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The Real Housewives of Orange County is a reality television program on the Bravo network. It is the first installation in the The Real Housewives of... series. Created by Orange County producer and Coto de Cazamarker resident Scott Dunlop, the show was initially set primarily in the gated community of Coto and followed the lavish livestyles of five "housewives" and their families who resided within Coto McMansions, with the exception of one housewife (Lauri Waring Peterson), who lived in comparatively reduced financial circumstances in a Ladera Ranch, Californiamarker townhouse. This housewife exception to the rule was used in season 1 to directly contrast with the money-laden existence of the other four housewives who lived behind the Coto gates. However, the show has since expanded its filming locations to include Rancho Santa Margaritamarker, Ladera Ranch, San Juan Capistranomarker, San Clementemarker, Costa Mesamarker, and Newport Coastmarker, and downplayed the exclusivity of living behind the gates of Coto. For example, the opening credits removed the commentary saying, "There's a mystique of living behind the gates."

History

The show's title and introduction alludes to the ABC show Desperate Housewives as well as the Fox teen drama The OC and touts itself as these two fictional shows' "real-life" counterpart. Unlike a true documentary, however, Bravo has monetarily compensated the show participants for their filming time. The show's first season premiered on March 21, 2006. The five original housewives were Kimberly Bryant, Jo De La Rosa, Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough and Lauri Waring. Season 1 consisted of 8 episodes, including the reunion. The show's second season premiered on January 16, 2007. Four of the five original housewives returned, with the exception of Kimberly Bryant who was replaced by Tammy Knickerbocker. Season 2 consisted of 10 episodes, including the reunion. Season 3 premiered on November 9, 2007 with De La Rosa replaced by new housewife, Tamra Barney. Season 3 consisted of 12 episodes, including the reunion. Additionally, midway through this season, a sixth housewife was introduced to the cast, Quinn Fry. With the introduction of Barney and Fry and Waring's move to San Juan Capistrano, the scope of the show widened its narrow focus that used to emphasize the privilege and exclusivity of living in gated Coto de Caza to purport the general luxury and materialism of living in the Orange County environment. For example, Waring comments in the opening credits of season 3 that she is now "living the Orange County lifestyle again" with her new wealthy fiance. BravoTV announced the series' fourth season renewal with the return of three original housewives, Gunvalson, Keough, Peterson and season 3 housewife Barney. A new housewife, Gretchen Rossi, replaces Season 2 housewife Knickerbocker and season 3 housewife Fry both of whom did not return. To compensate for the mid-season departure of Peterson, another new housewife, Lynne Curtin, joined the cast. This season premiered on November 25, 2008. Season 4 consisted of 15 episodes, including the reunion and a 'Lost Footage' special.. In June 2009, BravoTV announced the renewal of the show for a fifth season with the entire season 4 cast returning. A sixth housewife, Newport Beachmarker resident, Alexis Bellino, will be added to the cast as the newest housewife.

Spinoffs

The "Real Housewives" moniker once synonymous only with The Real Housewives of Orange County now denotes a franchise with a number of spin-off series that air on BravoTV.

In the wake of the success of the original show, the first spin-off, The Real Housewives of New York City, premiered on March 4, 2008.

BravoTV also announced the development of two additional "Housewife" spin-offs called, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta, with the latter premiering on October 7, 2008. The Real Housewives of New Jersey subsequently premiered on May 12, 2009.

In the spring of 2009, BravoTV announced the creation and casting of another spin-off called The Real Housewives of Washington DCmarker.The fifth season of The Real Housewives Of OC will premiere on November 5.

Additionally, season 1 housewife, De La Rosa, received her own dating show spin-off (Date My Ex: Jo & Slade) in which a group of bachelors competed to become her new love interest. This spin-off premiered on BravoTV on July 21, 2008.

Cast Lists

Cast Members

Lynne Curtin, Tamra Barney, Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough, and Gretchen Rossi at the Virgin America OC Launch in April 2009
Current Housewives
  • Vicki Gunvalson (Season 1-)
  • Tamra Barney (Season 3-)
  • Lynne Curtin (Season 4-)
  • Gretchen Rossi (Season 4-)
  • Alexis Bellino (Season 5-)


Past Housewives
  • Kimberly Bryant (Season 1)
  • Jo De La Rosa (Season 1-2)
  • Quinn Fry (Season 3)
  • Tammy Knickerbocker (Season 2-3)
  • Lauri Waring Peterson (Season 1-4)
  • Jeana Keough (Season 1-5)


Current Housewives

Vicki Gunvalson

(Season 1 to present)

Vicki Gunvalson (born March 27, 1962), at age 47, Gunvalson's family includes her second husband Donn and her two children, Michael (who attends the University of Colorado at Bouldermarker) and Briana Wolfsmith (who attends nursing school at Azusa Pacific Universitymarker located in Azusa, Californiamarker) from her first marriage.

