A Look Back at Beth Smith’s Marriage to Duane Chapman and Her Life as Dog The Bounty Hunter’s Wife

Beth Smith Chapman was an actress and producer born on the 29th of October 1967 in Denver, Colorado, United States of America. She made history in her state as the youngest bail bondswoman. Beth was able to attain this feat at the age of 29 but would be dethroned by her stepdaughter, Lyssa Chapman, who emerged as the youngest bounty hunter at the age of 19. Though she passed away in 2019, Beth would always be remembered as a bounty hunter who gave an insight into the profession through the reality TV shows she pulled off with her husband, Duane Chapman, from Dog and Beth: On the Hunt to Dog’s Most Wanted and Dog the Bounty Hunter.

More than being a bounty hunter and a reality TV star, Beth did other things: she worked as a waitress, clerk, nightclub singer, and was also a gymnast and ice skater. However, she was most famed as the wife of Duane “Dog” Chapman. Theirs was an interesting love story that witnessed three decades despite the several challenges they faced. From battling with substance abuse, health issues, and run-ins with the law, Beth and Dog supported and stood beside each other throughout their marriage. They had a massive age gap between them but it never got in the way of their relationship neither did it deter them from loving each other to the best of their abilities.

Beth Smith Was 14 Years Younger Than Dog and He Wasn’t Her First Husband

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Beth Chapman (@mrsdog4real)

Relationships like that of Beth Smith and Duane Chapman are why it is often expressed that the age gap between lovers is of no significance. The couple had a 14 years age gap between them, but it was never created any problem, or at least to the best of our knowledge. As stated earlier, Beth, who was named Alice Elizabeth Chapman, was one of the five children born to a Brach’s Candies salesman named Garry Smith, she joined his family in 1967, precisely on the 29th of October.

14 years earlier, on the 2nd of February 1953, her husband Dog was born to Wesley Duane and Barbara Darlene Chapman. Like his late wife, he was also born in Denver, Colorado. Beth Smith and Duane Chapman had a lot in common outside of their career. For instance, they had both been married and divorced before they became life partners. Dog wasn’t the first husband of Beth and she was only his fifth wife. Before Duane Chapman became her husband, Beth was married to Keith Alan Barmore. Nonetheless, the marriage barely lasted for three years as it began in 1991 and packed up in 1993. Dog might have been the reason the union failed as Beth was in love with him all through her time with Keith.

Duane has also lived through failed marriages. Before he got married to Beth, he was married to Tawney Marie who was his fourth wife, the union lasted from 1991 to 2002. The bounty hunter got married the first time to La Fonda Sue Honeycutt, this was in 1972 and they parted ways in 1977. About two years later (in 1979), he got married to Anne M. Tegnell and in 1982, they divorced. Dog’s next wife was Lyssa Rae Brittain. He got married to her the same year he divorced Anne but like the rest, the union came to an end in 1991, the same year he got married to his fourth wife, Tawney.

Who Was Her First Husband?

Beth Smith’s first husband is also a Denver Colorado native named Keith Alan Barmore. They got married in 1991 and parted ways in 1993, the same year Beth gave birth to their only child together, a daughter named Cecily.

Much isn’t known about the man but it is said that he was an irresponsible husband who physically abused Beth. What became of him after Beth walked out of the toxic marriage isn’t known, but there are reasons to suspect he didn’t involve himself in the upbringing of the daughter he had with Beth, she has Chapman as her legal surname.

Beth Met Dog In 1988 – He Was Married To His Third Wife At That Time

This is one of the facts that make Beth Smith and Duane Chapman’s love story an interesting tale. How did a man who had already been married thrice, and would go on to have his fourth marriage, end up having the teenager he met during his third marriage as his fifth wife? It’s not a complicated story as one might suspect: Beth and Duane were attracted to each other the first time they met, but it took them years before they officially became a couple. While Beth was 19, Duane was 35 when they met and it was Beth’s father, Garry Smith, that facilitated the meeting.

As the story goes, Garry reached out to Duane who had established himself as a bounty hunter and bail bondsman to help get Beth out of jail after she got arrested for what was mistaken as shoplifting. According to Beth, she was shopping when she got a call from her boss who was a lawmaker. To take the call, she walked out of the grocery store with a lemon she was checking out. She was thus held for shoplifting but the case became complex when an unlicensed gun was found with her. In addition to that, there was an arrest warrant for her over parking tickets she failed to pay. At the end of the day, she was jailed and Duane had to step in.

With Dog’s help, Beth regained her freedom. But then, she kept dragging her feet about visiting Duane’s office for the paperwork. Dog threatened to return her to jail, so she reluctantly visited his office. Beth and Dog both cheered up the moment they saw each other, it was love at first sight. Beth recalled that Dog was a “blonde bombshell…dressed in black…” that left her vowing he would be hers, even if it meant stalking him. In his book titled You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide, Duane related that he was also immediately attracted to Beth, but it was mostly superficial, thanks to her bust.

