Most recognized as Louis Lane in 1990’s Lois & Clarke and Susan Mayer on the 2000’s hit show Desperate Housewives, Teri Hatcher's long acting career sparkles with success—from the outside. Hatcher definitely left her mark on Hollywood, but if you ask someone who's worked with her, it's for all the wrong reasons.
1. Her Life Looked Good
On the surface, Hatcher’s early life appeared perfect and picturesque. Her parents had her in 1964, and raised their only child in Sunnyvale, California. Both parents maintained steady jobs, affording their young daughter the chance to focus on school and study ballet. Unfortunately, life behind the perfect picture wounded young Hatcher in ways she’d never forget.
2. He Targeted Her
Hatcher’s family lived near her uncle, Richard Hayes Stone. It turned out to be one of those instances where having family nearby wasn’t a good thing. Her uncle began touching and treating her inappropriately when she was still just a little girl, only five years old. Tragically, this happened more than once.
3. He Didn’t Stop
Understandably confused, Hatcher later expressed how much the event damaged her mental state. She said she felt “shame, because it felt like I was special.” Her uncle’s abhorrent behavior continued for years, until Hatcher was around eight or nine. These circumstances didn’t change for her until she made an unforgettable scene.
4. She Acted Out
Things came to a head one evening when Hatcher’s uncle joined the family for dinner. According to her, she “went ballistic.” Her mother seemed to find her behavior unusual enough to do something about it, because she responded by getting and keeping her daughter away from Stone.
But the family’s next steps weren’t what you might expect.
5. She Kept It In
Although Hatcher’s mother created safe distance between her daughter and Stone, the two never talked about it, and immediate action against her uncle did not happen. The silence left Hatcher blaming herself and putting the whole situation far from her mind so she could move on. Sadly, the experience proved extremely hard to forget.
6. She Pushed Family Away
It’s no surprise that Hatcher couldn’t continue on as normal after years of harassment at the hand of a family member. She coped partly by staying completely separate from her mother’s side of the family, ignoring their entire existence. Perhaps all this tragedy pushed Hatcher to want a more spectacular life, but she would eventually find that all that glitters isn’t, in fact, gold.
7. She Chased Stardom
Maybe Hatcher caught the performance bug during her ballet days. Either way, she decided to study acting at the American Conservatory Theater after getting a more traditional degree in math and engineering from De Anza College. She got started in entertainment as a cheerleader in the NFL, but true stardom showed itself much harder to come by.
8. She Flopped
Hatcher went on to land several guest appearances on a variety of popular tv shows, including The Love Boat and MacGyver. Her attempts at bigger roles, however, didn’t seem to impress. In fact, several of her opportunities turned out to be total non-starters, including flops in both the film The Big Picture and the series Sunday Dinner. Her personal life wasn’t much to look at either.
9. She Fell Hard
During these early years of both success and failure, Hatcher found herself romantically caught up with an employee, her personal trainer Marcus Leithold. Few details of their love affair survived, but we can only assume something serious existed between the two, as they married in 1988. Whatever the love story, it didn’t end like any traditional fairy tale.
10. It Didn’t Last
Hatcher and Leithold didn’t even stay married for an entire year. The marriage ended in divorce after just eight months, and they went their separate ways without much drama that we know of. But while Hatcher didn’t seem to be finding success in her own personal life at the time, her growing career soon took a sharp and unforgettable turn.
11. She Hit It Big
While she’s recognized for several of the smaller roles of her early career, Hatcher really found fame in 1993 when she got the lead role of Lois Lane on ABC’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. She impressed from the start and enjoyed a four year run on the popular series. Things seemed to be looking up for her love life, too.
12. She Went In Blind
Possibly due to the lack of social media apps at the time, there aren't many known details about how Hatcher and fellow actor Jon Tenney fell in love. What we do know, however, is their relationship began with a blind date. The date must have been a positive one, because it eventually sparked a life-changing decision.
13. She Tried Again
Hatcher married Tenney in 1994 as she continued to gain acclaim as Superman's love interest. Her work in that role set her up for even bigger parts, including a role that many actresses likely envied—that of a Bond Girl with Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond franchise’s Tomorrow Never Dies.
