Angie Dickinson is a former television star that rose to prominence portraying the titular character on the hit 1970s action series Police Woman. Angie married to singer Burt Bacharach at the time that she took her role on the series, and the two had a child together during their marriage that born three months prematurely. Thankfully, this child managed to survive. However, she started showing signs of serious mental and physical health problems early on in her life. With the stress of raising their daughter as a contributing factor, Angie and Burt ended up divorcing. Many years later, their daughter ended up taking her own life. Join Facts Verse as we explore why Angie Dickinson remains haunted by the daughter who destroyed her marriage.
The Rise of Angie Dickinson
Angie Dickinson was born in September of 1931 and took an interest in performing at an early age. It was in the 1950s that Angie made her debut in the entertainment industry, with her first credit being a minor role on the notable television program The Colgate Comedy Hour. Angie married her college sweetheart in 1952, and he was a man by the name of Gene Dickinson. He was the star football player at Glendale College, and Angie thought that they were going to be together forever. Sadly, they ended up divorcing by the time that the 1950s were through. However, at that point, Angie had plenty to look forward to in her future.
The actress ended up keeping her first husband’s name and making a name for herself in Hollywood with roles in features such as Rio Bravo. Angie became known not only for her talents, but also for her looks. In addition to her acting roles, she also made waves with her socializing. During her early career, Angie could seen fraternizing with such notorious womanizers as Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy.
Angie Dickinson Meets Burt Bacharach
While Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy likely managed to get their paws on Angie Dickinson while the actress was still trying to make it in the industry, it was Burt Bacharach who managed to seal the deal with the actress and make her his wife. Angie and Burt tied the knot in 1965 and would go on to welcome their first and only child together a year later.
Angie and Burt seemed to have loved each other a great deal and were happily expecting the birth of their first child. However, fate ended up getting in the way of the couple’s dreams. Doctors had determined that Angie’s pregnancy was risky and had advised the actress to rest in bed for it’s duration. Sadly, Angie didn’t end up taking this advice to heart. As a result, Angie got an infection that caused her water to break three months before her due date.
Angie and Burt’s Daughter Was Born Prematurely
When Angie and Burt’s daughter was born three months prematurely, she weighed just a little under two pounds. Understandably, the two celebrities didn’t think that their newborn child was going to make it. However, when their daughter started showing signs that her weight was gradually gaining in ounces, the couple began to wonder if things might turn out okay. Miraculously, Angie and Burt’s daughter ended up surviving the traumatic early birth.
Angie and Burt’s daughter named Nikki, and the two celebrities watched anxiously as she slowly began to grow in size after her premature birth. Angie and Burt would celebrate every time the premature baby gained a pound. Immediately following Nikki’s birth, she placed into an incubator to simulate the environment of her mother’s womb. She remained in the incubator for about three months, which is how long she should’ve stayed inside Angie!
Nikki Was in an Incubator for Three Months
After three months of remaining in an incubator at the hospital, Nikki finally deemed healthy enough taken home by her two famous parents. By that point, the baby had increased in weight enough that she was now a much healthier five pounds. Angie and Burt likely thought that their troubles were behind them when it came to their newborn daughter. Sadly, this wasn’t the case.
After being born three months prematurely and forced to remain in an incubator for several months, Nikki started showing some troubling signs in regards to her mental and physical health. As Nikki grew older, these health concerns only grew more severe. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Nikki Begins Showing Some Troubling Signs
Before Nikki Bacharach was even a year old, she started showing signs that her health wasn’t quite up to snuff. The first of these concerns was an eye condition by the name of strabismus that she was diagnosed with during infancy.
Nikki’s diagnosis of strabismus during her infancy would go on to affect her for the rest of her life, and would even prevent her from venturing into the career field of her choice when it was time for her to come of age. Sadly, other health concerns followed in the wake of the infant’s strabismus diagnosis. According to Angie, Nikki didn’t utter her first words until she was three years old. However, while this was certainly an indication that the child wasn’t developing properly in every what that she should be, Nikki ended up excelling at a young age in other areas, such as music.
Nikki’s Musical Talents
Perhaps as a result of her father’s musical talents, Nikki ended up proving herself to be quite the musical prodigy at a young age. In addition to Nikki’s talents for piano playing, the young girl also said to have been talented at ballet and gymnastics. Nikki’s parents claim that she was proficient at the piano by the age of 4. As a result of Nikki’s special needs, her parents chose to enroll her in an experimental school when it was time for her to start her education.
The experimental school that Nikki was enrolled in was known as the UCLA Lab School, and it specialized in educating kids with unique disabilities. Despite this, Nikki found herself consistently being bullied at the school by her peers. This bullying likely exacerbated Nikki’s growing emotional issues. According to her parents, Nikki had a very hard time developing proper coping skills early on.
A Lack of Coping Skills
As Nikki grew into her older childhood years, her problems only became worse. The girl’s lack of coping skills made it so that she could often be found lashing out by kicking the wall or tearing pages out of books. Angie and Burt’s first instinct when these troubling signs started becoming more and more apparent was to turn to psychiatry. However, psychiatrists at the time found themselves at a loss when trying to pinpoint what exactly was the young girl’s problem. It wouldn’t be until much later that a magazine article that she stumbled upon by chance would suggest to Angie that what Nikki suffered from was, in fact, Asperger’s syndrome. By that point, Nikki had been living in an insane asylum for a decade!
Confined to a Mental Institution for 10 Years
Angie and Burt ended up having their daughter confined to a mental institution when it became apparent that they couldn’t control her. Nikki then stayed in the mental institution for 10 years before her mother decided to take her out and give her a second shot at having a normal life. Angie’s aforementioned realization that her daughter suffered from Asperger’s occurred in the year 2000, and it was after this that Angie educated herself on the condition and began to feel that she may be equipped enough to handle taking care of her daughter. Nikki was released into her newly educated mom’s care, and Angie made a pact that she was going to finally give her daughter the care that she needed.
While Angie took her daughter out of the aforementioned mental institution with good intentions and plenty of knowledge about how to care for those with Asperger’s syndrome, things for Nikki sadly got worse when she came back to live with her mother. In 2007, things finally came to a head when Nikki took her own life. At the time, Nikki was 40 years old and both of her parents were devastated.
Angie and Burt’s Divorce
Angie and Burt had tried to make things work after the birth of Nikki, and they managed to do so for several years. However, the trauma of trying to raise their mentally ill daughter caused their marriage to eventually fall apart. Angie and Burt separated during the mid-1970s, They continued living together for a period of time and remained married while seeing other people. This lasted for approximately five years, and the celebrity couple’s reasoning was that they were unsure whether they truly wanted to divorce.
Eventually, Angie and Burt finalized their separation. The two were officially divorced in 1981, and Burt has gone on to remarry twice. In 1982, Burt married a woman by the name of Carole Bayer Sager, and they remained married until 1991. In 1993, Burt married a woman by the name of Jane Hansen, and the couple is still together to this day!
Angie and Burt Live On Through the Pain
Burt Bacharach has had four spouses altogether, while Angie has had two. In contrast to Burt, Angie has chosen not to remarry in the wake of their separation. By the time that Nikki passed away, Angie and Burt had long-since ceased the majority of their communications. Today, both celebrities are still alive, with Angie being 90 and Burt being 93.
While Angie Dickinson and Burt Bacharach tried many things to figure out how to take care of their special needs child, it ended up being too hard for them. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Angie Dickinson and Burt Bacharach’s first and only child was born three months premature, and that the two remained seemingly happily married for five years while seeing other people? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!