Tammy Faye Messner, Gravely Ill, Appears on Larry King

At just 65 pounds and fighting through the final stages of lung cancer, Tammy Faye Messner appears on Larry King. She hasn’t let go of her optimism.

This is a strong, courageous woman. God bless her.

The full interview airs tonight.

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  1. joeyjoey73 says

    I saw this last night and it was heartbreaking. Regardless of her past indiscretions (or lapses in judgement, re: makeup application), my heart goes out to her and her family. I hope she is able to spend whatever time she has left in comfort and peace.

  2. mike says

    Tammy has ALWAYS supported the gay community. I wish her and her family much strength and compfort during this difficult time.

  3. kuros says

    dont ask why but i watch the new jim bakker show (tammys former husband) and I have never seen him even mention his former wifes plight with cancer

  4. anon (gmail.com) says

    I can’t imagine what she thought she was accomplishing by going on LKL. This was sort of Make-A-Wish for her I suppose… One last time in the spotlight. Now she can die in peace knowing she’s still famous. I suppose one earns the privilege of selfishness when dying, but this still fosters the perverse notion of a privileged class in this society that is granted everything they want.

  5. peterparker says

    I feel so bad for her. Clearly, death is near. I hope she goes peacefully and without pain.

  6. Michael W. says

    I’m currently in nursing school and I’m worried that my disbelief in God will make it hard for me to comfort dying patients but after seeing how brave Tammy is in the face of death, I don’t think I could ever acknowledge to her that I don’t think there is God. I’m figuring out that if there is one bright spot to religion or faith in a higher power, is that it can be comforting to the sick and dying to think there is something better after you die. Watching her brought tears to my eyes…

  7. Brian says

    Tammy Faye has always been supportive of our community, even when everyone around her was not. She raised her children to respect GLBT people, and has been quite a wonderful example of being 100% herself, 100% of the time, no matter how weird or silly or bizarre people thought she was. We could all learn a little something from that, I think. It’s also important to see that people with terminal illness are fully and wonderfully human, and that they’re not just a diagnosis.

    I for one am pulling for her. She’s one in a million.

  8. Howard says

    Bingo, Brian. Tammy Faye Baker (as I remember her) is a pop culture icon and I did not detect any need for one last stab at celebrity in her LK interview. I cried when I saw her. In her face was the suffering of so many of my female friends who had a similar strength and dignity when facing imminent death. She has a multitude of friends, admirers and even sometime critics (the makeup issue!) who love her, admire her, and wish her well. I am one of them.

  9. RB says

    She is very brave! My wish is that her pain will end and she will be at peace. She was clearly on our side and has never waivered in her faith. God bless!

  10. psgoodguy says

    a few years back i went to see “the eyes of tammy faye” here in palm springs. it was a late show and only about 6 people were in the theatre. i stayed thru the credits and got up to leave and there was the ole gal herself sitting in her chair and crying. we were the only ones left in the theatre. i stopped and asked if she was ok and offered one of my unused popcorn napkins. we chatted a while and i walked her to her car in the parking garage.

    she was very sweet. she seemed moderately drugged or drunk. the mascarra i’ve always seen her wear is not a theatrical exaggeration.

    tammy faye was the FIRST christian TV “personality” to not only preach tolerance toward gay people but also advocated for people living with AIDS…to the point of having them appear on her show to tell their side of the story.

    i’m as rabid an anti-Xtian as it gets but tammy faye is one bible thumper who will always have a place in my heart.

    go in peace, dear.

  11. says

    I have no doubt that there is a place for all of us “up there,” although I have no idea what it looks like or who runs the place. I don’t know if I could believe it, though, if I had the life Tammy Faye’s had.

    We all gotta go, though, and I certainly don’t think it can hurt us to try to live positive lives, and whatever you say about Tammy Faye, I really believe she’s had everyone’s best interests at heart always, and not just her own.

    Blessings on her.

