared on Larry King Live, as she'd done frequently throughout her ordeal, and though she appeared emaciated at a mere 65 lbs, and was clearly physically weak and in pain, Messner maintained the kindness, humor, and wit that had always been her trademark. She expressed happiness that her close relationship with God removed almost all of her fear about approaching death. The next morning, Messner passed away in her home, in the company of her family. Her ashes were interred the next day in a small ceremony, and Messner's many fans mourned and celebrated her by oft-quoting something she had said about her battle with cancer, hoping it could help inspire others: "Don't

Highest Rated Movies



86% The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • Actor


No Score Yet The Drew Carey Show
  • Tammy Bobek Mrs. Bobeck
  • 1999
  • 1996
76% Roseanne
  • Make-up Artist
  • 1996

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