Glynn Turman, Aretha Franklin’s Ex Husband Speaks On Their Final Visit Before Her Death

Posted On : August 16, 2018

Many people may be surprised to know that the late Aretha Franklin was once married to legendary actor, Glynn Turman. Franklin and Turman, who did not have children together, married in 1978, separated in 1982 and divorced in 1984.

Many of us know Turman for his role in Cooley High, or for playing the role of math professor and retired Army colonel Bradford Taylor on the NBC sitcom A Different World. Turman is also known for his roles as Lew on the prime-time soap opera Peyton Place and for his iconic role as high school student Leroy “Preach” Jackson in the 1975  film Cooley High. In speaking with People magazine, Glynn Turman opened up about his final moments with the love of his life, Aretha Franklin.

Glynn Turman Was Able To Have Closure With His Former Wife, Aretha Franklin:

As news spread that the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, was gravely ill, people all over the world began to pray. Franklin was fighting for her life as fans, friends, and family members showed the Queen respect as they shared their fondest memories. Fans and celebrities sent an outpouring of prayers along with love to Aretha Franklin on Monday amidst reports that she was in Hospice care and expected to die any day. Aretha Franklin’s nephew, Tim Grant, told PEOPLE that Franklin was surrounded by her loved ones and resting at home. He shared that she was alert, talking, and laughing.

She’s alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people, Franklin’s nephew Tim Franklin told PEOPLE. Family is there with her, he said. She’s home. I saw her a week ago Friday and we talked for about 45 minutes to an hour. My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking, Tim continued. She’s watching TV, so god forbid she sees all of this ‘Aretha’s dead,’ so I don’t want to dampen her spirits on that

Not only was Franklin surrounded by her family members, she was visited by famous friends like Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson, and her second husband, Glynn Turman.

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Glynn Turman And Aretha Franklin Were Married For 6 Years:

In exclusively speaking to PEOPLE, Glynn Turman opened up about his fond memories with Aretha Franklin. While we knew the Queen as a woman with a beautiful voice, Turman knew her as a beautiful woman who was a wife, mother, and one of his best friends. Despite the fact that they were divorced, Turman shared that they remained friends who spoke over the years. Turman jokingly shared that Franklin was stubborn and she was fighting for her life up to the very end.

I felt her pulse holding her frail, frail arm, the 71 year-old actor stated about his final moments with Franklin, whom he called the “love of my life.” I was able to feel her pulse, which was strong. So she was fighting ’til the very end, he stated of the star, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 76. She’s always been a warrior — a strong, strong woman and a fighter. Her pulse told me that she was not in surrender mode. She was going to fight it ’til the end.

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While Aretha Franklin was unable to speak during their visit, Turman shared that she was conscious and aware of his presence. It was a beautiful moment as it provided closure for the former Hollywood couple.

she did know that I was there, Turman said. And we were able to feed off of that recognition, feed off of the moment of both sort of realizing that time was extremely precious at this time. So it was a moment full of closure.

It’s unclear why the couple chose to divorce, but they truly loved each other. Turman shared that he reflected on the good times with Franklin as there were many.

The good times were wonderful. The things we were able to share, things we were able to do together, the concerts that we were able to share, Turman recalled. People think of her often as an iconic singer, an iconic performer, but they don’t necessarily remember that she was a mother and a wife and someone’s lover, he added. There was that part that I’m glad I got to know about.

Turman shared that he loved Franklin’s fighting spirit, her great sense of humor, as well as her independence. She was called the Queen for a reason as Aretha Franklin was not one to conform.

She was hilarious, Turman shared. She had a roster of jokes and could make funny situations out of situations that you wouldn’t think … were funny. At the same time, Franklin was “stubborn, stubborn as hell, he added. Women’s Rights Movement should have her name written all over. She just didn’t take tea for the fever, as the old folks would say. She was stubborn and hard to persuade. When she got her mind made up on something, you might as well pretty much forget trying to change it.

Thankful for their time together, Turman shared that Aretha Franklin died knowing that she was loved by him and by the world.