Whatever Happened To Actress And Model Teri Copley?

Teri Copley was in the midst of filming another movie when her life suddenly changed. It was 1990, and for nearly a decade the actress had been working her way up the Hollywood ladder. One morning, she felt a presence touch her hand and wake her, she recounted on Christian Hollywood. She had an overwhelming need to pray. "Lord, you've given me this life and I've made a mess of it; please let me serve you," she said aloud while on her knees. Her unforeseen conversion to Christianity would change the arc of her life.

She began her Hollywood career in the 1980s with her first television role in "Fantasy Island" before landing a starring spot on the 1983 sitcom "We've Got It Made," according to The New York Times. While the show only lasted a single season, the exposure led to more television and film roles, per IMDb. For several years after becoming born again, Copley's acting career took a backseat to her faith. "When I surrendered my life to the Lord, I changed," she told CBN.com (via Facebook). "Not because I had to, but because I wanted to." Today, Copley continues to evangelize while still appearing on television and in films from time to time in parts that don't go against her beliefs.

Wanted to be taken seriously

In the 1980s and into the 1990s, Teri Copley appeared on such shows as "Murder She Wrote" and "The Love Boat" and in films including "Brain Donors," per IMDb. But after constantly being typecast as a ditzy blond, Copley longed for better parts and began taking acting classes hoping to be taken seriously, per CBN.com. She also pushed herself into appearing in a Playboy pictorial in 1990. "I started to tell myself, 'You're not innocent ... that's not the way the world works. Grow up'," she told CBN. "It was wrong for me. It wasn't who I was. But I did it."

After her conversion, she began turning down roles that she felt didn't fit in with her new belief system. "There were some struggles of losing everything and losing the life," she admitted. "But feeling rejected and unloved all my life, and then feeling a love from Jesus, I was willing to give up everything for that."

Back in the news

Teri Copley married and divorced three times, according to CBN. She believed her childhood played a direct role in her inability to find enduring love. "Basically, in my younger years, I was raised by a single mom," she told CBN.com. "My relationship with my father as a child was pretty much nothing. I think the impact of not having a father ... had a huge, significant impact in my life, of rejection." She constantly chose men who would ultimately reject her, she said.

Among her relationships during this period, she dated actors John Stamos and Tony Danza, a situation that recently thrust her back into the spotlight in the fall of 2023 when Stamos revealed he walked in on Copley and Danza in bed while he and Copley were dating, according to People. Copley told the magazine she and Stamos were already broken up at the time of the incident. "I wondered, 'What was John doing there?' because we had broken up," she told People. "He just looked at me and shook his head, and walked away." Stamos recalled in "If You Would Have Told Me: A Memoir," that they had been dating for close to a year and that he was "smitten" with her. When Stamos found her in bed with Danza, he described his reaction as being "physically painful" to People.

Wrote a book about her faith

Teri Copley began attending Church on the Way, a gospel fellowship, and launched Sonset Ministries in the early 2000s, which organized tent revivals in Los Angeles, per LA Weekly and Christian Hollywood. She wrote a book in 2003, "Conversations Between a Girl and Her God," about her spiritual journey. In 2018, she appeared in a series of videos called "Behind the Veil, on YouTube, in which she preaches.

The 62-year-old has also returned to acting. She appeared in the 2014 film "Redeemed" with Ted McGinley ("Married... with Children," "Shrinking"), per IMDb. In 2017, she appeared in the "Enforcer" TV Series and currently has two projects in production. She has also written and starred in several plays rooted in her Christian faith, per CBN. "I feel like I have a lot to give to people," she told CBN. "It's not so much about me receiving, but it's how much I can give. How much love I can give to people."