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Deborah Dubois Is Barry Seal’s Third Wife Portrayed in ‘Mena’ as the Character Lucy

Titi Dokubo
Jul 04, 2022
12:40 P.M.
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In the 2017 Doug Liman-directed movie "American Made," which was previously titled "Mena," Deborah DuBois, the third wife of Barry Seal, was portrayed by the character Lucy. The life of the former TWA pilot, Barry Seal, inspired the film.

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Barry Seal was an American-born Trans World Airlines pilot who married three times before his death. Due to his illicit smuggling activities, he was soon fired from his job and was convicted on smuggling charges. After his conviction, he became an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The former pilot was first married in 1963 to Barbara Dodson, but they divorced in 1971 after two children, a son and a daughter. The same year he divorced, he married his second wife, Lynn Ross, but their union lasted only one year.

Photo of Tom Cruise in an F-16 fighter jet, the actor who played Barry Seal in "American Made" | Source: Getty Images

Photo of Tom Cruise in an F-16 fighter jet, the actor who played Barry Seal in "American Made" | Source: Getty Images

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Seal and Ross had no children, and he did not remarry again until 1973, when he married Deborah DuBois. The couple welcomed three children, and their marriage ended with his death.

In February 1986, Seal, who had a bounty on his head, was killed outside the Salvation Army halfway house in Baton Rouge. After his death, Federal prosecutors claimed that he declined to join the witness protection program they had offered him.

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INSIDE HER MARRIAGE WITH BARRY SEAL

When Seal met DuBois, he was 33, while she was a beautiful 21-year-old working as a cashier at a restaurant. He was on his way to a hearing but stopped at the restaurant. DuBois said:

"He stopped in there and, just like that, he asked me out. He would tell me all these wild stories about the missions he had flown. I was young, and it was impressive."

She further stated that he was handsome, charismatic, and always laughing. Seal's charm attracted people to him, and they loved it. He wanted her by his side when she began her job training in Atlanta.

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DuBois recalled that one day, he picked her up on his plane and told her to go with him. Seal promised he would take her to more places than she could ever dream of, and these were places the airlines would never take her.

After that, she quit her job and married in 1973. DuBois, who revealed that she never knew what her husband was doing, said they lived an upscale life, but they were not billionaires.

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DEBORAH DUBOIS AND BARRY SEAL AS PROTOTYPES OF "AMERICAN MADE" MOVIE CHARACTERS

The film is a story set against the backdrop of the Reagan-era War on Drugs and the infamous Iran-Contra incident. The main character portrayed as Seal was willing to conduct business with opposing sides as long as the payoff was substantial.

He soon became a DEA agent and possibly a CIA operative. However, the movie, which was loosely based on the true story of Seal, made it difficult for fans to draw a clear line between fact and fiction.

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The few things they emphasized were genuinely characteristic of Seal. He loved his wife Lucy, a character played by Sarah Wright, and he was a family man.

In the movie, after Seal's death, his wife continued to work in the food service industry. However, it is unclear if that was what happened in reality. But since that was where she worked before they married, there may be a grain of truth.

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DuBois and Seal's children are Aaron, Christina, and Dean. There is very little information about them as they are regular adults living their lives. According to Daily Mail, in 2015, DuBois lived with her daughter.

There were also reports that she and her children participated in the making of "American Made." The director revealed that they had helped him and Gary Spinelli, the writer, to learn Seal's more personal stories.

These personal stories helped with the character development as Liman believed that journalists would pay attention to the personal aspects of Seal's life and not only the integrity of the actual events.

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In an interview, Liman revealed some personal stories DuBois shared with him. He said:

"In the case of our story, Barry's wife showed us a photo of her visiting him in a Guatemalan prison on his birthday and cutting his birthday cake with a machete."

During the official promotion of "American Made," Seal's family chose to avoid the spotlight as the filmmakers were only inspired by his story and the movie was never a documentary on his life.

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Irrespective of their reasons for not showing themselves to the public or taking an active role during the press tour for the film, Seal's family does not like to live in the spotlight.

As much as their privacy is admired, it means lovers of the movie do not know them. There is also no information about what they are up to and how DuBois and her children are faring.

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LEGAL CASE ON THE MOVIE

Before they released the movie in 2017, Seal's daughter, Lisa Seal Frigon, revealed that Universal Studios, who signed a "life rights" deal for $350,000, did so with the wrong family members before they started production.

On that note, Frigon filed a lawsuit in Baton Rouge as she wanted an injunction on the film's release. In her filing, she claimed that she was the legal executor of Seal's estate because she was his daughter from his first marriage.

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After Universal signed a deal with her father's third wife, Frigon said they never remitted any money from that contract to Seal's estate. She also claimed that there were many factual inaccuracies in their screenplay.

Frigon claimed that the inaccuracies falsely portrayed Seal and caused the value of his estate to diminish. Among the alleged distortions were the claims that Seal, played by Tom Cruise, had three children rather than five.

She also claimed that they represented him as an alcoholic and a reckless pilot. Her suit also mentioned DuBois and her three children.

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