Barry Manilow says youthful looks are down to ‘blind luck’
Barry Manilow, 79, said that his ex-wife Susan Deixler, 77, was “perfect”, but the pair had their marriage annulled just one year after tying the knot.
Coined as childhood sweethearts, the ex-couple started dating back in high school.
At the time, Barry was a senior attending the Eastern District High School in Brooklyn, while Susan was a junior.
In his autobiography, Sweet Life: Adventures on the Way to Paradise, it’s said that the pair had different personalities in school.
Susan was loud and outgoing, while Manilow was more subdued. tended to stick in with a handful of close friends, and was the year’s “best musician”.
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After graduating, the singer-songwriter started attending City College of New York and the New York College of Music.
Deixler, who Manilow described as “adorable, small with great legs and a voluptuous figure”, went to work as a secretary.
He said she had “jet-black hair, dark brown eyes and a smile that lit up the room” but that his friends believed he was “rushing into” marriage with her.
After deciding to tie the knot, it’s said that their families were divided on whether or not to have a big wedding.
To avoid any more arguments, the young couple decided to get married in the judge’s chambers in City Hall during their lunch break one day.
In his 1987 memoir, Barry called Susan the “perfect wife” — but the childhood sweethearts split after just one year together.
According to the book, the Brooklyn-born musician told her that he needed to embark on “this wondrous musical adventure that I saw within my reach ”.
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However, he stated that the only thing he wanted more than stardom was for his ex-wife to “love him as much as I loved her”.
Manilow said that Susan “reacted badly” and pointedly told him he could only take his clothes from the apartment they shared in Greenwich Village.
An annulment was applied for in 1965, and she eventually yielded and let him remove the piano, too.
Regarding the breakup, Barry’s ex-wife told the MailOnline: “What happened between us, our relationship, is ancient history and I don’t want to dig back into ancient history. It was 50 years ago.
“You have to remember that I’m not a celebrity. I have children, a life…all that was a long time ago.
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“I’m a private person but I’m happy for him. I really am,” Deixler added.
It’s said that Susan has never re-married, but she does have two children, Pauline and Daniel.
Manilow, of course, has gone on to marry his long-time manager, Garry Kief, 72.
The pair married in 2014 but didn’t announce the news until their first anniversary in 2015.
Tonight you can watch the “undisputed king of kitsch” performing in the musical special: Barry Manilow at the BBC.
According to the Radio Times, the programme “features archive performances by Manilow, with songs from concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Blenheim, as well as appearances on Top of the Pops, Strictly Come Dancing and the Proms”.
You can watch the show on BBC Two at 8:25pm.
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