There are more than a few women in history who have received way less credit than they deserve, but Tammy Faye Messner (formerly Tammy Faye Bakker) is finally getting her flowers in a new biopic. The Eyes of Tammy Faye premiered in theaters on Friday, Sept. 17, and it gives fans a glimpse into the life of Jim Bakker’s beloved wife, who died of cancer in 20017.
During her marriage to Jim Bakker, the two generated millions of dollars by way of their CBN series, the PTL Club. Their lives took an abrupt turn after Jim was accused of rape, fraud, and conspiracy. Jim Bakker was later sentenced to time in prison while his wife and kids were left to bear the embarrassment of his crimes. Here's more info on Tammy Faye's children.
How many kids did Tammy Faye Bakker have?
Together, Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker shared two children — Jamie Charles "Jay" Bakker, and Tammy Sue Bakker. Tammy Faye went on to remarry Roe Messner in 1993, but the two did not have any children together.
Jay struggled with substance abuse after his father’s arrest and subsequent ostracization from the church, but he later became a co-founder of the Revolution church, which now has several campuses across the U.S.
In the past, Jay, who claims to have had a “really strange life,” has been candid about his traumatic upbringing, which is depicted in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. According to Jay, he believed that his mother was much different from the person the media made her out to be. “She was very aware [of their criticism], but she always loved people. Even when they were mean, she loved them,” Tammy’s son told Vanity Fair.
While Jay seems to have followed in his father’s footsteps (at least as far as his career is concerned), the couple's daughter, Tammy Sue, has stayed out of the spotlight for the last 17 years. In a candid interview with TODAY, Tammy Faye’s daughter opened up about what she misses most about her mother more than a decade after the latter's death, including the songs she would sing to Tammy Sue as a child.
“I loved hearing that voice. It was almost like this 1940s gorgeous thing that she would do, and I would beg her, 'Please record that.' Sadly, she never did. There's just so many wonderful things that I wish the world could know about her,” Tammy Sue said of her late mother.
Tammy Faye Bakker’s final interview was shot days before her death.
Tammy Faye was well-known for her gaudy jewelry and eccentric makeup, but she looked much different during her appearance on Larry King Live on July 18, 2017. Many were aware that Tammy Faye had been diagnosed with colon cancer in 1996, but the severity of her illness was made clear during her interview.
In her final chat with Larry King, Tammy remained adamant about her faith in God and insisted that the gates of heaven would be waiting on her when she arrived.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye premiered in theaters on Sept. 17, 2021.