Freddie Starr’s doomed love life – behind his five failed marriages

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  • 10:10, 10 MAY 2019
  • Updated10:11, 10 MAY 2019

Freddie Starr was sadly announced to have passed away on Thursday, after suffering a heart attack.

The Liverpool born comedian – who starred in TV shows alongside other working-class comics including Frank Carson, Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson – reportedly died a recluse in Spain.

According to neighbours, Starr had very few friends, and tragically spent his final months mostly alone in his home in in Mijaz, on the Costa del Sol.

But what was Starr’s life like before he jetted abroad?

Far from a quiet life with nobody but a carer for company, the famous stand-up married not once but five times and fathered six children.

Alongside the time he was accused of eating a hamster – a headline that Starr has always denied – the entertainer’s doomed love life also landed him in the press over the years – most recently just four years ago when his ex wife Sophie left him for a younger man.

But his 2015 marriage break-down was just one in a long string of failed romances for the comedian.

Starr married for the first time aged just 17 years old, tying the knot with first wife Betty in 1960. The couple were together for 12 years and welcomed a son Carl before they called time on their marriage.

It wasn’t long before he was betrothed again – this time to second wife Sandy, with whom he fathered three more children.

And Starr's first marriage appeared to be quickly forgotten, failing even to mention it when re-married for the third time and discussing his dramatic relationship history with The Evening Standard in 2001.

The comedian’s marriage to Sandy wasn’t rosy either, and he told The Times in 2003 that he often “felt like a stranger” in his own house when they were together, and an “inconvenience,” whose only use was to pay the bills.

Their marriage came in 1980 and spun over the height of his career, and Starr admitted that sometimes he was away for 320 days of the year, and had multiple affairs.

“Okay, I wasn't the best husband in the world. Yes, I had affairs – but I've held up my hands and admitted to them,” he said to the publication. The pair finally divorced in 1995.

After his split from Sandy, Freddie was left with nobody. According to The Times, he told himself: "Right, my family is no longer my family".

But it was third wife Donna who came along and picked up the pieces, and the besotted pair called each other husband and wife before they even officially wed.

Donna and Freddie went on to welcome a daughter, Ebony, together.

Their romance appeared to be different from the rest, and despite the fact she was 27 years younger than him, they shared a passionate but complicated romance which resulted in them marrying and divorcing twice between 1998 and 2010.

Like his previous two marriages, though, thing eventually ended turbulently, with Starr even being arrested in the run up to their divorce, amid allegations of harrassment.

The comedian's final throw of the dice came when he married fourth wife Sophie in 2013, who was 40 years younger than him.

The pair put on a united front to begin with, but their marriage coincided with well documented accusations that he had groped a 15-year-old during Operation Yewtree – an incident which he admitted put strain on their relationship.

While the couple lasted six years despite this, and Sophie stood by his side as he fought the allegation, they ended bitterly, with Sophie claiming: “Freddie would fly off in rages and take it all out on me daily."

The pair officially divorced in 2015, and the comedian lived in isolation ever since.

While he may not have been surrounded by family as he passed, the comedian touched the lives of many, as tributes have revealed following his death.

Lord Alan Sugar was the first to share his condolences following the tragic announcement from Freddie's management confirming he had passed away.

The Apprentice star wrote: "According to some news reports Freddie Star has died in Spain . If true sad news, he was a very funny man RIP."

TV presenter Amanda Holden said she hopes Starr is "remembered with a smile".

Meanwhile, fellow comedian Bobby Davro shared his pain at the news: "I've just heard that Freddie Starr has died. He was the funniest man I have ever seen. I'm so sad we have lost one of our greatest comedy talents. RIP Freddie."

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