  12. kent okc says

    my thoughts are with Tammy Faye. She has had a long battle with cancer but as maintained a positive outlook. Her support of the gay community is from the support they have given her through out the year. So with love to Tammy Fay from Kent

  13. domo says

    I’m sure a video of her last breath will be released not long after she dies. She’s a fame whore, pure and simple. But she does have a lot of strength in that vein. I’m not sure its a lesson we can learn from, but it is a lesson, nonetheless. I pity her and this last stand for attention.

  14. says

    what a hard thing to watch. definitely heartbreaking. i cant believe its only been 3 years since she’s been on vh1’s surreal life.. so much change. i hope she enjoys her last days, weeks and/or months of life as much as she possibly can.

  15. Malibu Boy says

    I pity people who think Tammy Faye is a fame whore and attention seeker. What she’s doing is putting a face on the reality of death while living her own authentic faith. I learned a great lesson from her attention-seeking stint on Surreal Life – mainly that carrying grudges and hurt feelings around all the time without letting them go is akin to strapping a dead person on your back and having that weigh you down the rest of your life. In the end she did good with her life.

  16. JLS says

    @MICHAEL W.. We can be comforted in death as nonbelievers by the following Mark Twain quote:

    “I do not fear death. For I have been dead for many billions of years before I was ever alive, and I didn’t mind it then.”

  17. Rey says

    That poor sweetheart. I am hoping the rest of her time on this Earth is pain-free and that she slips away peacefully.

    I would love to live in a world populated by Christians like her.

  18. Dathan says

    Well she obviously doesn’t have an entourage advising her not to appear in public. I can remember Christians and comedians mocking her when she said she believed God loved homosexuals. We don’t like to see death so close at hand. God is with her and still giving her strength to go on. May her daily needs be met whether morphine, cheeseburgers, or chicken soup. God bless the eyes of Tammy Faye.

  19. mark m says

    I guess when confronted by the spectre of death, some people’s best reaction is to be cynical.

    Do what you must to survive boys. I hope people are kinder to you when you’re about to check out of the life hotel…

    …if there’s even anyone around left to care.

  20. Bill H says

    Wow, here I was about to go on the offensive for Tammy Faye with regards to Domo’s post, but Mark M, you said it better than I EVER could. Thanks!

    Tammy Faye is the truest example of someone of faith who can accept and not judge. She really follows the words that we attribute to Jesus, and to the letter.

    The world is about to lose a small, but very love-filled, positive heart. And that void will remain so for a very long time.

    May the angels carry you to heaven on their wings, Tammy Faye!

  21. JLS says

    While the thought of “angels carrying us to heaven on their wings” may be comforting to some, that certainly doesn’t make it true (as the case with any religion – just because something is “nice” to believe doesn’t make it true).

    Death happens, it is part of life. It happens to us all, I don’t need to imagine fantasies in order to deal with that fact. If it makes me bad or cold because I’m more willing to accept this than the credulous majority in this country, so be it.

    I am sorry that anyone should suffer cancer. But there is no god here, don’t waste time trying to find meaning in her suffering. What “god” would allow this, unless he’s a sadist? God works in mysterious ways huh? Yes, that is a silly rationalization for people trying to hang on to their faith. Wake up.

    Let me once more restate I am sorry that she has to suffer.

  22. Cory says

    I haven’t read the comments (and I’m not going to as I can only imagine how horrible some of these queens might get with this topic) but this makes me so sad. Say what you will of Tammy Faye, but she has a good heart AND went out of her way in opening her mind to homosexuality, and learning to understand it and accept it with open arms.

    When I first heard she was ill I thought she would beat it, and I haven’t even watched this video (I can’t bring myself to, the opening image looks so terribly disturbing), but my heart sank when I read the title. I hope she passes peacefully and if there is a God and heaven, that she gets V.I.P. access. God bless!


  23. Becks07 says

    Bless you, Tammy. I have many fond memories of watching “Tammy’s House Party” when I was home sick from school and as soon as I get a turntable I will play one of the records I have of yours. I hope you don’t suffer much more and that the heaven you believe in is there for you when you leave our earth.

