What was the reason All American 60’s Icon Sandra Dee divorced Bobby Darin, A man she was head over heels in love with for more than six years? A tragic series of events led to the separation of one of America’s most loved couples. Watch till the end as we explore the beautiful story of how this seemingly perfect couple got together and then had to go their separate ways.
Who they both were
Born as Alexandra Zuck in Bayonne, New Jersey, on 23rd April 1942, American Actress Sandra Dee was the Hollywood Queen of Teens during the 1960s. At just 18 years of age, she already had an impressive list of hit films to back her up and, thanks to her beauty, was making headlines every time she decided to step out. She had it all, beauty and brains. Her acting skills were unmatched, and her looks had already made her the must-have pinup in every male teen’s room. After hits like Gidget, Sandra was cast along with heartthrob singer and actor Bobby Daren on the set of A Summer Place.
While Sandra was enjoying the height of fame, her future husband wasn’t far behind. Bobby Daren was a singer. His career started as a songwriter for Connie Francis. In 1958 he recorded his first million hitters Splish Splash. Written by Darin and DJ “Murray the K,” Splish Splash rose to No. 3.
Next was “Dream Lover” and later “Mack the Knife.” Both of these were released in 1959 and were instant hits, soon rising to Top 5 and becoming million sellers.
“Mack the Knife” went on to reach the top spot remained there for nine weeks. It was rated 1959’s top song. The songs that followed were just as successful. Each going on to surpass the last. Once he had mastered the art of singing, he decided to try his luck with acting.
His first major movie was Come September, and he was co-starring with none other than the blonde teen queen Sandra Dee. Bobby had been in the showbiz industry for quite some time, but he had never met someone like Sandra. Entranced by her beauty, Bobby vowed to marry her the first time he met her. Ironically, however, Sandra was very much unimpressed by the iconic Singer and despised him.
How they got together
Sandra was in no mood to date and was quick to make that known to Bobby. Her mother, on the other hand, had some different plans. She told her to warm up to the actor, and the two went on a date. Wowing Sandra with his looks and humor, Bobby won her over on the first date, and the two were soon madly in love. Bobby had declared the first time he met her that he would marry her, and as filming came to an end, they decided it was the perfect time to do so.
This is when the story takes a turn. Sandra’s mother, who had at first told Sandra to warm up to Bobby, was now doing everything she could to make sure they didn’t get married. She thought Sandra was too young to get married, and her public image as a teen actress would be damaged. She tore apart the marriage invitation sent to her and tried her best to talk Sandra out of it. Nothing was going to stand in Bobby’s way, however, and he proposed to her with a huge diamond ring before filming even ended. Sandra, who couldn’t wait to get married, immediately said yes, and the two love birds got engaged. Before the year ended, they had rather hastily tied the knot on 1st December 1960 and were now married. A little less than a year later, their son Dodd Mitchell was born, and the couple couldn’t be happier.
Why they broke up
The birth of their son marked a turning point in their so-far perfect story. Following the birth of Dodd, Sandra was overcome with fatigue and, as a result, prescribed Amphetamines. It was the 1960’s and the side effects of Amphetamines were not yet known. Amphetamine is just another name for meth, and taking regular pills of this addictive drug got Sandra hooked. Her dependence on the pills began to grow, and before the year ended, Sandra was a full-blown addict.
The Bobby side of her life wasn’t going all that great either, as the Singer expected his wife to hang out with him and his friends at his nightly shows at the casinos in Las Vegas.
“I had no life, and we had no life together. Then, to complicate matters, I became pregnant.” Said, Sandra. The pregnancy wasn’t meant to be, however, and was the first of six miscarriages she suffered.
Sandra’s life looked perfect, but the truth was far from it. She had been sexually assaulted throughout her childhood by her stepfather, who had started fondling her when she was five and then raping her when she was 8. This sexual abuse had left emotional scars which affected part of her life.
“By the time I was 11, I knew it wasn’t right. But what could I do, tell my mother? I figured she knew,” Sandra said. “The shame I felt was awful. I used to tell myself, ‘That’s a stranger who’s doing this to me.’ That’s how I rationalized it.”
She found it hard to trust people, and this lack of trust issue cropped up again and again in her marriage. Her mother wasn’t a particularly role model parent either and not only enabled the sexual abuse that Sandra suffered but also caused her to develop body dysmorphia and anorexia. By age 9, Sandra was anorexic. “I ate almost nothing but lettuce one entire year,” she recalled.
Sandra had been spoon-fed by her mother until she was six, and when Sandra started developing breasts, her mother insisted that Sandra bind them. Bad parenting and a history of sexual abuse had left Sandra emotionally damaged to the point that she needed continuous reassurances from her mother. Bobby wasn’t a fan of this dependence and ill-prepared to handle the complex emotional needs of another person.
As a child, Bobby had contracted rheumatic fever and, after being told by doctors that he was likely not going to make it past his 16th birthday, had lived life as freely as he could. Bobby was fiercely ambitious and almost never at home with family. For someone like Sandra that needed someone to be there for her and comfort her, this was not something she signed up for.
The addiction, combined with interferences from Sandra’s mother and Bobby’s lack of attention, eroded the relationship until finally, six years after their marriage on the set of Come September, they decided to get a divorce. Both Sandra and Bobby maintained that despite their issues, the divorce wasn’t because they had stopped liking each other. Instead, it was for the well-being of their son Dodd.
The Hollywood icons separated after the divorce but soon reconciled. Ironically the divorce was what brought them closer. Sandra finally opened up to Bobby about the abuse she faced at the hands of her father, and Bobby, now finally feeling the effects of his rheumatic fever, started coming back to his ex-wife every time he got sick.
Sandra said that Bobby cried after he realized what Sandra had to face as a child. She also mentioned that “Bobby kept coming back. And always with an illness,”
The divorce made them happier than ever. With Bobby now by her side, Sandra started working on her addiction and even managed to achieve sobriety.
Author Dee Cameron, an acquaintance of both legends, revealed they remained in love with each other long after their divorce and even planned to give their romance a second chance.
Bobby dies, and she’s still in love.
The rekindled love life was short-lived, and Bobby succumbed to the effects of his rheumatic fever. The chronic illness had weakened the valves of his heart, and after an unsuccessful 6 hour open heart surgery, Bobby died at the age of 37 in 1973.
After the death of the man she loved, Sandra once again fell into alcoholism and eventually died following kidney problems arising from her excessive drinking and anorexia in 2005.
According to Dodd, the only child the actress had, “In her mind, unless she was Sandra Dee, who had a major career and had things going, she was nothing and absolutely nobody. That’s how she feels about herself.”
She has managed to achieve sobriety once again in 2000, but by then, it was too late. The story ends not with Bobby’s death but with Sandra’s. Sandra loved Bobby even after his death, and according to Sonya, Sandra’s personal live in maid, Sandra used to have conversations with her dead husband for hours when she was alone. Professional psychic John Cohan has admitted that this is an unhealthy sign.
Thus the story of these two star crossed lovers reached its tragic end with.
With that, the story of Sandra Dee and her iconic lover Bobby Darin comes to an end. What was your favorite part of the story? Do you think Bobby and Sandra would have remarried if Bobby had not died? Would their second marriage has worked out if they did? Let us know in the comments below! And if you enjoyed this video, be sure to click like, subscribe to the channel, and activate the notification bell, so you never miss a video.