View Full Version : Rest In Peace, Tammy Faye

07-21-2007, 08:45 PM
I am very sadden to hear this..

CNN) -- Tammy Faye Messner, the former televangelist and Christian singer who battled drug addiction and later inoperable cancer, died Friday morning, according to CNN's Larry King on Saturday night. He said the family had asked him to make the delayed announcement.
She was 65.

"She died peacefully," King said.

Messner was a guest on "Larry King Live" on Thursday. She said she couldn't swallow food, and weighed only 65 pounds.

King asked her Thursday if she were "a little scared?"

She responded, "A little bit," adding that she mainly worried about her family.

She made dramatic appearances on the now-defunct, Christian PTL Network she started with then-husband Jim Bakker, its host. Before millions of viewers, she would often break into tears, prompting her trademark heavy mascara to run.

After divorcing Bakker, who became steeped in money and sex scandals, she married Christian construction magnate and former PTL contractor Roe Messner in 1993. Tammy Faye was married to Bakker more than 30 years.

She underwent surgery for colon cancer in 1996. In 2004, she revealed that the disease had spread to her lungs, and in May 2007 she announced that her doctors had stopped trying to treating the illness.

In her appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live," Tammy Faye Messner was a shadow of her former self.

"I believe when I leave this Earth, because I love the Lord, I am going straight to heaven," she said.

King said she had sought the interview.

She told King she was bedridden most of the time, had trouble swallowing food -- hence the weight loss -- and was in near-constant pain.

But her sense of humor was still intact. On her Web site, she wrote on Monday, "I crave hamburgers and french fries with LOTS of ketchup! When I can eat that again, it will be a day of victory!"

Asked by King what she would most like to be remembered for, Messner replied, "well, my eyelashes." Messner wore heavy makeup -- her lip liner, eyeliner and eyebrows were tattooed on.

Born Tammy Faye LaValley in International Falls, Minnesota, she married Bakker in 1961. From 1966 to 1973, the Bakkers co-hosted "The 700 Club," on the Christian Broadcasting Network, founded by television evangelist and Christian Coalition founder the Rev. Pat Robertson.

They began the PTL Club -- with the initials standing for "Praise The Lord" or "People That Love" -- in 1974 and later expanded it into a television network. At the height of its popularity, PTL was bringing in revenues of more than $128 million annually and was carried on more than 1,300 cable systems with more than 12 million subscribers.

In 1978, the Heritage USA theme park opened at the network's headquarters in Fort Mill, S.C. The Heritage USA Grand Hotel was added in 1984 and a water park in 1986. That year, more than 6 million people visited the park, making it the nation's third most popular attraction after Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

On March 19, 1987, Jim Bakker resigned from the PTL in the face of a scandal involving an affair seven years earlier with Jessica Hahn, a secretary he paid to keep quiet. Hahn received a one-time $115,000 payment and monthly interest payments from a $150,000 trust fund.

The following month, PTL filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Also in 1987, Tammy Faye Bakker was treated at the Betty Ford Center for prescription drug addiction.

And in December 1988, Jim Bakker was indicted for fraud and conspiring to defraud churchgoers of $158 million. Tammy Faye Bakker was not named in the indictment.

In 1989, Heritage USA and the Grand Hotel closed, and Jim Bakker was convicted of 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to 45 years in prison. Tammy Faye Bakker divorced him while he was incarcerated.

Asked in July what she would change in her life if she could, Tammy Faye replied, "I don't think about that, Larry, because that's just a waste of good brain space."

When King suggested that she might want to forget the PTL Club, she said, "I have gotten over that, thank God. That was a terrible, horribly bad experience."

The Bakkers' 30-year-old son, Jay, is a pastor who co-founded the Revolution Church in Brooklyn, N.Y. -- a church aimed at those who feel rejected by traditional approaches to Christianity, claiming on the church's Web site that he wrestled with religion after seeing the "excommunicative" treatment his parents experienced from the church following the scandal.

Tammy Faye has also been known as one of the few evangelical Christians who had the support of the gay community. She was one of the first televangelists to reach out to those with AIDS when it was a little-known and much-feared disease. In return, she told King in July, "When I went -- when we lost everything, it was the gay people that came to my rescue, and I will always love them for that."

She was able to bounce back after the PTL folded. In 1996, she co-hosted the "Jim J. and Tammy Faye Show" with gay actor Jim J. Bullock. In 2000, a documentary based on her life, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. And in 2003, she appeared on the WB network's reality show, "The Surreal Life."

Over her life, Tammy Faye also recorded more than 25 albums and wrote several books. In 1996, she wrote her autobiography, "Telling it My Way." She also wrote "Run to the Roar," a book about overcoming fear, and in 2003 wrote her last book, "I Will Survive, and You Will Too."

Despite her battle with cancer, Tammy Faye told King she kept her Christian faith, instructing her doctors not to tell her how much time they believed she had left. "I don't have any date written on me anywhere that says I'm going to die at any time, and so I just give it to the Lord," she said.

Asked if she had a message for her fans, she replied: "I'd like to say that I genuinely love you, and I genuinely care, and I genuinely want to see you in heaven some day. I want you to find peace. I want you to find joy."

07-21-2007, 08:48 PM
Rest in Peace Tammy Faye. :(

Daisy and Delilah
07-21-2007, 09:10 PM
Rest in Peace Tammy Faye :(

07-21-2007, 09:18 PM
Wow, Rest in Peace, Tammy Faye :(

07-22-2007, 06:41 AM
:( Wow. On Larry King Thursday and off to heaven on Friday. No more pain for you Tammy Faye. Now you will be able to eat that hamburger you wanted so much.

07-22-2007, 07:09 AM
I think like all of us, Tammy Faye made some mistakes in life, but she learned from them and was a good person, reaching out to others. Her singing always seemed to come from deep within her heart and to me was quite moving. I was impressed with how she regrouped her life after the scandal that surrounded her.

What touched me about the interview with Larry was when she said how she hoped to see us in Heaven one day. I think she wanted to thank the people who cared about her and did that interview although it must have taken her last bit of strength.

I do believe she now has the long awaited joy of meeting her Heavenly Father whom she sang about for so many years.

07-22-2007, 12:09 PM
RIP Tammy. You are pain free at last. Enjoy your hamburger!!!

07-22-2007, 12:12 PM
At long last her paind and suffering is over. You can't feel bad when someone like that passes on. She went through an intense amount of pain and suffering with such a horrible disease.... finally she is whole again and free of the pain and suffering that plagued her for so long.


07-22-2007, 01:07 PM
You could tell how much pain she was in, I was shocked when I saw her face! Poor woman....I sure hope she is in a much better place now.

07-22-2007, 03:23 PM
When I saw clips of her time on Larry King last week, I couldn't believe she even had the strength to go through it. Reading Pam's post about her last week made me start going back and doing some research on Heritage USA and its downfall. I never visited there and was surprised to read that at its prime, it was the 3rd most visited spot in the country. Wow.

Tammy Faye was an icon in many ways and I feel like she was always more loved than Jim Bakker ever was.


07-22-2007, 03:41 PM
I always enjoyed seeing her on Larry King. They had a very good rapport and I believe she felt safe with him as he never judged her for the things that happened in the past. It was fitting that her family asked him to make the announcement. I remember her once saying that she enjoyed shopping at T.J. Maxx and went out of her way to get things on sale. She grew up without much in the way of earthly things and I don't think she forgot that. Many of her interviews were very funny and she always made me (and Larry) laugh. I believe her sense of humor and faith in God is what got her through such tough times.

07-22-2007, 10:35 PM
Rest in Peace, Tammy Faye.