Tuanchai Mackenzie, better known as Flip Wilson’s ex-wife, was married to the American comedian and actor who made himself a household name through his television appearances during the 1960s and ’70s. Wilson found great success through his weekly variety series, The Flip Wilson Show, aired from 1970 to 1974. This series introduced his iconic recurring character, Geraldine, to audiences all across America.

The Story of Tuanchai Mackenzie and Flip Wilson’s Meeting and Split

The elusive meeting and subsequent relationship between Tuanchai Mackenzie and Flip Wilson remains shrouded in mystery. Despite being a celebrated comedian, Wilson never spoke of how he first met Mackenzie. It was only on December 14, 1979, that the two entered into marriage.

Despite being married for several years, Wilson and Mackenzie’s relationship ultimately fell apart. On December 5, 1984, they divorced, but the reason for their separation was never publicly disclosed.

Mackenzie’s marriage to Wilson was the only time she was ever in the public eye. Following their divorce, she returned to life outside of the limelight, with little known about her whereabouts or what life held for her.

Previously, Wilson had been married to Lavenia Patricia “Peaches” Wilson from 1957 to 1967. Following their separation, Wilson entered into a common-law marriage with Blonell Pitman, with whom he had four children. Wilson performed less following a child custody battle in 1979, opting to spend more time with his children.

Flip Wilson: A Comedian Who Made History

Flip Wilson, a renowned comedian and the ex-husband of Tuanchai Mackenzie, earned recognition for his talent and creativity, landing on the cover of Time magazine as “TV’s first black superstar” with an African American leading role in a popular television variety show – The Flip Wilson Show. He earned two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for the show which made a mark in the history of network television as the second-highest-rated show. 

Wilson’s comedy career began in nightclubs with black clientele in the so-called “Chitlin’ Circuit” in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His rise to fame continued with his regular performances at the Apollo Theater in Harlem during the late 1960s. However, Redd Foxx’s appearance on the Tonight Show as a guest changed Wilson’s fortunes when he stated that Flip Wilson was the funniest comedian at that time. As a result of that comment, Wilson landed a spot on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, which led to his regular appearances on the show. 

Wilson achieved great success with The Flip Wilson Show and made guest appearances on various comedy and variety shows such as Laugh-In, The Dean Martin Show, and Here’s Lucy. He is remembered for his iconic role as “Prissy” in the Gone with the Wind spoof featuring Lucille Ball as Scarlett.

On a less favorable note, Wilson was charged in March 1981 with cocaine possession. Nevertheless, his comedic career never slowed down, even through the 1990s. He hosted a brief revival of People Are Funny in 1984 and starred in Charlie & Co., a sitcom that ran from 1985 to 1986. 

At the age of 64, Wilson’s life came to an end due to liver cancer on November 25, 1998. He was cremated, and his ashes were spread out over Malibu Beach at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, leaving behind a legacy that broke barriers and made a historic contribution to the entertainment industry.

Tuanchai Mackenzie: Birth & Parents 

Tuanchai Mackenzie, a native of Bangkok, Thailand, was born to Thai parents, whose identities remain a mystery. After her birth, she was adopted by William J. Davis, whose background and life are still unknown. On December 6, 1949, Tuanchai Mackenzie came into this world, and as of 2023, she is 73 years old.

While little is known about her adoptive parents, Mackenzie’s Facebook post provided some insight. Her adoptive father was a navy veteran who served during World War II. Regrettably, both of her adoptive parents are now deceased, with her father passing away in August 2017 and her mother in October 2018.

Mackenzie pursued a degree in Social Science at Colorado State University-Pueblo as a part of her educational journey.

Tuanchai, popularly known as ‘Cookie,’ worked as a casino hostess for some time before marrying Flip. Her job as a hostess allowed her to sustain herself financially until she tied the knot with Flip, whose successful career helped pay the bills.

Tuanchai’s Remarriage

Following her first marriage’s dissolution, Tuanchai Mackenzie tied the knot with Roderick Mackenzie, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the US Army. Unfortunately, the exact date of their wedding remains unknown. It is unclear when they exchanged their vows, but they remained together until Roderick’s passing in 2011.

Roderick Mackenzie departed from this world on August 25, 2011, at the age of 63. Although Tuanchai did not have a smooth start in her first marriage, she found a loving husband in Roderick, and they were a happy couple for many years. The couple also shared a daughter, Duan Mackenzie, who was born on April 30, 1988. 

Duan Mackenzie, Tuanchai and Roderick’s daughter, moved on to lead her life, marrying her beloved partner, Craig Nelson and they also have a baby boy. 

Bottom Line

Tuanchai Mackenzie’s life contains pieces of mystery and celebrated moments. Her marriage to Flip Wilson made her briefly famous, but she returned to a life of privacy after their separation. Her education, origins, and personal life are still mostly unknown, but she found love again in a remarriage to Roderick Mackenzie, with whom she shared a daughter. Tuanchai’s story is a reminder that even those who come into the public eye can still keep their lives shrouded in secrecy, with many details left to speculation.