From Down Here, She Looks Like an Angel Now

In the end, Tammy Faye was an evangelist for fearlessness.
In the end, Tammy Faye was an evangelist for fearlessness. (By Mark Humphrey -- Associated Press)
By Hank Stuever
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 23, 2007

To heaven, then, for true believer Tammy Faye (nee LaValley, then Bakker and Messner) -- the real heaven, the kind you learned about in those scratchy but beautiful 16mm movie reels they showed in Sunday school: the tunnel, then the white light, then the pearly gates and streets of gold, the puffy clouds, then taking the microphone for a solo with the choir invisible, where the crying finally stops and the mascara never runs (unless you want it to).

Her friendliest media interlocutor, St. Larry King, checked to see if she still believed in all that, in one of the last (but far from the last) of his many on-air conversations with Tammy Faye during her long, cancer-stricken goodbye:

Larry: Are you afraid of dying?

Tammy Faye: No, no. I remember last Christmas . . . that was the time I think I was the most afraid of dying.

Larry: Do you believe you're going to go to heaven?

Tammy Faye: Larry, you know I do. . . . And I believe you're going to go to heaven, too.

Larry: I'll see you there.

Tammy Faye: I'll see you there. I will.

-- "Larry King Live," Dec. 15, 2006

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What was she?

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