Who Was Debbie Higgins? All About Dr Phil’s First Ex-wife

Debbie Higgins was the former wife of Dr Phil McGraw, an American television personality and author who rose to fame as the host of the award-winning television show, Dr. Phil. Debbie was married to Dr. Phil for three years, before she passed away in 2014. 

Higgins and McGraw were high school sweethearts who got married in 1970. Their marriage however did not last long as it ended after just three years. While her ex-husband was quick to move on with his life, marrying again and having children before achieving fame and fortune, Higgins maintained a private life until it was revealed that she passed away in 2014.

Debbie Higgins’ Biography

  • BIRTHYEAR: 1950
  • BIRTHPLACE: eg Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • DEATH: 2014
  • ETHNICITY: White
  • SIBLINGS: Brother Bill Higgins

Debbie Higgins was Born in 1950

Debbie Higgins is an American national of White ethnicity who was said to have been born in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1950. Much about her early life is not known to the public, including the identity of her parents. It is, however, known that she has a brother who has been identified as Bill Higgins.

While growing up, Higgins was a very active child, partaking in different sporting activities like volleyball, soccer, and even dancing. She was also notably a cheerleader for her high school football team, which was how she met her future husband.

Debbie Higgins and Phil McGraw were High School Sweethearts

Phil McGraw and Debbie Higgins are noted to have been high school sweethearts. It is believed that they attended Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas where Phil was a part of the school’s football team, playing as a linebacker while Debbie was on the cheerleader squad.

The pair were so much in love with one another that they decided to get married at a young age. It is reported that they were both 20-years-old in 1970 when they decided to exchange vows at the Roeland Park Southridge Presbyterian Church.

Their Marriage Ended After Three Years

Things got off to a great start in the marriage between Phil McGraw and Debbie Higgins, however, it later turned out to be a nightmare for the pair.

According to Debbie, her husband became very domineering. He did not allow her to participate in the family business but instead confined her to domestic duties. She further accused him of forcing her to lift weights in order to improve her bustline. On his own part, McCall said that infidelity led to the end of their marriage. It is however not clear whether he was admitting to cheating on his wife or whether he was accusing her of doing things with other men.

In 1973, after three years of being together, the couple had their marriage annulled and parted ways. Phil will later remarry while Debbie moved to enjoy life in private.

Debbie Higgins
Dr. Phil and his wife Robin McGraw – image source

What Did She Do For a Living?

Much about the life of Debbie Higgins after she and Phil McGraw parted ways is not known to the public. It is only said that she was an editor and worked in some capacity on the 2013 film, Demon Hunters: Fear the Silence featuring Mary Bonczek, Brian Gildea, and Rob Dimension.

Debbie Higgins Died in 2014 After Battling Cancer

In 2014, at the age of around 64 years old, Debbie’s brother Bill announced that she had passed away. He revealed that she had been battling a form of cancer and had succumbed to the disease.

Debbie’s marriage to Phil did not produce any children. It has not been mentioned that she had kids or even got married afterward so it is not clear wh she left behind to mourn her other than her brother.

At What Age Did Debbie Higgins Die?

Debbie Higgins was 64 years old when she passed away in 2014. She died after a battle with cancer.

What was Debbie Higgins’ Net Worth Before Her Death?

Debbie Higgins is estimated to have had a net worth of around $2 million when she passed away.

15 Interesting Facts:

  1. Debbie Higgins married Dr. Phil in 1970 at the Roeland Park Southridge Presbyterian Church when she was 20 years old.
  2. Higgins and Dr. Phil were high school sweethearts, with Dr. Phil being a football player and Debbie a cheerleader.
  3. The marriage between Debbie Higgins and Dr. Phil lasted only three years and ended due to alleged infidelity.
  4. Higgins accused Dr. Phil of being controlling during their marriage, even expecting her to take up weightlifting to increase her bust size.
  5. The couple annulled their marriage in 1973, with Dr. Phil claiming they never had a cross word and mutually agreed to end the relationship.
  6. Debbie Higgins worked as an editor, with her most notable work being on the 2013 film Demon Hunters: Fear the Silence.
  7. The film featured actors Mary Bonczek, Brian Gildea, and Rob Dimension.
  8. Debbie Higgins passed away in 2014 due to an unidentified form of cancer.
  9. Dr. Phil’s current wife, Robin McGraw, is a philanthropist, author, and TV personality.
  10. Robin has been married to Dr. Phil for over four decades and has appeared on his show to advocate for women worldwide.
  11. She is the founder of When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw and Dr. Phil Foundation and is a board member of The Dr. Phil Foundation.
  12. Robin also serves as a national spokesperson for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children).
  13. Dr. Phil and Robin have two children, Jay Phillip McGraw and Jordan McGraw.
  14. Jay McGraw is a writer and producer for television, co-founding Stage 29 Productions with Dr. Phil in 2005 and serving as CEO.
  15. Jordan McGraw is a musician with his latest single released in April 2021.
Chizzy O
Chizzy O
Chizzy is a sports and fitness enthusiast with a passion for staying active and healthy. He also writes about entertainment, lifestyle, communications and relationships


Featured Today

Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness, if you've found a possible error, be it factual, editorial or something that needs updating, please contact us

Read This Next