Though a Montessori nursery school teacher and also a socialite, Kelley Phleger is most notable for her relationship with award-winning American actor/musician Don Johnson, who became internationally known following his breakthrough role of James “Sonny” Crockett, an undercover police detective, in the NBC television crime drama series, Miami Vice, which aired from 1984 to 1989.
Johnson got married to Kelley in 1999 and unlike his previous marriages and numerous relationships which never lasted long, their union has continued to grow stronger with each passing year. They are also proud parents of three children.
Who Is Kelley Phleger?
Born and named Mary Kelley Phleger in 1969 in San Francisco, California, the kindergarten teacher is the daughter of Jean Phleger (mother) and the late San Francisco attorney Atherton Phleger (father), whose father is the founder of the Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison law firm.
Although information about Kelley’s life growing up is not known, it is known that she was a student of Urban High School and later the University of California from where she finished with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts.
Her Marriage To Actor Don Johnson
Kelley Phleger and Don Johnson met through a mutual friend in the year 1996 at Mayor Willie Brown’s birthday party. At the time, the then-28-year-old Kelley was in a relationship with a young man named Gavin Newsom. Consequently, nothing happened between her and the actor until she broke up with her boyfriend in the spring of 1997 and subsequently began dating Don towards the end of the same year.
Having been involved with different kinds of women in the past, it did not take time before Don realized that Kelley Phleger was one of a kind and without wasting time, he proposed to her in April 1998, reportedly with a big diamond ring, and also convinced that he was “the one”, Kelley said yes.
The couple eventually tied the knot on the 29th of April 1999 and the most fascinating part of the occasion was that it was a surprise wedding. A supposed black-tie dinner conducted by Ann and Gordon Getty in the courtyard area of their Pacific Heights mansion in San Francisco, California, turned out to be Kelley and Don’s wedding, to the surprise of many of their guests.
The civil ceremony was performed by Mayor Willie Brown while actor Robert Wagner was the best man and Don’s daughter, Dakota, was their maid of honor alongside Kelley’s sister, Cameron. Also among the about 80 friends and relatives who graced the occasion were Kevin Costner, Cheech Marin, Binnie and Ned Gates, Tom Kelley, Kelley’s mom, Jean Phleger, Don’s dad, Wayne, and his son, Jesse among others.
For her big day, Kelley Phleger wore a hand-embroidered off-white couture Chanel gown and an empire-waist jacket with hand-sewn pastel flowers while her husband was dressed in a suit.
Meanwhile, whereas Kelley’s marriage to Don Johnson was her first, it was the actor’s fifth. Don had been involved with a lot of women, including accomplished stars such as singer Barbra Streisand and actresses Jody Lyn O’Keefe and Patti D. Arvanwille, (with whom he had Jesse) before he met Kelley. His first two marriages to women whose names are not known were nullified within a few days.
In 1972, he met future actress Melanie Griffith, the then-14-year-old daughter of Tippi Hedren, with whom Don appeared as a co-star in Harrad Experiment. Young Griffith moved in with the actor when she was 15 and by the time she turned 18 in January 1976, they got married. Sadly, by July of the same year, they filed for the annulment of their union and parted ways. However, the duo resolved their issues, came back together, remarried in 1989, had a daughter, Dakota Johnson, on October 4, 1989 but parted ways permanently in 1996.
His failed marriages notwithstanding, Kelley Phleger and Don Johnson have been able to keep their family together.
Kelley Phleger’s Children
Kelley Phleger and her husband produced three children together- one daughter and two sons. Their daughter, Atherton Grace Johnson, was the first to join the family on December 28, 1999, while their sons Jasper Breckinridge Johnson and Deacon Johnson both followed on June 6, 2002, and April 29, 2006, respectively. Kelly is also the step-mother of Jesse Wayne Johnson and Dakota Johnson, Don’s son and daughter from his former relationships.