Joe Namath is a former American football quarterback and actor known as much for playing on the field as playing off the field.
The Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania native 1969 Super Bowl III star made headlines while escorting arm candy such as Mamie Van Doren, Randi Oakes and Raquel Welch. He even dated Janis Joplin. But it was in 1984 that Joe’s bachelor days were over when, at age 41, he married 22 year old Deborah Mays. He said at the time: “She caught my last pass.” The marriage lasted almost 15 years and produced two daughters, Grace and Olivia.
Mays , who said she was “bored” with Joe, took off with a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and left Namath with the two girls in Florida.
Namath began his football career at the University of Alabama from 1962-1964. Paul “Bear” Bryant said he was the most natural athlete he ever coached. He left Alabama early for a professional football career and didn’t earn his degree from the university until 2007 at age 64. Joe played professional football in both the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) for over 13 years during the 1960s and 1970s. He was an AFL icon and played for the New York Jets for most of his professional football life. He finished his career with the Los Angeles Rams. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. In total, he played 143 games in the AFL and NFL. He made it to three division champions (the 1968 and 1969 AFL East Champion Jets and the 1977 NFC West Champion Rams), and earned one league championship (1968 AFL Championship).
His one Super Bowl victory was Super Bowl III in 1969. Chronic injuries from the game continue to haunt him. In 1992 ,he had knee replacement surgery on both knees. He also says that he has had long term health problems as a result of concussions while playing football. “None of the body was designed to play football,” he told the New York Daily News in 2014. “Excuse me, you know, football, we’re just not designed for.” Joe’s other career paths including nightclub ownership, sports commentator, film star and TV actor.
You can catch him in such films as C.C. and Company with Ann-Margret or reruns of The Love Boat, The A-Team and Married…with children. He also appeared in summer stock. At the height of his fame, he was seen in a TV commercial wearing Hanes pantyhose and one in which Farrah Fawcett gave him a close Noxema shave.
An embarrassing on-air moment came for a drunken Namath in 2003. He told sports interviewer Suzy Kolber: “I want to kiss you. I couldn’t care less about the team struggling.” He apologized and two weeks later entered an outpatient alcohol treatment program. In 2013, Namath’s daughter Olivia married her baby daddy at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida.
She was just 16 when she had Erwin Baker III’s daughter. Baker has a lengthy rap sheet including pleading guilty in 2006 to armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon at a McDonald’s near his home. Namath gave the bride away.