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Betty Buckley Underwent Years of Therapy to Deal with Effects of Complicated Family History

Gaone Pule
Jul 13, 2021
11:00 P.M.
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American award-winning actress Betty Buckley opened up about seeking therapy following years of complicated family dynamics in an exclusive interview in September 2006.


Betty Buckley underwent years of therapy to deal with the effects of complicated family history. In an interview with Texas Monthly, she revealed that while her mother was supportive of her interests when she was younger, her father was against the idea.

The singer shared her mom was a singer and a dancer but gave it all up when she married her dad. On the other hand, her aunt was a dance teacher and studied dance with her when she was 3 years old.

Betty Buckley arrives to Trevor Project Honors Katy Perry on December 2, 2012 in Hollywood, Los Angeles | Photo: Shutterstock



The now 74-year-old also developed a love for singing and started with the interest when she was only two years old in church. She disclosed by age eleven - it dawned on her that singing might be something she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

When asked if her parents were supportive of her choices, she said only her mom was. “She'd take me around to these different talent shows, and she'd sneak me out of the house for my dance lessons because my father was very opposed to it," Buckley revealed.


When asked why her dad was against it, she explained he was from South Dakota. "My theory is that in South Dakota, performers were like dance hall girls, you know? That was the only exposure he’d had to it,” she said.

Buckley continued and shared her father believed it was not a good profession, adding, “a woman’s place was to be married and, in the home, and to have children.”

She said he also stressed education, and so she had to keep her grades up always. “He thought showbusiness was a poor use of my mind. He felt that it was a superficial profession,” Buckley explained.


The Tony Award winner shared her dad was the only person in town who did not want her to pursue a career as a performer while everyone else rooted for her and wanted her to have the opportunity to go to New York.

“There would be great fights between my parents about this, but my mom won,” she said. Buckley’s father’s take on life impacted her adult life in the long run.


She disclosed that he was very strict unnecessarily, which led to her being a feminist, and she ended up resenting the inequity of things.

When she was 17 years old, Buckley attended Texas Christian University, where she entered the "Miss Fort Worth" pageant. "It was uncomfortable for me because I never thought of myself as a pretty girl," she shared.


Buckley explained she always thought of herself as a good performer, a good singer but never identified herself as “a great beauty,” adding:

“My whole young life was about behaving as people expected me to. And it was rough.”



Regarding therapy, the “Eight Is Enough” actress divulged, “I needed major therapy having come from the background I did.”

Buckley said she was conflicted about her right to do what she wanted, which was to continue being "cool and want what I wanted instead of living life the way I was told I was supposed to."



Back in November 1985, the "Tender Mercies" star revealed she had substance abuse issues, including cocaine and heavy drinking.

However, the “Split” alum managed to contain her addiction and said she went sober for two years because she had a lot of support.

She said fear of rejection is a factor in drug addiction. “I’m lucky,” Buckley shared at the time mainly because she was able to continue working since she was a teenager.


Today, Buckley currently resides in Texas, where she was born and bred. The veteran of the stage and screen is still going strong in her career in her seventies.

A national tour that took place in 2019, in addition to all her other projects, is a lot more for someone in her age. "I have to say, I didn't know I could do this," she admitted at the time while crediting her stamina to her then trainer, Pat Manocchia.



Although she had achieved much in her career after earning Olivier, Emmy, and Grammy nominations and released multiple successful albums, something else was missing.

Buckley's childhood dream being put on hold was her love for horses. In a phone interview with App in September 2016, she shared horses were always important to her as a child.

“I had this dream to own them and ride them when I was older. I wanted to be in show business to be successful in having these horses," the "Cats" star divulged.


Buckley connected with "one of the great trainers in the sport of cutting" and became his student at age 55. She then realized that she had to live closer to the horses and sold her apartment in New York and bought a ranch in Texas.

"It changed my life, and it's been a blessing," she added. The Texas native also does animal rescue work while there in her hometown.



Apart from her love for animals, Buckley has had quite an interesting love life so far. She has only been married once to Peter Flood for nearly a decade.

Buckley revealed to the Los Angeles Times back in June 2008 that she got married in her 20s, adding at the time, she believed in an open marriage. "But that was a stupid thought!" she said.


Following her divorce from Flood, whom she referred to as her "best friend and a wonderful person," Buckley never remarried and said it had been a series of serial monogamous relationships from there.

When asked if she ever tried other options such as polyamory, she said that she was straight. She also explained, “I haven’t seen a marriage I’d like to emulate.” Buckley said she is a very independent person and never wanted to be conventionally married.


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