Meet Faye Maltese, Gene Hackman’s Ex-Wife: Her Life In Detail

By BhuraPublished on: April 1, 2024 Updated on: April 1, 2024
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Faye Maltese may not have been as famous as her superstar ex-husband, Gene Hackman, but her life story is full of interesting twists and turns. Faye was Gene’s first wife and stood by his side during his early struggles in the acting world. Together for nearly 30 years, they shared a journey filled with love, challenges, and the joy of raising three children.

Despite the strong bond they shared, their marriage eventually came to an end, leading Gene to marry Betsy Arakawa. But what happened to Faye after the split? Did she find love again, and what led to her and Gene’s divorce? In this article, we’ll dive into the life of Faye Maltese, exploring the untold stories and details of her life with and without the acclaimed actor Gene Hackman.

She Is A New York Native

Faye Maltese, the first wife of Golden Globe Award winner Gene Hackman, hailed from New York. Born in 1929 as Faye Philippa Maltese, she held American nationality and had mixed ethnicity, with Italian roots marking her family background.

Before capturing the public’s attention through her marriage, she led a relatively private life. Her early years remain largely out of the spotlight, but it is known that she contributed to her family’s finances by working as a secretary at a chemical bank in New York.

Faye Maltese’s Marriage With Gene Hackman Was A Result Of Love At First Sight

Maltese’s love story with Hackman, who wasn’t famous at the time, is like a tale from the old days. When they first met, Gene was a 25-year-old military man, and Faye was working as a secretary in a bank at Rockefeller Center. Their paths crossed at a Y.M.C.A. in New York back in 1955, and it was almost like love at first sight for the two. They felt an instant connection and didn’t wait long to start dating.

Faye and her ex-spouse Gene Hackman
Old Photos Of Faye and her ex-spouse Gene Hackman

After nearly a year of their romantic journey, they decided to take their relationship to the next level. In 1956, they got married in a private ceremony, surrounded by their nearest and dearest, sealing their commitment to each other.

They Had Three Children Together

Their union was blessed with three children, bringing more joy into their lives. They had a son named Christopher Allen Hackman and two daughters, Leslie Anne Hackman and Elizabeth Jean Hackman.

The Reason For Their Divorce After 30 Years Of Marriage

During their marriage, Gene was fiercely pursuing his dream of becoming an actor. After leaving the military, he immersed himself in acting classes at Pasadena Playhouse, striving to carve out a name for himself in the acting world. Throughout these challenging times, Faye was a pillar of support, working at a bank to help support their family while Gene focused on his career.

Faye's Husband & Their Kids
Faye Maltese’s ex-Husband & Their Kids

His drive for success and recognition in acting consumed much of his time and energy. This dedication meant long periods away from home, often separating him from Faye and their children for months. Hackman himself admitted in an interview with the New York Times that his acting career made him very selfish, prioritizing the temptations of money and fame over spending time with his family. He said,

You become very selfish as an actor. Even though I  had a family, I took jobs that would separate us for three or four months at a time. The temptations in that, the money and recognition, it was too much for the poor boy in me. I wasn’t able to handle that.

This imbalance between professional ambition and family responsibilities strained their relationship. Despite Faye’s support and the life they built together over 30 years, the couple could not withstand the pressures of his career-focused life.

In 1986, without public explanation, the ex-couple ended their three-decade-long marriage. The separation reflected the culmination of years of growing apart, with Gene’s relentless pursuit of his acting career being a significant factor.

After the split, Gene went on to exchange vows with his second wife; Betsy Arakawa; who is 30 years younger than him. The pair were wedded in 1991 and have a house in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is still married to her, however, Faye remained unmarried throughout her life after the divorce.

Faye Maltese’s Death & Net Worth At The Time

Maltese passed away on April 26, 2017, at the age of 88, leaving behind a legacy of love and memories. Her death was a sad moment for her family and those who admired her. Since there were no reports suggesting an illness or accident, it’s believed that she died of natural causes. However, the specifics of her passing were not publicly discussed by her family or her ex-husband.

In terms of her financial status, Faye’s career as a bank secretary would have provided her with a stable income. Although the exact amount of her earnings and net worth at the time of her death remains undisclosed, it’s clear she was capable of supporting her family and contributing to their needs during her lifetime.

On the other hand, Hackman achieved significant financial success. Through his extensive career in acting and as a novelist, he accumulated a net worth of $80 million.

About Author: Bhura

Bhura is a seasoned celebrity content writer with six years of industry experience. He prioritizes research and authentic information in his writing, garnering widespread recognition for his insightful and engaging content. With a keen eye for detail, Bhura delves into the intricacies of celebrity culture, crafting captivating narratives that resonate with audiences worldwide. His commitment to excellence and unwavering dedication to his craft set him apart as a trusted authority in entertainment journalism.