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Getty Images | Instagram.com/james.alt
Source: Getty Images | Instagram.com/james.alt

Lynda Carter Sacrificed Career to Raise Kids Who Are Now Grown-up & Resemble Her Husband of 37 Years

Junie Sihlangu
Jul 15, 2022
09:00 A.M.
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Lynda Carter never welcomed any children when she married her first husband but had two when she was with Robert Altman. She left her career to raise them and now has something to remind her of her late husband.

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When Lynda Carter met her future husband, Robert Altman, in 1982, she'd already gone through a difficult marriage. In 1977, the actress was at the height of her "Wonder Woman" fame when she married Ron Samuels, a producer.

The famous star was only 25 when she tied the knot for the first time. Sadly, Carter and Samuels's relationship lasted only five years until they divorced, childless, in 1982.

Lynda Carter and Ron Samuels at the Salute to Elizabeth Taylor and Jack Warner by Jewish National Fund Banquet in Beverly Hills, California, on June 12, 1977 | Source: Getty Images

Lynda Carter and Ron Samuels at the Salute to Elizabeth Taylor and Jack Warner by Jewish National Fund Banquet in Beverly Hills, California, on June 12, 1977 | Source: Getty Images

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Speaking to Closer Weekly years later, the actress revealed the lesson she'd learned after marrying young. She emphatically told the publication, "Don't marry the first person that proposes to you!"

When she met Altman, the CEO of a video game company and a lawyer, Carter was still licking her wounds. Little did she know that their marriage would be more productive than her first one, and she'd welcome children with him.

AN UNLIKELY PAIR THAT WENT THROUGH TOUGH TIMES TOGETHER

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During the 1980s, Carter became the face of Maybelline and a spokesperson for the brand. In 1982, she attended an event at the company's Memphis headquarters. Maybelline happened to be owned by a business that was a client of Altman's law firm in Washington D.C.

R. Lee Jenkins, one of Maybelline's executives, invited the attorney to the dinner held for Carter, hoping to match them up. While Altman later acknowledged that the actress was "good-looking," he hadn't planned on attending the event as he'd hoped to go back to his hotel room and watch football.

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He didn't want to "get mixed up" with a Hollywood star. For her part, Carter had the notion that lawyers were "dull." However, Altman did attend the event, and in a twist of fate, "the unlikely pair hit it off immediately" when they met, with the attorney recalling:

"There was a strong and immediate attraction, even to the point that we were so very interested in one another that it seemed rude to the rest of the table."

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Although neither of them expected that outcome, they ended up having a whirlwind romance. Three days after meeting in Tennessee, Altman called the actress at her California home.

At that point, Carter was already in love with him, and their long-distance relationship progressed to a romantic proposal a year later! The attorney proposed on the French Riviera, and six months later, they were married.

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The couple chose to build their lives away from the limelight of Hollywood. They welcomed two children and raised them in Potomac, Maryland, at their 1987 custom-built home, but things weren't always rosy.

In the early 1990s, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International charged Altman and his legal partner with bank fraud. The charges were related to their acquisition of First American Bankshares Inc.

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Carter's husband went to trial and was acquitted of the crime, and he later switched to the video game business. His wife stood by his side through it all, and Altman became the CEO of ZeniMax Media.

A couple of years after his legal issues, it was Altman's turn to support his wife as she struggled with alcoholism. The actress eventually became sober in rehabilitation after her husband pleaded with her to do it for him and their children.

LYNDA SACRIFICED HER CAREER TO BE A MOTHER

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At the couple's 18,000 sq. foot home, Carter and her husband raised their children after she sacrificed her career. In 1988, the couple welcomed their son James, and two years later, their daughter, Jessica, was born.

The actress found fulfillment in being a new mother. She also worked as an advocate and fundraised for important causes, like equality for the LGBTQI+ community, pro-choice rights for women, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

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Carter explained her reason for stepping back from her career, noting that her friends and family were the people she chose to spend time with in her life. As Carter's children grew, she occasionally appeared in movies and television.

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In February 2021, Carter and her children were struck by tragedy when they lost Altman. After being together for 37 years, the actress's husband passed away from myelofibrosis, a rare blood cancer.

In June 2022, she [Jessica Altman] also shared a photo where she was seen posing with her late father [Robert Altman].

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In October 2021, the "Wonder Woman" star was still mourning the loss of her husband, telling People magazine with teary eyes, "It still gets me. I just can't believe I've lost him," and adding:

"The next part of my life is I want to learn who I am. It's totally frightening. I don't know who I am without Robert."

THE COUPLE'S CHILDREN ARE ALL GROWN-UP

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Carter's children were now the only thing she had to remind her of Altman, primarily because they looked like him. In March 2021, James shared a throwback image of him with his father.

He revealed he'd worked for Robert for more than 20 years by then. Carter's son wished his father was still around to witness and be proud of his team's accomplishments before toasting the late parent with a glass of champagne.

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James said it had never been a better time to be with ZeniMax and shared his excitement for their future at Microsoft. In February 2022, Jessica took to her Instagram account to wish her father a happy birthday alongside a black-and-white photo of them smiling together.

In June 2022, she also shared a photo where she was with her late father. James and Jessica followed in Robert's footsteps by pursuing careers in law, with the former attending George Washington University Law School.

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Carter's daughter earned her law degree and an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Michigan. She worked for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a Washington, D.C. law firm, as an associate in its litigation department.

In 2013, she interned for former U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell, Jr. However, Jessica also caught her mother's performance bug, becoming a singer-songwriter, with the pair often sharing a stage during her concert tours.

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