In the television sitcom “Designing Women,” Annie Potts, who played Mary Jo Shively, looks stunning in her seventies.
After fracturing “every bone in her body,” she rediscovered how to walk and now dances with her two grandsons.
The actress secretly wed James Hayman for 32 years; he was the stepfather to her son and the father of two other sons.
After her first appearance in “Corvette Summer,” Annie Potts gained notoriety, but it wasn’t until she played Mary Jo Shively in “Designing Women” that she became well-known. After that, she had a long career in the show business.
She had three marriages and gave birth to one son amid a trying time. Before meeting her current hubby, who has been by her side for some years and welcomed two additional sons, she was a single mother.
Annie Potts (as Mary Jo Shively), Dixie Carter (as Julia Sugarbaker), Jean Smart (as Charlene Frazier Stillfield), and Delta Burke (as Suzanne Sugarbaker) star in the CBS television series “Designing Women” in August 1986 | Source: Getty Images
It was difficult for Potts to balance being a mother and an actress, which she acknowledged. She disclosed: “I’d been doing series and movies on my hiatuses and found it wasn’t good for the children, and I was exhausting myself. I don’t regret it because I got more time with them.”
For the sake of herself and her children, the actress said, she had to leave Los Angeles. Potts was married three times earlier, but none of those unions were successful. Compared to her previous relationships, it was much better when she married James Hayman, her present spouse, in 1990.
Annie Potts, husband James Hayman, and son Doc Hayman being photographed on January 21, 193, at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images
Hayman’s affection for her son, Clay, from the moment he met him, according to Potts, convinced her that he was the one she could spend the rest of her life with.
According to the actress, when someone dates a person who is a parent, they must understand that they must love both the parent and the child, and Hayman demonstrated this. Potts recalled how the trio had been an “instant family” before having their other two sons.
Even though Potts and Hayman are now happily dating, the actress admitted that before she met him, she didn’t feel the desire to ever be in a committed relationship again. She had a good career and could support herself solely while raising her son. She believed she didn’t require a man.
Annie Potts and her husband, James Hayman, attending the 42nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 16, 1990, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California | Source: Getty Images
She acknowledged that her mindset led her to tell Hayman that she didn’t need him and that he needed to demonstrate that he deserved her attention and that he could add something to her life that she didn’t already have.
Even while it hasn’t always been simple for the pair, he offered her enduring peace and pleasure in addition to two additional children. Potts acknowledged: “It’s always a work in progress. Endure, endure, endure, endure. The family’s important to me, so we’ve worked to make it work.”
Annie Potts with her husband James Hayman and sons Harry and Doc | Source: Getty Images
Hayman and Potts first connected on a 1990s film shoot. In the movie, Potts starred alongside well-known actors, and Hayman shot the scenes. The actress claimed that their shared passion for work led to their relationship.
Potts claimed that at the beginning of their relationship, she and Hayman only discussed work because Hayman put in 16-hour shifts daily. Although she had little opportunity to interact with him throughout this period, their friendship grew.
Potts explained that the absence of single mothers on television was why she appreciated playing her well-known character Mary Jo Shively. She believed that conveying the message was crucial.
Why Was Potts Forced to Relearn How to Walk?
Potts and her family went through every feeling possible in just two years, from crushing sadness to ecstatic joy. Potts and Hayman’s first grandchild joined the family in July 2021.
Annie Potts, husband James Hayman, and sons Doc Hayman, Harry Hayman, and Clay Potts attending ‘Pediatric AIDS Benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Foundation’ on June 6, 1999, at the Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images
Potts shared the arrival of her first grandson, a young boy named Cassius James Hayman, on Instagram on July 13, 2021. She uploaded three pictures: one of the baby alone, one with his parents, and one of her with her son.
The family appeared delighted to have brought their first grandchild into the world in each image. Hayman and Potts smiled broadly as they looked down on their young grandson, who Potts were holding in addition to her son.
Hayman posted a black and white image of Potts staring at tiny Cassius in his crib on Twitter in August 2022. Hayman recalled the previous year that his wife was “looking over” their grandchild in the photograph.
Potts also published a picture of herself and Cassius on a boat in March 2022. The infant wore grey overalls, and Potts was donning a brown hat with bright edging. Potts claimed that she and her grandson were on the lake as a dog sat in the background.
The birth of her second grandchild, Silas, was revealed three months after she published the picture. When her firstborn son welcomed his firstborn son, the actress said she had become a “Meemaw” for a second time.
She once more shared images of the baby alone and others with his family. As she welcomed her second grandson into the family, she remarked that her heart was “exploding” with happiness.
Since then, she has posted numerous pictures of her grandchildren on social media. She posted a cute picture of Silas reading a book on his lap in September 2022. He was smart for his age, she teased.
She gets indescribable delight from her grandchildren but has also experienced pain in recent years. When Potts was 21 years old, a drunk driver struck her, breaking all but one of the bones in her lower body.
Since then, she has undergone more than 20 orthopedic surgeries and experienced ongoing discomfort. But in 2022, when she announced that she would need to have her ankle replaced, everything came to a head. She noted that the ankle joint is more difficult than the hip or knee; thus, surgery on it is not frequently performed.
Potts predicted a challenging procedure since, as an active person, she would have to spend weeks lying flat on her back following the procedure.
“I’ve had to learn how to walk again so many times now; I can’t even count.”
In April 2022, Potts posted an x-ray of her newly replaced ankle on Facebook. She referred to it as a “bionic ankle” and expressed gratitude for modern medicine allowing her to act, walk her dogs, and dance with her grandchildren.
Has Potts, who is 70 years old, really not aged?
Despite having a complicated operation at 70, Potts quickly started working on “Young Sheldon” as she recovered. Viewers have continued to be amazed by how young she still looks despite everything she has been through.
In the CBS television comedy DESIGNING WOMEN, Annie Potts (as Mary Jo Shively). Photos session dated August 26, 1991, | Source: Getty Images
A Twitter user watching her in “Young Sheldon” commented that she was a great example of how to mature gracefully. On her Instagram posts, she receives similar responses.
Potts published a flashback photo of herself on January 13, 2023, because she figured her admirers might not recognize the image. Potts’ followers started complimenting her appearance right away.
Annie Potts attends the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023, in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images
While some believed she hadn’t “aged much,” others thought the picture appeared to have been shot the day before she shared it. One adherent remarked:
“Gorgeous regardless of age. My inspiration.”
Potts trains frequently and posts videos of herself boxing with a trainer, despite her body has undergone a lot since the accident she had at age 21, and she is now a grandma.
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