Deborah Mays Is an Actress and Joe Namath's Ex-wife: More about Her (2024)

Deborah Mays and Joe Namath first crossed paths at a voice class. What started as a simple friendship materialized into something special, and the two shared a life for over a decade.

Advertisem*nt

When Mays met Joe, he was a successful high-profile celebrity who had dominated the sports industry and was popular for playing the quarterback position in the NFL for 13 seasons. On the other hand, Mays was just an aspiring actress trying to make a name for herself in Hollywood.

Despite their age difference, the two beat all odds and exchanged vows. The duo welcomed their first child two years after their wedding, and their second child was born in 1986. But after 14 years, the couple called it quits. Mays, who left Joe for another man, said she felt bored during their marriage and wanted to spice up her life.

Deborah Mays Is an Actress and Joe Namath's Ex-wife: More about Her (1)

Former NFL quarterback Joe Namath and his ex-wife Deborah Mays pose for a photo at an undisclosed location during the 1980's. | Source: Getty Images

Deborah Mays Changed Her Name after a Cousin's Death

Deborah Mays was born in September 1964 but changed her name to Tatiana after her namesake cousin was murdered. She is Joe's former wife; the two met in 1983 at a voice class and started dating before tying the knot on November 7, 1984.

Advertisem*nt

Even though their marriage didn't last a lifetime, the duo stayed married for 14 years before going their separate ways. During their time together, the pair was blessed with two children. While her ex-husband has an established name in the sports world, Mays chose a career in the entertainment industry and has acting credits on IMDb.

She is famously known for her role in the 1981 comedy-drama series "The Greatest American Hero." Though the series first aired in 1981, Mays made her first appearance in 1983, where she played Tammy for five episodes.

Deborah Mays Is an Actress and Joe Namath's Ex-wife: More about Her (2)

Joe Namath and Deborah Mays attending State Dinner on April 17,1985, at the White House in Washington, D.C. | Source: Getty Images

Deborah Mays Is the Mother of Joe Namath's Two Daughters

Mays and Joe share two daughters: Jessica Grace Namath and Olivia Rose Namath, named after her grandmother. Jessica, born in 1986, followed in her dad's footsteps and studied at the University of Alabama, where she joined a sorority.

Advertisem*nt

According to Deborah Mays, she wanted a more exciting and energizing life. She said Joe already lived a stimulating and fun life, so he wanted to relax.

The former couple's second child, Olivia, was born in 1991. Though little is known about Olivia, in 2010, she was allegedly arrested by cops for illegal possession of drugs. Also, in 2007, the family made headlines after it was reported that Olivia welcomed her first child at 16.

Deborah Mays Is an Actress and Joe Namath's Ex-wife: More about Her (3)

Joe Namath and ex-wife Deborah Mays on September 19, 1986, at Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Deborah Mays Helped Joe Namath Get Sober Back in 1987

Even though Joe was a celebrated athlete with a successful football career, his life was far from perfect. He struggled a lot with alcoholism until he settled down. Mays played a massive role in helping Joe get sober. Luckily, her efforts bore fruits, and through discipline, Joe became sober from 1987 to 1999.

Advertisem*nt

During that period, he had both his knees which had bothered him for decades, replaced through a surgical procedure. Joe also became a devoted father to his two daughters. However, in 1998, things went south when Mays left him for a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.

Joe returned to his drinking habits to keep his pain away, forgetting his responsibilities as a father. During the 35th anniversary of Super Bowl III, Joe's life changed, and he quit drinking in January 2004. He registered in rehab and began attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to help him battle depression.

Deborah Mays Is an Actress and Joe Namath's Ex-wife: More about Her (4)

Joe Namath and his ex-wife Deborah Mays arrive at the American Cinematheque Awards in Los Angeles, California circa 1980s. | Source: Getty Images

After fighting depression and alcoholism, the celebrated footballer soon found light at the end of the tunnel. Despite his flaws, his daughters still loved him, and his teammates and fans wanted to see him. Even though the endorsem*nts weren't coming in, for the first time in years, Joe could smile at himself in the mirror and feel good.

Advertisem*nt

Mays and Namath Got Divorced and She Left Their Daughters with Him

After 14 years of staying married, Mays and Joe called it quits in 1999. Based on reports, Mays left him and their two daughters for a Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon. For that reason, Joe filed for divorce in Broward County Court, requesting the judge to make him the primary residential parent of Olivia and Jessica.

According to divorce documents, the Golden Globe Award winner alleged that Mays had abandoned her residency in Florida, leaving behind two children, Jessica, who was 13 years old at the time, and Olivia, who was eight.

Read also

Every Day Little Boy Comes Home from School in Tears until His Father Shows up in His Classroom – Story of the Day
Doctor Raises Triplets after Mother Dies in Labor, in 5 Years Their Bio Dad Appears — Story of the Day
Wealthy Girl Meets Her Ex Begging on the Street – Story of the Day
Deborah Mays Is an Actress and Joe Namath's Ex-wife: More about Her (5)

Joe Namath and daughters Jessica Grace and Olivia Rose at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 14, 2010, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

According to the divorce documents, even though Mays had left the kids, she occasionally visited them. On the other hand, Mays also didn't mind Joe taking full custody of the children. She stated that despite her and Joe staying together for years and having children, she felt the marriage wasn't working for her.

Advertisem*nt

While giving her reason for divorce, Mays said that during her marriage with Joe, she felt bored and that their 19-year age difference might have played a role in the breakup. According to Deborah Mays, she wanted a more exciting and energizing life. She said Joe already lived a stimulating and fun life, so he wanted to relax.

The mother of two, who had fallen in love with plastic surgeon Brian Novack at the time, said her partner was sensitive and different from Joe. Though Joe's personal life is far from perfect, he is regarded among the best footballers of all time who played the quarterback position. Others include Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, among others.

Advertisem*nt

Deborah Mays Is an Actress and Joe Namath's Ex-wife: More about Her (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arielle Torp

Last Updated:

Views: 5540

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arielle Torp

Birthday: 1997-09-20

Address: 87313 Erdman Vista, North Dustinborough, WA 37563

Phone: +97216742823598

Job: Central Technology Officer

Hobby: Taekwondo, Macrame, Foreign language learning, Kite flying, Cooking, Skiing, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Arielle Torp, I am a comfortable, kind, zealous, lovely, jolly, colorful, adventurous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.