It was a dream role, but life on set was anything but.
14. They Couldn’t Make It Work
Reportedly, Brosnan and Hatcher didn’t get along while working on the set of the Bond film. The leading man found her hard to work with, saying “she was always keeping me waiting for hours”. He ultimately admitted that he responded to her unkindly himself, adding fuel to the fire, but an unexpected revelation about Hatcher’s physical state at the time likely didn’t help much, either.
15. She Went Through It
While her peers waited for her on set, Hatcher threw up behind the scenes, literally. She was pregnant, and morning sickness may have kept her from putting her best foot forward while working on the movie. Unfortunately, all the filming issues showed in the final cut. Critics didn’t respond enthusiastically to the film at all—and they weren’t the only ones not giving her what she wanted.
16. He Didn’t Do (It) Enough
Hatcher and her husband welcomed their daughter in 1997. The small family likely looked well put together to the public, but it was a far sadder story behind closed doors. Hatcher suffered from a lack of affection within her marriage. As a matter of fact, by her own account, she knew exactly when she conceived her daughter, because she and Tenney only got intimate once that year.
Tragically, Hatcher soon had worse issues to deal with, as her past came back to haunt her in a shocking way.
17. They Didn’t Make It
Nearly a decade of marriage in, Hatcher filed for divorce in 2003. All things considered, we could assume the decision came about mutually, as their union lacked a traditional sense of physical romance. They didn’t part on perfect terms, though. The divorce with Tenney ended up taking more from Hatcher than she thought she’d ever have to give.
18. He Took From Her
California divorce laws mandated that Hatcher and Tenney split all assets evenly between them. That gave Hatcher’s ex-husband half of everything she brought into the marriage, as well as everything she earned in it. She found this unfair, considering she didn’t think Tenney did as much as she did at work or at home.
The law stood regardless, and the divorce got even messier.
19. She Kept Fighting
Custody of their only child, Emma, quickly became another issue the ex-couple battled over in court. Their divorce agreement mandated that they shared custody of their daughter, but they still ended up in court arguing over where she’d spend important holidays.
But while Hatcher's personal life likely felt like a rollercoaster, her career started looking up again.
20. She Fought For Her Spot
ABC’s Desperate Housewives premiered in 2004 and became a hit with audiences over its several years on air. Before the first episode hit the airwaves, several actresses tried for one of the four leading roles in the promising series. In what likely was a challenging audition process, Hatcher ultimately bested four other actresses and landed a starring role. The show succeeded, but life on set didn’t sparkle quite as much.
21. She Didn’t Stick Around
Over time, Hatcher won several awards for her role in the ABC drama, but eventually scandalous rumors started spreading. News leaked from the set that the co-stars didn’t all get along, and that they particularly didn’t get along with Hatcher.
Reports stated that between filming scenes, Hatcher would purposely stay away from the other leads. It seemed she wasn’t too pleasant to work with while filming either.
22. She Made A Scene
In one of the series' many defining moments, production directed Hatcher to devour a large portion of pancakes. As with many shoots, she’d then have to repeat the act several times to get the necessary footage. Hatcher refused all the carbs, insisting they put blueberries on the pancakes for her to eat instead.
She eventually got her way there—but that wasn't nearly the only time she made thing difficult.
23. She Made Things Difficult
Hatcher and her castmates landed the cover of Vanity Fair in 2005. The coverline told the story all in itself: “You wouldn’t believe what it took just to get this photo”. Reportedly, the entire shoot teetered on the edge of disaster from beginning to end.
In fact, the entire thing started on a bad note—and who do you think was causing problems?
24. They Were Against Her
Before the shoot even took place, ABC production told the Vanity Fair shoot crew not to permit Teri to get her wardrobe before the rest of the cast. Seems like a weird request, and it also alludes to there already being trouble between the ladies. But while production played checkers, Hatcher diligently played chess.
25. She Got Her Way
Hatcher likely new someone might try to get in the way of her accessing wardrobe picks first, so she took it upon herself to make sure she beat her castmates to it. She contacted the wardrobe team multiple days before the actual shoot to talk about outfits, and got to the shoot long before the other actresses did.
