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Deborah Pratt's Life after 'Airwolf' — Divorce, Becoming a Grandmother, Books, and More

Edduin Carvajal
Jun 29, 2021
03:20 A.M.
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The life of “Airwolf” actress Deborah M. Pratt has changed significantly since leaving the military drama TV show in the mid-80s. She divorced her husband and became an author.


Born in 1962, Deborah Pratt’s foray into the entertainment industry dates back to 1975 when she appeared in an episode of “Police Woman.” Since then, she kept landing parts in “Chips,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “Magnum, P.I.”

The most memorable role Pratt played during her acting career was that of Marella in “Airwolf.” The show went off the air in 1986, and pretty much everything in Pratt’s life has changed ever since.

Deborah Pratt at her Los Angeles home circa 2000 | Photo: Getty Images



One of the most significant changes in her life involves TV producer and screenwriter Donald Bellisario, the creator and sometimes writer of popular TV series in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.

Some of those shows are “Magnum, P.I.,” “Airwolf,” and “Quantum Leap,” three of the projects that shot Pratt’s career to stardom.


During her time in “Quantum Leap,” she even received co-executive producer credits and was nominated for three Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series.

Bellisario and Pratt tied the knot in June 1984 and had two children, former actor Nicholas and actress, producer, writer, and director Troian. More on Deborah Pratt’s children later.

Unfortunately, their romance didn’t stand the test of time, and they divorced in 1991. It was Pratt’s first and only divorce and Bellisario’s third. He’s now married to Vivienne Lee Murray and has seven children.



Their separation was very challenging for Pratt. She said that people do not side with the “losing army” after a divorce, so she hit roadblocks when she tried to produce shows independently. She added:

“I believed that people I had worked for during my eight years of marriage who knew my contributions would support me in the transition. Most of them didn’t.”


She didn’t let her divorce and the multiple setbacks she faced discourage her, fortunately. Apart from writing and producing more projects in Hollywood, she became an author.

Pratt mostly writes science fiction but with a particular style that makes it more of science fantasy. Her most critically acclaimed work so far is “The Vision Quest.”

Troian added “writer,” “director,” and “producer” to her resumé in 2017.


One of Pratt’s favorite authors is Ray Bradbury (“Fahrenheit 451,” “The Martian Chronicles”), and she talked about his impact on her career a few years ago.

Pratt explained that Bradbury’s writing made her feel in the world he created, his characters were either her friends or enemies, and the danger felt real.

She added she strives for that quality whenever she writes. According to Pratt, she asks the “Socratic questions” – who, what, where, when, and why – and tries to answer them in her stories.



Coming back to Pratt’s two kids, Nicholas followed in his mother’s footsteps but had a brief career in the entertainment industry. He only landed minor roles in “First Monday” and “JAG” before retiring in 2003.

However, Troian has been making a name for herself in Hollywood since the 90s. Born in 1985, Pratt’s only daughter portrayed the title character in “Lauren” and Spencer Hastings in “Pretty Little Liars,” the show that put her on everyone’s radar.


Troian added “writer,” “director,” and “producer” to her resumé in 2017 after directing an episode of “Pretty Little Liars” and writing, producing, and starring in “Feed.”

The film follows Olivia and Matthew Grey’s lives, 18-year-old twins who are deeply connected. It also addresses eating disorders, something Troian dealt with in real life.

She admitted writing the movie was “cathartic” as it gave her a greater perspective of her own issues. At the moment, Deborah Pratt’s daughter is married to Patrick J. Adams.

They share two daughters, Aurora and Elliot. The youngest was born in June 2021, so Troian and her husband probably have their hands full!