Exploring The Series of Events That Led to Their Marriage In 2006

Beth Smith soon learned that Duane was married, but there was no stopping her from striving to win his love. Dog also admitted that he tried to stay away from Beth but it didn’t work as he was always running into her anywhere he went – this wasn’t a coincidence as you would soon learn. Over the years that followed their first meeting in 1988, Beth executed a series of plans that ultimately made Duane Chapman her husband and it began with stalking him.

Stalking Duane Landed Beth Behind Bars for Car Theft

Beth Smith wanted Dog Chapman and was ready to do whatever it takes to have him as her romantic partner. Her first line of action was to get Duane to spend time with her. This was difficult as Dog was a family man, married with several kids. To get around this obstacle, Beth decided to stalk the bounty hunter. Now, she had a friend that worked in a local car dealership, so she went to the outlet and took a car for a test drive. The only reason she needed the car was to use it and tail Dog. This wouldn’t have amounted to any trouble had she returned the car when it was due.

When the car dealership waited for their ride and it was nowhere to be found, they contacted the authorities and reported that one of their cars had been stolen. Not long after that, Beth was arrested for car theft. She was later sentenced to six months probation as the charge was reduced to joyriding. But as fate would have it, Beth angered her parole officer who upheld she was an unrepentant offender. With that, Beth found herself behind bars: she served six months at the Jefferson County Jail.

She Sent Dog Clients From Prison and It Brought Them Closer to Each Other

For most people, going to jail is enough prize to pay for love but Beth wouldn’t be deterred. From prison, she was able to build a relationship with Duane as she sent inmates to Dog for him to write their bonds. This laid the foundation for them to build a relationship but when Beth Smith regained her freedom, they still couldn’t date. Even though Dog’s marriage to Lyssa Rae Brittain had packed up, he was dating his secretary Tawney Marie who later became his fourth wife. Beth was possibly frustrated by this as she also decided to give another man a chance.

In 1991, the year Duane Chapman got married to Tawney Marie, Beth Smith got married to her first husband Keith Alan Barmore who was an old friend of Dog. But Beth and Dog had started seeing each other and being married to other people wasn’t enough to keep them apart. Dog detailed in his book that he was heartbroken when he learned Beth was dating Keith. He described the man as a “thief with a heroin habit” in his memoir, adding that he was “physically sick” when he heard they got married.

Beth’s marriage to Keith was an abusive one. In Dog’s words, the daughter they had together was the only good thing that came out of the union. Similarly, Duane Chapman’s marriage to Tawney wasn’t meant to be. According to the bounty hunter, he knew he had no business getting married to her and the union “was a disaster”. While Beth left Keith in 1993, it was not until 2002 that Dog divorced Tawney, although they separated in 1994.

Beth Became a Bail Bondswoman to Spend More Time With Dog

In a bid to lure Duane Chapman, to have him around her as much as possible so that he would get to know her, Beth Smith decided to become a bail bondswoman. After she took the bail bonds test, she became the youngest bail bondswoman in Colorado. With that, she began writing bad bails and her plan was a simple one: the offenders would flee and she would invite Dog to go hunt for her fugitives. It was an unhealthy practice for the bail bond business but Beth’s goal was to spend time with Dog and her plan worked. They started working together.

Beth would have Dog go after her fugitive and with time, Dog introduced Beth to bounty hunting as he would have her act as a decoy and nab offenders on the run. It was only a matter of time before they became very fond of each other. The challenges in their marriage drove them deeper into the arms of each other. Duane acknowledged this in his book, divulging that he and Beth “were sleeping together the entire time” they were respectively married to Tawny and Keith.

Given that Dog separated from Tawny in 1994 with Beth divorcing Keith the previous year, one would imagine that Beth and Duane can now afford to openly date each other but a combination of factors made this hard and even drove them apart.

Death, Drugs, Breakup, and Reunion

Duane was living in Hawaii in 1994, the year he separated from his fourth wife. He had moved to the island with his parents as his mother was sick. The following year, his mother Barbara Darlene Chapman passed on and it was a painful loss for the bounty hunter to bear. Around this time, he began dating another woman who introduced him to drugs. Dog began using drugs to cope with the realities of losing his mom and soon became an addict. As his condition deteriorated, he reached out to Beth who he had left behind in Denver.

Duane informed Beth of his addiction problem over the phone and she immediately left Denver for Hawaii to save the love of her life. Reaching her destination, she chased the woman Duane Chapman was dating away from his apartment and took up the responsibility of fixing Dog and helping him get his life back on track. The bounty hunter got irritated at some point and sent Beth packing. The months that followed saw Dog hit rock bottom. In a desperate quest to regain control over his life, he returned to Denver to live with his sister.

Returning to Denver, it was already six months of being apart with Beth Smith, with no form of communication. They avoided each other for a few weeks after his return but got back together in due course. Describing the reunion, Dog narrated that it was like a scene from a movie: “I looked at her and she at me…I was already by her side [so] I grabbed her and put the most passionate kiss on her,” he said.

