Hard to believe, but it’s the 13th anniversary of the release of the WOW’s 2005 docuseries Tammy Faye: Death Defying – which followed the beloved former televangelist Tammy Faye Mesner as she heroically battled the Big C.
Wrote Variety at the time it aired:
Diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, Tammy Faye has to face her fear of chemotherapy — which she watched a close friend painfully withstand and then die anyway. She buckles down and commences a course of that treatment, noting every side-effect while dabbling in alternative therapies (acupuncture, yoga), and generally behaving like a country-fried Zsa Zsa Gabor. (Shopping for healthier foods, she fails to recognize most vegetables.) With her burgundy-dyed hair and shocking pink ensembles, Tammy Faye looks more like a punk rock grandma than ever. She is indeed amusing company, and generally a good sport, though, natch, many tears are spilled.
Make that many, MANY tears. She was without a doubt one of the most sweetest, kindest, most fascinating people we have ever had the pleasure of working with and her death has left a hole in so many hearts here at WOW.
Watch the trailer below…
And watch it now in its entirety on our streaming network WOW Presents Plus. And while you’re there: Check out original series from Valentina, Detox, and Bob the Drag Queen, as well as an award-winning lineup of films, docs, drag, and LGBT shows!
Tammy Faye: Death Defying was a Women’s Entertainment/World of Wonder Inc. production. Produced by Chris McKim, Alicia Gargaro. Executive producers, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Rosanne Lopopolo. Directed by Chris McKim.
We should note here, too, that Death Defying producer/director Chris McKim is currently hard at work on a documentary about David Wojnarowicz – the prolific painter, photographer, mixed-media artist, writer, Super-8 filmmaker, performance artist, and outspoken AIDS activist who captivated the art world until his death in 1992 at age 37.
According to the RealScreen announcement, the doc
“will provide unprecedented access into the New York-based artist’s archives and, with the full cooperation of his estate, will offer an intimate look at his life and career throughout the 1970s and 1980s.”
The documentary will feature Wojnarowicz’s collection of journals, letters, recordings and films, while also presenting interviews with his closest collaborators, friends and lovers.
Says WOW in a statement:
“The documentary is exceptionally timely in today’s political landscape, from police brutality, gun control debates, the fight for healthcare, immigration, equality and diversity – David’s work is as relevant today as it was in his time. The film will examine these issues through that work and add his voice to the resistance.”