The Truth About Terry Bradshaw's Ex-Wives

Terry Bradshaw's booming personality is a testament to a life well-lived. He's a living legend, regarded as one of the NFL's best quarterbacks ever. He led the Pittsburgh Steelers to a whopping four Super Bowl wins over six seasons and was crowned MVP two of those times.

After his illustrious NFL career, he moved on to sportscasting. Terry's become one of the biggest figures in sports and entertainment altogether, appearing in movies and on TV. He's even got his own reality show, The Bradshaw Bunch, on E! The show follows Terry, his three daughters, and his wife, Tammy Bradshaw.

Tammy isn't Terry's first love, however, and definitely not his first wife. Terry has experienced his fair share of heartbreak, having gone through three failed marriages before getting it right with Tammy. It's hard to deny that Terry and Tammy seem meant to be, but many are curious about what his earlier relationships were like. Who were Terry Bradshaw's first three wives?

The least is known about Terry Bradshaw's first wife

Terry Bradshaw was early in his NFL career when he married Melissa Babish in 1972. Melissa was a high-profile figure herself as Miss Teenage America 1969. The two were married for just one year. Terry's made a lot of jokes about divorce over the years, but he's never spoken about Melissa or what their marriage was like. He has, however, spoken about their split. "I felt a lot of guilt over the divorce," he revealed to Sports Illustrated, noting that he "pulled away" from religion. He shared that he was "moody and depressed" at the time, noting, "I drank and hustled women in bars — a total jerk having a ball. I have never enjoyed those things. I'd been a devout Christian for so long, getting away from it affected me mentally."

Three years after he and Melissa split, Terry found love again. He married a fellow athlete, Olympic figure skater Alicia "JoJo" Starbuck, in 1976. Their relationship was also pretty private, a background detail to Terry's career. Their marriage lasted seven years until their split in 1983.

To the Chicago Tribune, Terry called his first marriage a "terribly immature decision." He described his second marriage as "pain," explaining, "I loved her, but she didn't love me."

He had kids with his third wife

Terry Bradshaw didn't give up on love. In fact, he married his next wife the very same year that he split from JoJo Starbuck. Charla Hopkins was a law student at the time, as the Los Angeles Times noted, and would go on to become a family attorney. This time, it felt like something that could last. "I met her when she was 19, but I thought she was 22,” Terry told the Chicago Tribune. ”We dated four years, and I put her through the grind. We broke up and then got back together. I had been afraid she really didn't love me. Once I realized this was the real thing, it was wonderful."

During their marriage, Terry and Charla started a family. They welcomed two daughters. Rachel Bradshaw was born in 1987. Erin Bradshaw was born in 1992.

Charla and Terry had been married 16 years when they split in 1999. That third failed attempt at love was hard on Terry. "I could not bounce back from my divorce — emotionally — I just could not bounce back," he told USA Today in a candid 2004 interview.

Terry was determined for things to be different with Tammy

"With any bad situations I'd experienced before — a bad game or my two previous divorces — I got over them," he continued. "This time I just could not get out of the hole. The anxiety attacks were frequent and extensive ... I couldn't stop crying ... I was angry, bitter, hateful, and mean-spirited. I couldn't sleep — couldn't concentrate. It just got crazy."

Terry decided to get help. Around that same time, he met Tammy. They took things slow, which ended up working for both of them. "We dated 13 years, never lived together. [We were both] coming out of bad divorces and when I was getting close to her, I'd run and hide for six weeks, then come running back," he admitted to Closer Weekly. "I said, 'There's nobody getting their hands around my heart again.' I fought her for 13 years, and to her credit, not one time ever did she ever say, 'Where's this going?'"

Then one day, he just knew. "I passed her in the hallway and said, 'Oh listen, we're getting married Tuesday in Hawaii,'" he recalled. "She said OK and we kept going. We get there and she said, 'If you're serious, we need to get a license.' So we got one. I'd already called my preacher. It was fun!" Their love is still going strong.