The name Phil McGraw may not ring any bell, but Dr. Phil does. He is the television personality who has been on air since 2002, appearing on all major talk shows, including Oprah. His show has developed a popularity that has penetrated pop culture and has been referenced in several TV comedies or dramas. While his professional work is undoubtedly popular, his personal life doesn’t share a similar trait, as evident by his first wife, Debbie Higgins, who is relatively unknown.
Phil McGraw has been married two times and Debbie Higgins was the first, starting out the marital life with the famed author and psychologist in 1970. We took a closer look at her life. Read below to find out what we found.
Debbie Higgins Bio
Debbie Higgins was born sometime in 1950 in America’s sin city, Las Vegas. Not much is known about her background, particularly details like her parents’ names. She was however born to a father who was a farmer and a mother who took care of the home as the housewife.
As a child, born to a lower-middle-class family growing up in America, Debbie Higgins had some privileges, which included completing her basic education at New York High School before heading off to college where she attended Massachusetts Institute of Commerce.
In high school, Debbie Higgins was a high spirited, high energy woman and this enabled her to partake in several physical activities such as dancing, singing, volleyball, and soccer. She was also a cheerleader.
Her early marriage to Phil McGraw was a brief detour in an otherwise happy life. She was able to build a satisfactory professional career in editing. Debbie Higgins found her calling in editing, and over the course of her career, she was known for her works on films like Demon Hunters: Fear the Silence, which starred actors like Brian Gildea, Rob Dimension and Mary Bonczek. She has also worked on other projects like Christy Mathewson Day.
While Debbie Higgins had a modest professional career before she died, her ex-husband, Phil McGraw has gone on to establish himself as a television titan, with his widely popular TV show, Dr. Phil. The show, which has been on the air since 2002, in addition to his published books and other career milestones have made him one of the richest TV personalities in the world with an estimated net worth of $400 million and an annual income of $80 million.
Her Family and Relationship with Phil McGraw
You’ve seen it in movies, you’ve seen it in television shows, and in America, it still continues to happen – young high school lovers or college lovers deciding to get married. It sounds like something a man of the wisdom of Dr. Phil wouldn’t do, however, you are in for a surprise.
Debbie Higgins and Phil McGraw got married at the age of 20, shortly after completing high school. The wedding was held at Roeland Park in Kansas on the 27th of November 1970.
Unfortunately, unlike a majority of the dramatized versions of this story, it did end happily for them. The crack in their marriage began shortly after the wedding when Phil McGraw began to restrict Debbie’s movement, enforcing control over her to extents of physical abuse.
Along with the domestic abuse also came infidelity, which became a serial occurrence and eventually drove Debbie Higgins to pursue the end of the marriage. She officially achieved this in 1973, barely two years about they got married.
With Debbie Higgins no longer married to Dr. Phil and no longer a part of his life as he became a national and international star, little was known about the personal life of Debbie Higgins after she ended the marriage. So far, the only information available is she had a daughter – Marci McCall.
Phil McGraw, on the other hand, has been married to Robin McGraw since 1976 and they have produced two children – Jordan McGraw and Jay McGraw.
Facts About Debbie Higgins’ Death
- Living outside the consciousness of the public, Debbie Higgins continued to live her life until she died in 2014.
- According to her brother, Bill Higgins, Debbie died after battling with cancer. The exact type of cancer is unknown.
- She was survived by her daughter, Marci McCall and her brother, Bill Higgins. We do not know if she was married at the time of her death.