Known since her remarriage
as Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, she'll always be Tammy Faye Bakker, or just Tammy Faye, to most of us. She was most famous for her role as Jim Bakker
's wife and co-host on the PTL Club
*, a show on the Christian broadcasting network
that was always asking for money. Oh, and they also had (it still exists! I've been there!) Heritage USA
, a Christian theme park in North Carolina
, which was for a while the third most popular amusement destination in the country (after Disney World
The empire crumbled in the late 80s. First, Jim Bakker confessed to having an affair with Jessica Hahn. Soon after, he was tried and sentenced to 45 years in prison (he actually served five) for financial fraud. Tammy Faye, already a pretty comic character, was now one of those jokes that EVERYONE tells over and over again. Think Monica Lewinsky.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the makeup! This is Tammy Faye's trademark: She wears so much makeup she looks like a circus freak or a very campy drag queen. A t-shirt popular at the time of the scandal was smeared all over with makeup and read "I ran into Tammy Faye at the mall."
I find it bizarre that there is about to be a documentary film about Tammy Faye out in theatres: The Eyes of Tammy Faye. I can't wait.
*Praise The Lord or People That Love, a.k.a. Pass The Loot. There were so many of these witticisms during the scandal but I can only remember the one.