This U.S. couple first hit TV screens because of their unusual appearance. A friend had nominated them for a much-needed makeover, but no one could have expected the results to be quite so dramatic. Years afterwards, though, their story took a tragic turn.
Tim and Wendy White were a married couple who unexpectedly found themselves having their 15 minutes of fame way back in 2003. They ended up appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show after they were nominated by a friend.
There was something about the pair, who had been married for 12 years, that made them stand out from the crowd. They were by no means a conventional couple; you could tell that just by looking at them. In fact, it was their outward appearance that set them apart from the rest.
And it was also the couple’s appearance that encouraged one of their buddies to contact the The Oprah Winfrey Show, asking for help. The pal wasn’t convinced that the pair were making the most of their looks and insisted that they appeared older than they should.
But Tim and Wendy White hadn’t changed their appearances in years. They were rockers, and everything about the way that they dressed and the way that they styled their hair confirmed it. Both of them sported incredibly long hair and neither of them had frequented a hair salon for years.
In fact, at the time she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Wendy’s last haircut had happened over a decade previously, in 1992. Meanwhile, Tim’s last visit to the barber shop had occurred way back in 1985. Tim would let his hair hang loose on a day-to-day basis, while Wendy would tie hers in a bun with two ringlets hanging down on either side of her face.
The friend who wrote to The Oprah Winfrey Show suggesting that the Whites needed makeovers said at the time that the couple “really need help.” She added that her friend Wendy was in dire need of getting rid of her “grandma bun.”
The straight-talking chum went on to say that Tim would be “a fantastic looking guy” underneath all of his hair. It may have looked right when he was playing the guitar with his rock band, but perhaps now was the right time to update his look.
So, after the show’s producers had been convinced that the Whites were deserving of makeovers, they invited the couple onto the show to undergo an incredible transformation. Wendy expressed a desire to look like Jennifer Aniston, while Tim wanted to come out looking like Mel Gibson.
A video showing the before and after versions of the couple went viral online, garnering over 11 million views. The figures were somewhat unsurprising, given how incredible their transformations were. Indeed, the self-branded “rock ’n’ roll hair couple” were barely recognizable.
When Wendy stepped out onto Oprah’s stage, the audience went wild. Wearing a skin-tight pink dress with a classy pink shawl casually thrown over the top, Wendy looked the “younger, sexier” self that she had hoped for before the makeover had even begun.
Her new hair was short and blonde. Furthermore, her standard outfit consisting of jeans, work boots and a T-shirt was long gone. Wendy now looked catwalk-ready in her stylish new ensemble. All that was left to do was see what the TV show’s team had done with her husband Tim.
The man who stepped out onto Oprah’s stage next couldn’t have been further from the old Tim. Wearing a sharp Prada suit and sporting a fresh new haircut, Tim sauntered out confidently. And it was a truly tear-jerking moment when he spotted his wife’s new look.
Tim and Wendy were reunited on stage in front of a cheering audience, who simply couldn’t get enough of their amazing transformations. It seemed the couple couldn’t either as they were unable to stop hugging each other. Tim was heard repeatedly saying to his wife “Oh my God,” and “You look gorgeous!”
The Whites were delighted with their new appearances and even likened their experience on The Oprah Winfrey Show to the wedding day they never really had. That’s because they had got married in Las Vegas without much of an elaborate ceremony.
The couple intended to renew their wedding vows on their 20th wedding anniversary, and they were even going to don the outfits given to them by The Oprah Winfrey Show. But something tragic happened which meant that their touching idea never came to pass.
Five years after appearing on the show, Tim passed away. He had suffered a heart attack at the unusually young age of 48. His heartbroken widow then had to plan a funeral for him, including all the important details such as the final outfit that her husband would wear.
Wendy chose to dress Tim in the Prada suit that was given to him as part of his TV makeover. However, she made sure to keep a hint of rock-style in his outfit, by putting his leather jacket on over the top of the elegant designer suit.
Wendy has since told Huffington Post that she is grateful that she and her late husband were able to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She said that she was “glad that the whole world got to see how [they] felt about each other.”
As a means of coping following the tragic loss of her husband, Wendy decided to join his rock band. She now says that the decision “saved her life.” Although the couple wowed the U.S. with their incredible makeover, then, it’s clear that Wendy will always and forever have a little bit of rock-chick within her.