On This Day: Tammy Wynette Television Film, ‘Stand By Your Man,’ Airs on CBS in 1981

by Keeli Parkey

Tammy Wynette was one of the most important and beloved artists in the history of country music. Her songs were truthful and heartfelt and sincere. Her life story was filled with heartache, and heartbreak, and – maybe more importantly – success and triumph.

Thanks to her talent, Wynette came to be known as “The First Lady of Country Music.” Without a doubt, this title was well deserved. She was an early country music icon. And, what she did on the country music stage set the tone for countless female artists who followed her in the enre.

Without a doubt, Tammy Wynette’s life was filled with drama. The struggles she went through in her personal life are well documented. There were also her failed marriages and more than her fair share of heartbreak. Amongst these failed marriages was one relationship with another country music icon. That man was “The Possum” himself – George Jones. Unfortunately for Wynette, this marriage ended in divorce.

Television Movie Based on Life of Tammy Wynette Debuted During May 1981

It was on this day 40 years ago that a television movie version of Tammy Wynette’s life aired on the small screen. The Twitter account @SilverAgeTV shared photos from this television film on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

“Country music singer #TammyWynette (played by #AnnetteOToole) rises from poverty to fame, with rough marriages along the way in the made for television movie #StandByYourMan airing on CBS 40 years ago today in 1981,” @SilverAgeTV shared on May 13.

Playing Tammy Wynette in the 1981 made for television movie “Stand By Your Man” was actress Annette O’Toole. According to IMDb.com, this actress has had many other roles in her career even though she hasn’t become a household name.

Even though she isn’t one of the most famous actors to work in Hollywood, fans will most likely recognize O’Toole. This familiarity comes from her many other projects. These included the 1980s production of “It.” This was based on Stephen King’s book of the same name. She also had roles in “Superman III,” “48 Hours,” and “Nash Bridges,” just to name a few.

Joining Annette O’Toole in the “Stand By Your Man” television film about the life of Tammy Wynette was Tim McIntire. Further, the actor was tasked with the role of playing the famous country music star George Jones.

According to IMDb.com, the plot of the television film based on Tammy Wynette’s life is: “The rags-to-riches tale of country western queen, Tammy Wynette, follows her life from her impoverished childhood to country’s First Lady and her two rocky marriages to fellow superstar George Jones.”