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'The Surreal Life' housemate Tammy Faye Messner dead from cancer


UPI News Service, 07/21/2007 

Former U.S. televangelist and Christian singer Tammy Faye Messner has died of cancer at age 65, CNN reported Saturday.

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Messner, who battled drug addiction and scandals involving her former husband, televangelist Jim Bakker, died Friday. CNN's Larry King announced the death Saturday, saying the family had asked him to delay the announcement.

"She died peacefully," King said.

CNN did not report where Messner died.

Messner had been a guest on "Larry King Live" Thursday. She said she could no longer swallow food, and weighed just 65 pounds.

Messner was known to millions of viewers as Tammy Faye Bakker when she and Jim Bakker starred on the now-defunct Christian PTL Network. Viewers regularly saw her break into tears, causing her heavy mascara to run.

She and Jim Bakker were divorced after 30 years of marriage, after he was caught up in a financial and sex scandal that landed him in prison. In 1993, she married Christian construction magnate and former PTL contractor Roe Messner.

Born Tammy Faye LaValley, March 7, 1942, in International Falls, Minn., Tammy Faye Messner underwent surgery for colon cancer in 1996. She disclosed in 2004 the disease had spread to her lungs and announced in May she and her doctors had stopped trying to treat her cancer.


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Copyright 2007 by United Press International











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