Dog Moved In With Beth and He Proposed In 2005

Beth Smith helped Dog pick up his life from the ruins of addiction. He moved in with her, alongside his kids, and they resumed working together to grow their bails bonds business. Around 1997, Duane had conquered his addiction and at the turn of the century, the couple began making media appearances. This gained them a lot of attention and exposure. Their fame skyrocketed in 2003 when they captured Max Factor who had fled the United States and was living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico under an assumed name.

The Mexican police arrested and jailed Dog and his hunt team as bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico. But they were granted bail after Beth went to the media and it became a national story. The case lingered on until 2007 but in 2003, it had gained Dog massive attention that A&E decided to create a series around his job as a bounty hunter. Dog the Bounty Hunter was birthed and Beth Smith appeared alongside Duane in multiple episodes of the series from 2003 to 2012. She was also seen in other series that revolved around bounty hunting like Dog’s Most Wanted and Dog and Beth: On the Hunt. She even produced multiple episodes of these projects.

Sometime in 2005, Beth and Dog were in Las Vegas and he proposed marriage to her. She accepted his proposal and they tried to get a license immediately but couldn’t pull it off.

Beth Smith Eventually Got Married to Duane Chapman On The 20th of May 2006

https://youtu.be/lnG5PuJ-8FQ

After years of striving to have Dog all to herself, Beth was finally set to marry the love of her life. But it was as though some forces are bent on coming in-between them as Duane lost one of his daughters, Barbara Katy Chapman, in a car accident a day before their scheduled wedding.

Because of this, they considered postponing the wedding but after deliberation with members of his family, Dog and Beth decided to proceed with the marriage and celebrate Barbara’s life as well. So after waiting for 16 years to get married to Dog, they wedded on the 20th of May 2006. The event happened on the Big Island of Hawaii, at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

For the rest of the days they spent together; Beth Smith and Duane Chapman worked together and supported each other. When Beth decided to vie for the office of the president of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States, the couple took a break from their exploits on television. She won the position and they returned to TV the following year but it soon emerged that Beth was diagnosed with cancer.

She Lost Her Life To Cancer at Age 51

It was in September 2017 that the bails bondswoman was diagnosed with stage II throat cancer. It was a piece of shocking news for Beth, her family, and many fans. After a while, it was reported that it had gone into remission but then it returned and spread to her lungs. Beth received treatment but continued working and was reportedly hospitalized on the 22nd of June 2019 during the production of Dog’s Most Wanted.

She was placed in a medically induced coma and passed a few days later, on the 26th of June 2019. This was after her family made the tough decision of removing her from life support. Memorial services were held for her in Colorado and Hawaii; it was captured in the final episode of Dog’s Most Wanted which aired on the 19th of November 2019.

Beth Smith Had Two Kids With Dog But Was A Mother of Four

Duane Chapman has a total of 12 children. Two out of them were the biological children he had with Beth. She was a mother of four as she had a child during her teenage years and a daughter with her first husband.

Dominic Davis

  • Date of Birth: Sometime In 1985
  • Age: 36 Years Old
  • Biological Father: Unknown
  • Occupation: Unknown

He is the first child of Beth Smith, the son she had during her teenage years. He was born in 1985. With Dogs help, Beth located and reconciled with Dominic whom she had abandoned for years. Though her first child, Dominic is the least popular child of the late bounty hunter. Details about where he lives and what he does for a living are hard to come by.

Cecily Chapman 

  • Date of Birth: June 19, 1993
  • Age: 28 Years Old
  • Biological Father: Keith Alan Barmore
  • Occupation: TV Actress

She is the only child Beth had with her first husband. A TV actress and social media personality, Cecily was born on the 19th of June 1993. She bears Chapman as her legal surname because Dog adopted her. When her mother passed, Cecily expressed on Instagram that she was lucky to have Beth as her mother.

Bonnie Chapman

  • Date of Birth: December 16, 1998
  • Age: 22 Years Old
  • Biological Father: Duane Chapman
  • Occupation: Undetermined

She is the second daughter of Beth Smith and the first child she had with Duane Chapman. Bonnie evades the limelight as much as she can, she was born roughly eight years before her parents got married, precisely on the 16th of December 1998.

Garry Chapman

  • Date of Birth: February 7, 2001
  • Age: 20 Years Old
  • Biological Father: Duane Chapman
  • Occupation: Bounty Hunter

He is the second child and only son Beth and Dog had together. Born on the 7th of February 2001, Garry was five years old when her parents got married. Garry works with his father’s bails bond outlet and has embraced the paths of bounty hunting.

Chinedu Ndubueze
Chinedu holds a B.SC in Mass Communications with several years of writing and editing experience. He is an advocate of closed-back headphones, horror movies, and dark humor; He believes that Peter Griffin and Stan Smith should be real people. Outside of having to write, edit, and work on other forms of content, Chinedu may keep up with the EPL or listen to everything Eminem and Jon Bellion.
Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness, if you've found a possible error, be it factual, editorial or something that needs updating, please contact us

Recommended

Featured Today

Fact Check

We strive for fairness and accuracy, if you've found a possible error or something that needs updating, please contact us

Related Stories