There are many shows on TV cutting across a lot of genres and achieving different levels of success. However, one that is still highly regarded today is Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters. It was a success in more ways than one. It was built around three sisters – Barbara, Louise, and Irlene Mandrell – who have left great marks on country music both as individuals and as a group.
Although the show only lasted for two years when it debuted in 1980, many still found it important judging by the millions of viewers it attracted in its short lifespan. At its best period, the show was attracting more than 40 million viewers each week which by any standard was a very high number. In fact, the NBC show is regarded as the last successful variety show.
Unfortunately, the show came to a sudden end after only two seasons to the surprise of many. The reason behind its abrupt end was as a result of a vocal strain suffered by Barbara which was a result of stress. She was advised by her doctor to end the show and she did just that. Many years later, here is a look at the cast members of the show that aired 35 episodes.
Cast Members Later Endeavors After The Show Ended
1. Barbara Mandrell
The most important cast member of the Variety show, Barbara was one of the hosts of the show and the oldest of the three sisters in the cast. Based on available reports, the show came to an unfortunate end as a result of the problem she had with her voice.
Long before the start of the show, she was already married and had two kids before giving birth to the third, Nathaniel Mandrell Dudney in 1985. Having had a very successful music career, she finally retired from active music in 1999. She now lives with her husband whom she has been married to for more than five decades. The two spend most of their time traveling.
She hardly performs music in public because as claimed, she has already sold all the things she needs for performance. According to her, she decided to sell everything she has that may lure her back to music because she was not interested in any temptation. The only time she now performs is in church sitting on the pew with the congregation.
2. Louise Mandrell
Just like her older sister, Louise was also a host on the show from 1980, when it first began, until 1982 after the last episode was aired. More than that, she also enjoys a very good and successful career as a country singer.
Born Thelma Louise Mandrell in 1954, the second of the sisters is still into music and has already spent more than 4 decades as an entertainer. That said, she is not as successful as her older sister who at a point, changed the way country music was written mostly for women.
In her personal life, she has gone through three divorces but is now married to John Haywood whom she married in 1993. Her first husband was Ronald Shaw from 1971 to 1973, and then Gary Lamar Buck from 1975 to 1978, and then R.C Bannon from 1979 to 1991.
3. Irlene Mandrell
The last of the show’s cast is the youngest of the 3, Irlene Mandrell. She appeared on the show as a host as well and was there from the moment it started until it came to an untimely demise.
While also a country singer like her sisters, she has also been involved in other careers including modeling and acting.
While Barbara has continued to stay away from the public, Irlene, on the other hand, has continued with her singing career among other things. In 2015, she released her first single.
Following her failed marriage to Rick Boyer, she gave marriage a shot again with Rob Pincus from 1994 to 2004 but again, things didn’t work out. Irlene then got married to Patrick Holt in 2015.
Other Cast Members Of The Variety Show
Even though the three sisters are the main cast of the variety TV show, it also had others such as Ray Stevens and John Schneider who appeared in two episodes. Country stars such as Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, and many others all made guest appearances.