She got what she wanted, but the fallout wasn’t too pretty.
26. It Blew Up
The situation elevated when the other women arrived and realized Hatcher had already chosen her wardrobe. Reportedly, Marcia Cross, one of the other leads, felt so upset when she saw Hatcher’s outfit that she yelled at one of their production employees angrily, using language that was a lot less than appropriate.
And things only kept getting worse.
27. They couldn’t agree
Eventually they sorted out the wardrobe situation, but getting the photo itself proved even more difficult. Disagreements about who should be in the center rifled the cast, and Cross seemingly didn’t even want to stand next to Hatcher in the photo, and made it known publicly.
Sly “chess” moves considered, you might find Hatcher’s response surprising.
28. She Crumbled
This final scene of distaste toward Hatcher possibly pushed her over the edge, as reports say she took a break from set and the crew found her crying while talking on the phone. It’s hard to decide who holds the real blame in this case, but other rumors from the set definitely made it seem that Hatcher stood at the center of the divide amongst the women.
29. She Didn’t Make Friends
In 2019, another of the Desperate Housewives’ stars, Eva Longoria, claimed one of her castmates purposely made her uncomfortable on set. She never named Hatcher explicitly, but often shared about how close she felt to the other women on set, which does lead one to think Hatcher could be the culprit.
Further statements from her castmates continued to paint an ugly portrait of her behavior.
30. They Badmouthed Her
Much of what actually happened between the Desperate Housewives cast is still under covers, but a few statements hit the news that don’t necessarily cast Hatcher in her best light. One of her co-stars, Nicolette Sheridan, called her “the meanest woman in the world”, and Longoria called her “a loner”.
Loner or a just pain to deal with, we may never know. But it seems the environment on set didn’t help.
31. Trouble Started At The Top
Multiple sources stated that Marc Cherry, the show’s writer/producer, didn’t help make the set very comfortable or inviting for the cast and crew. Reportedly he behaved demeaningly to his employees, and was both temperamental and prone to conflict. This likely affected Hatcher’s mood, but that wasn’t even the most sinister aspect of it all.
32. He Wasn’t Fair
Reports of gender inequality among the Desperate Housewives staff also seem to ensure that the role proved as challenging as it was successful for Hatcher. Allegedly, Cherry didn’t have many women on his writing staff, and was less likely to listen to their opinions anyway—regardless of his primarily female lead cast.
All things considered, is it really surprising that Hatcher never really bonded with the other leads?
33. They Didn’t Like Her
While the other women of the cast spent time together and formed friendships outside of set, Hatcher stayed out of the loop. In fact, in a late night interview, Longoria mentioned that her and the co stars were “really good friends”—but she didn't mean all of them.
When she was pressed to go on, she emphasized that “99%” of them were friends. Maybe Hatcher’s sneaky approach to the final season played a role in her being the excluded 1%.
34. She Looked Out For Her Own
Desperate Housewives ran for an outstanding eight seasons. Before the final season, the leads planned to renegotiate their last contract together, giving them more power in the business deal. That is, all the leads except for Hatcher.
In an act that likely put a final nail in the conflict of their possible friendship, she negotiated her own deal before them, taking away a bit of their strength. Maybe that explains their sour end.
35. They Left Her Out
It’s traditional for cast members to give gifts to their crew at the end of a successful show run, and the lead women of Desperate Housewives did the same—without Hatcher. The other four starring women gifted the crew expensive luggage, and signed the card from the four of them, leaving Hatcher to give her own gifts solo, which she did.
Interestingly enough, her own view of working on the set came out drastically different than that of the other women’s.
36. She Thought Differently
In an interview on her Desperate Housewive days, Hatcher claimed she conducted herself with all the respect and consideration necessary on set. In fact, she felt she went above the call of what they required of her, saying she was “beyond generous throughout those eight years.” She didn’t leave it all without one final snub, though.
37. She Didn’t Care
Press plays an important role in the success of any show, even at its end. However, Hatcher reportedly did not attend her final press day for Desperate Housewives. Perhaps she finally had enough of all the drama. The show continues to stand as one of her most successful roles, but she dealt with something behind the scenes that might explain some of her challenges on set.
