The many wives of Jerry Lee Lewis: From bigamy to marrying his 13-year-old cousin, the icon is ALIVE!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Rock and Roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis has been a force to reckon with in the music industry, having been dubbed "one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century." Lewis, 87, recently suffered a health scare with false rumors of his death getting wide circulation. Still, it is his love life that raises eyebrows owing to the sheer number of times he's been married.
The 87-year-old has been married a whopping seven times, with the most infamous being his wedding with Myra Gale Brown in 1957. The then-22-year-old Lewis made headlines for marrying his underage cousin, who was 13 years old at the time - a decision that jeopardized his career and musical aspirations.
Amidst his very busy love life, Lewis first tied the knot with Dorothy Barton as a 16-year-old. The young love soon gave way and the marriage lasted only 20 months, with the couple divorcing in 1953. His next wedding was with Jane Mitchum, often questioned for its validity owing to the fact that his divorce with Barton may not have been finalized. With Mitchum, Lewis shared two children, before the couple parted ways in 1957.
After his first two short-lived marriages, the pianist made the scandalous decision to marry his underage cousin Myra in 1957. This heralded the most controversial period of his love life as Lewis was 22 and Brown was 13. In fact, his divorce from his ex-wife had not yet been finalized so he remarried Brown in 1958. This was also the period when Elvis Presley was dating a 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu Lewis, whom he would later marry. Lewis and Brown had two children, Phoebe and Steve, and the marriage lasted over a decade, with Brown filing for divorce in 1970 on the grounds of adultery and abuse, reports Entertainment Weekly.
Lewis's fourth and fifth marriages ended in tragedy. He tied the knot with Jaren Elizabeth Gunn Pate in 1971. The couple was together for several years, but divorce proceedings were underway when she suddenly drowned in her friend's swimming pool on June 8, 1982, weeks before the divorce could be finalized, reports The US Sun. His next marriage to Shawn Stephens ended mere months later upon her death. Following this, 'The Killer' as Lewis was dubbed for his dynamic role in Rock n' Roll, decided to marry a sixth time, this time to Kerrie McCarver. Their marriage lasted 21 years, during which they had one child, Jerry Lee Lewis III. However, the duo separated in 2005.
After six marriages in quick succession, the 'Great Balls of Fire' singer waited seven years before tying the knot again. This time, he found love in the form of Judith Brown whom he married in 2012. Notably, this was not Brown's first marriage either. She had earlier been married to Lewis' cousin Rusty, the brother of Lewis' third wife, Myra Gale Brown. Despite his tumultuous love life, the couple has been going strong for the last decade.