  24. the queen says

    Goodness gracious! I caught her while flipping through channels and had to flick it off. Is there no dignity in death anymore? This poor woman should be at home with friends and family not parading herself on TV. Media whores even in death, what has this country come to?

  25. Bobby says

    I feel so bad and seeing her on TV makes it worse. I think I fell in love with her during that reality show she was on and you could see the real her.

    I think she has a great reward waiting for her on the other side.


  26. ggreen says

    I had to stop watching because I felt so bad for Tammy Faye. Larry King is such a complete asshole the way he softballs questions to corrupt politicos and with Tammy he asks, repeatedly, stupid painful to answer questions. “Are you in pain all the time? Where does it hurt? Where exactly is the cancer located? Why do you want to be cremated? Are you scared of dying? Do you think you’ll go to heaven?”

  27. Keith says

    It seems as though no matter how many times I read this website, I am always disgusted by some of the repugnant and purely cynical comments I read.

    Tammy Faye Baker will be remembered for her evangelist past, but more importantly, for her uniting impact, acceptance and advocacy of understanding all people, including those in the gay community. It broke my heart to witness the how much cancer has devasted her mind and her body, but her spirit is still as passionate, resilient and inspiring as ever.

    To everyone who posted comments in regard to her and her husband seeking one last attempt at media glory, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Who are you to make such bitter declarations about her? Not once has she blamed anyone for having the disease; she has consistently thanked everyone for their support. In fact, she even thanked the gay community during the interview! And what makes anyone here an authority on matters regarding her religion and faith? If only half of you had as much passion for doing something benevolent in the name of humanity, the world would be liberated from so much hostility.

    This is only the third comment I have ever posted on this site, to my recollection. I hope it isn’t my last.

  28. Fab says

    She truly is a great human being!Her passion and courage is amazing! God Bless her Heart!

  29. dj says

    god’s speed…no pain please
    you desreve all the peace we can muster
    you live and die in love…
    and we are with you though.

  30. dj says

    god’s speed…no pain please
    you desereve all the peace we can muster
    you live and die in love…
    and we are with you though.

  31. Jordan says

    That was totally heartbreaking. And for Jim Bakker to not offer his support publicly during this time is unforgiveable.

    I wonder where all her Christian friends are now?(the two-faced, hypocritical ones who kicked her to the curb)…I guess they are like the Religious Right…..just for show.

    She really is a shining example of what it must be to be a “true” Christian. But I too have doubts of there even being a god….how could a god let such needless suffering take place? And not just her, but on a worldwide scale throughout history?

    I too hope she doesn’t suffer much longer and is at peace. She seems like a sweet, gentle person that didn’t deserve such suffering. If there IS a god, he really IS a sadist, and isn’t that different than Lucifer if you ask me.

  32. says

    I haven’t watched the whole interview; I’ve only seen clips. My own mother is dying of lung and breast cancers right now. My mom can’t keep food down, either, and I know exactly what Tammy was talking about when she said she was craving a burger and fries.

    I don’t think Tammy is a media/fame whore. I think most people who criticize her television appearance do so because of their own discomfort. I see merit in her appearance on LKL. I think if my mom had seen that interview, she would have found comfort in Tammy’s visible faith.

    I am an atheist, but I believe whatever reality one conceives for themselves can have the power to get them through their darkest days. My sister finds comfort in her belief that our mother will go to heaven. I find comfort in believing that my mom’s energy will be released into the world…my world, and that I will see her her beauty in the things around me. Two very divergent beliefs; both of which help us face her illness with hope.

  33. mark m says

    Thank you Chris for illustrating that compassion and atheism aren’t mutually exclusive. Now if only all atheists could learn from your example.

  34. peterparker says

    I’ve just seen cnn.com and they are reported that Tammy Faye Messner died Friday morning. I hope her death was as free of pain and struggle as possible. And I hope she has found peace. She certainly deserves it.

    Goodbye, Tammy Faye and thank you for your kindness while you were here on earth.