38. She Lived In Pain
Towards the latter run of the show, Hatcher privately struggled with physical pain and problems that doctors found difficult to diagnose. She complained of almost completely debilitating pain in her left arm. Ultimately doctors diagnosed her with a rare disease called frozen shoulder.
Physical pain aside, she had to deal with her steamy past indiscretions coming back up too.
39. He Told All Her Secrets
Comedian Andrew Dice Clay’s biography debuted in 2014, and with it came an entirely new set of allegations that cast a dark shadow on Hatcher’s character. By his accounts, the two first set eyes on each other on the set of a movie in 1993.
The movie, Brain Smasher…A Love Story, ended up being sub par and unforgettable, but his connection with Hatcher wasn’t.
40. She Tried To Resist
Clay wrote about their hot, slow burn encounters on set, saying the two shared an “instant attraction”. Sounds like the beginning of a whirlwind romance, save one tiny factor—Clay was a married man. Seemingly the two didn’t engage physically right away, first satisfying themselves with some spicy phone talk.
They couldn’t hold back for long, though.
41. She Became The Other Woman
Seeing each other daily on set, along with the intimate though relatively long distance dirty talk, probably made the situation that much harder to bear. Eventually both parties gave in, and engaged in a night together that, by Clay’s accounts, felt “out of this world”. As they both may have expected, all “good” things do come to an end.
42. It Didn’t End Well
After this night of passion, Hatcher and Clay allegedly promised each other they’d never talk—or do anything else—again. And as luck (or the lack thereof) would have it, Clay soon found out that his wife was going to have a baby. That likely put a true end to the whole affair. Unfortunately, Hatcher continued to find herself unlucky in love.
43. She Was Bad At Love
Two divorces and one affair (that we know of) later, Hatcher remains single, as far as current reports go. Back in the early 2000s, she told reporters she actually felt frightened of the dating scene. Most people fear heartbreak, but considering the type of men Hatcher experienced, we can totally consider her fear more than valid.
44. She Dated Duds
In her memoir, Hatcher shared more about her almost laughably tragic dating history. On one date, the man of the hour attempted to pay her to attend an event with him, and on another, she discovered her date had a serious substance usage issue. Unsurprisingly, she’s stayed away from dating in the public for the most part.
While she also reports being a satisfied single, she definitely wanted a bit more love in her life.
45. She Tried For More
Over the years, Hatcher prided herself on motherhood and her care for her daughter, Emma. News came out in 2022 that she’d wanted more children, so much so that she tried to have another child through a sperm donor. Sadly, she didn’t carry the baby to term, and has seemed to settle into her current life with her one daughter at her side.
46. She Couldn’t Move On
After years of mentally distancing herself from the pain of her childhood, startling news brought everything back to Hatcher in a sudden wave. In 2003, she received news that a young girl, only 14 years old, ended her own life the previous year. The girl grew up in the same neighborhood Hatcher did, but that wasn’t the worst thing they had in common.
47. She Wasn’t Alone
According to news reports, the girl decided to end it all after also being abused by Hatcher’s Uncle Stone—the same perpetrator of her own childhood nightmares. The news made Hatcher realize that, not only was she not her uncle's only victim, but also that he’d been at his evil behavior for decades.
She just couldn’t carry on as normal after that realization.
48. He Almost Got Away
Authorities held Stone on bail after taking him in for his violation of the 14 year old girl in 2002. Unfortunately, his case still tracked toward being dismissed, due to loopholes in the law. Hatcher realized that, despite his clear guilt, her uncle very likely could walk free. She couldn’t let that happen, but she’d have to risk it all to prevent it.
49. She Went Public
Hatcher’s face and name were a Hollywood staple at that point. Her success with Lois & Clark and various other roles meant her fans held her in high esteem. But at the risk of the public’s reactions to her childhood, she testified against her uncle, and landed him behind bars.
Undoubtedly, this period troubled Hatcher to no end, and perhaps affected other areas of her life. Regardless, deep, undeniable cracks started to show.