Who Is Melissa Lee Gatlin – Billy Bob Thornton’s Ex-wife?

Melissa Lee Gatlin (born in 1953) is the ex-wife of Billy Bob Thornton, the famous actor, filmmaker, and musician.

Even though she has gained fame as a result of her marriage to Billy Bob Thorton, Melissa Lee Gatlin endeavors to live her life away from the media such that there isn’t a hint of information about her. This article however reveals some facts about her personal and professional life.

Summary of Melissa Lee Gatlin’s Bio

  • Full name: Melissa Lee Gatlin
  • Gender: Female
  • Year of birth: 1953
  • Melissa Lee Gatlin’s Age: 71 years old
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: American
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Christian
  • Marital Status: Divorced
  • Melissa Lee Gatlin’s Husband: Billy Bob Thornton
  • Melissa Lee Gatlin’s Children: Amanda Brumfield
  • Famous for: Being Billy Bob Thornton’s ex-wife

Melissa Lee Gaitlin Was Born in the United States of America

Melissa Lee Gatlin was born in the United States of America to her parents in 1953. The ex-celebrity wife’s exact date of birth is not known as she has not disclosed much about herself. Furthermore, there is no information about her parents including their names and occupation.

As mentioned earlier, Melissa Lee Gatlin is a very private person and has not been generous with information about her childhood such as the neighborhood and state where she grew up. She has also not disclosed any information about her siblings and family members – if there is any.

On the aspect of her education, there is no information on the institutions where Melissa had her primary, high school, and university education nor is there any record of a certificate she obtained. Although, it is generally speculated that she is well-educated.

Melissa Lee Gatlin

She Was Billy Bob Thornton’s Wife For Just Two Years

Melissa Gatlin and Billy Bob Thorton started dating in the year 1977 and they dated for about a year until the 30th of June 1978 before deciding to take further legalize their relationship by getting married.

According to sources, Melissa was about 23 years old when they first started their relationship while her ex-husband Billy was 21 years old. Melissa and Billy exchanged marital vows on June 30, 1978, in a simple wedding ceremony attended by close family members and friends. The couple welcomed their first child – a daughter named Amanda Thorton – a year into their marriage on 28th July 1979.

Sadly two years and five months into their marriage, things became sour between them and the couple decided to call it quits on their marriage. They finally got divorced in December 1980 citing adultery and incompatibility as the reason for their going their separate ways. In essence, Melissa Lee Gatlin’s marriage to Billy Bob lasted for two years.

Melissa Lee Gatlin
Melissa Lee Gatlin’s daughter, Amanda Brumfield

Their Only Child, Amanda, Was Jailed for  Manslaughter in 2011

Melissa’s daughter, Amanda Brumfield (she is married to Stuart Brumfield) is the child she shared with her ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton, however, she is not popular because of her famous father but for going to jail for murder.

Amanda was handed a 20-year jail term in 2011 for aggravated manslaughter after she was accused of murdering her best friend’s one-year-old daughter named Olivia Madison Garcia who had sustained a fracture on her skull after falling from a playpen while she (Amanda) was babysitting her.

Amanda had pleaded not guilty citing that she had nothing to do with the child’s fall from the Playpen and that the child appeared to be fine after the fall. She also asserted that it was all a tragic accident but all her pleas fell on deaf ears. She spent 8.5 years in jail before she was released in 2020.

Melissa’s Ex-Husband is a Famous Actor and Movie Producer

Melissa Gaitlin’s ex-husband, Billy Bob Thornton, is an actor, filmmaker, and musician from the United States. The popular actor’s breakthrough in the entertainment industry came when he starred in the 1992 thriller titled One False Move – which he co-wrote.

However, he made his film debut in 1987, starring in the movie, Hunter’s Blood. After this, he took up other minor roles such as Tombstone (1993) and others. Going further in his career, the actor experienced a major break in his career after he was featured in the movie, Sling Blade.

He has gone ahead and appeared in several major films, including Oliver Stone’s neo-noir U-Turn, Primary Colors, Armageddon, and A Simple Plan, among many others.

He Has Had Several Relationships After Their Divorce

Following her divorce from Billy Bob Thornton, nothing has been heard of Melissa Gatlin. It is possible that she may have remarried as she now has the surname Parish but there is no confirmation of this. Meanwhile, her ex-husband Billy moved on with his life and got into many other relationships.

On April 4, 1986, Melissa’s ex-husband Billy got hitched to a lady named Toni Lawrence, and just like his former marriages, theirs was also short-lived as they got divorced after two years of living together as husband and wife.

Billy Bob, however, found love again this time with a woman named Cynthia Ann Williams who was an actress, author, and singer. The pair had tied the knot in 1990 and like his other relationships, they also got divorced after about two years.

Billy still went on to marry Pietra Dawn Cherniak, a Playboy model, in 1993. The couple shared two children named Williams Langston Thorton and Harry James Thorton but like his other marriages, Pietra and Billy also got divorced with Pietra accusing Billy of being abusive.

Melissa Lee Gatlin

Perhaps the most famous of all marriages of Melissa’s ex-husband’s marriages was his marriage to Hollywood star actress, Angelina Jolie. However, their marriage also did not last long as they also got divorced in 2002.

Billy Bob then got hitched again to Connie Angland, whom he met in the year 2003. His marriage to Connie Angland has lasted for decades as the duo has remained together as husband and wife, sharing a daughter named Bella Thornton. She was born in 2004.

Where is Melissa Lee Gatlin Now?

Melissa Lee Gatlin’s whereabouts at this time are not public knowledge. Since her divorce from her ex-husband, Billy Bob Thorton, she has gone under the radar as nothing has been heard about her. It was only during the trial of her daughter from 2008 to 2011 that she came out to support her.

Since then, nothing much has been heard about Billy Bob Thornton’s ex-wife. This may not be entirely surprising if you consider the fact that Melissa Lee Gatlin has always been a very private person who has carefully kept details of her life away from the media and the public. This fact has equally made it difficult for anyone to know anything about her career, income, and other means by which she makes money.

Although she has made a few on-screen and public appearances, what she does for a living still remains unknown. She only came to the spotlight as a result of her marriage to popular American thespian, Billy Bob Thorton.

Hugo Wright
Hugo Wright
Hugo has extensive professional writing experience and has been writing and editing articles on multiple platforms for several years now. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favourite pastimes.


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