Gunvalson is the dominant force in her family and has been described by her family and friends as "controlling" and a "workaholic." As she is quoted in the show's opening credits, "I want the power and the money and I want them both!" Her children repeatedly call her "crazy" both to her face and during their camera confessionals during all three seasons. She has worked extremely hard to achieve financial success as an independent insurance agent and expects her family to toe her party line. Gunvalson herself admits to having control issues but maintains it is this very characteristic that has brought about her success and desired lifestyle. For example, in season 1, when the housewives go on a private jewelry shopping spree, Waring laments that she does not have a man in her life to buy her the beautiful jewels in the shop; Gunvalson responds by telling her that she does not need a man to buy her things because they can earn the money independently through their insurance leads and purchase the jewels themselves.

In season 3, Gunvalson and her husband are empty nesters and purchase a smaller home in Coto with the goal to downsize and simplify their lives. However, they still reside in their large residence and Gunvalson expresses anxiety of moving to the smaller home because of her perceived connection between financial failure and downsizing her home's square footage. She explains to the camera, "What will people think?" and eventually decides to sell her smaller house (4,000 s.f. initially listed at $2.1M) through Keough.

Gunvalson appears to have expanded her business to include business associates in Bellevue, Washingtonmarker and Atlantamarker by season 3. Michael starts an internship in Bellevue saying that he sees the lucrative income that his mom earns in insurance and wants to make that kind of money. Briana, however, thinks that he is crazy to want to work with their mother. Gunvalson is pleased that Michael wants to follow in her footsteps and looks forward to "passing the baton" if he meets her work standards. She announces to the staff in Bellevue that Michael shadowed his father as a carpenter last summer engaged in manual labor and she is glad that he is choosing to use his brain instead.

Gunvalson's opening scene in season 4 finds her shopping for $1 million yachts with Michael. Her plans include selling the family's Lake Havasumarker vacation home and buying an expensive yacht that she says could be used more frequently as the yacht will be berthed 20 minutes from their home versus driving hours to Arizonamarker. When she initially tells Donn of her plans, he asks her, "When is it ever enough?" Gunvalson replies, "It's never enough." Gunvalson's season 4 motif revolves around her increasingly distant relationship with Donn and their awkward attempts to reintegrate their individual lives.

Tamra Barney

(Season 3 to present)

42-year old Chula Vistamarker native Barney joined the cast in season 3 through a casting call launched on the BravoTV website. She lives in Ladera Ranch with her second husband of 10 years, Simon Robert (born 1964). She recently became a real estate agent in Coto de Cazamarker and Ladera Ranch to achieve a sense of "value" in her family dynamic. However, she makes it clear that her job does not provide her family with its primary financial support and that her husband is actually her family's breadwinner. Her family includes three children from her current husband: Sidney, Spencer, and Sophia all of whom are under the age 10. Barney also has a 21 year old son, Ryan, from her first marriage. In season 3, Ryan moved back in with Barney after leaving the family home at age 18 because of his contentious relationship with Simon. Although Ryan's relationship with Simon has not improved, without a college education and a job, he is forced to move back in with Barney and Simon. Season 3 documents the strain that Ryan imposes upon Barney and Simon's marriage. In response, Simon has Ryan sign a contract listing conditions which Ryan must meet to continue living in his house. After three months of living with Barney and Simon, Ryan begrudgingly accepts a parts picker job paying only $10/hour at the Newport Beach auto dealership where Simon works. Simon gives Ryan the opportunity to attend Universal Technical Institute, which specializes in auto mechanics. By the end of season 3, Ryan moved out of Barney and Simon's home to live with his grandmother.

As a new real estate agent working the same territory as Keough (a more established realtor), Barney expresses feelings of competitiveness with her. Barney asserts that "it won't be long before she's kicking Jeana's butt" when it comes to selling real estate in Coto. Citing the relative slowness of the Southern California real estate market, she is very pleased that she has four listings explaining that a good-looking female realtor will always make money in Orange County. She flamboyantly calls herself the "hottest housewife in Orange County" and works especially hard to keep herself looking "hot" as she approaches the dreaded 40 during season 3.

In season 4, Simon has left Fletcher Jones to become a tequila salesman. He now spends most of his time at home with Barney and their three small children. Barney has also left employment as a real estate agent citing the severe slow down of the real estate market. Barney's eldest son, Ryan, lives on his own since leaving the low paying job that Simon gave him at his former employer to work construction at a higher pay. However, Ryan's lack of career focus and lifestyle choices continue to be a contentious issue for himself and his parents during this season.

Barney and Gunvalson grow closer in season 4 taking vacations together out of town (an anniversary weekend in Napa, Californiamarker and New Year's vacation to Las Vegas, Nevadamarker) and teaming up at an "Housewife" event during opening day at Del Marmarker Racetrackmarker. While Curtin, Keough, and Rossi socialized with one another in the private box, Barney and Gunvalson (and their husbands) stayed close to one another avoiding Curtin and Rossi, prompting Keough to call them cliquey. Barney explains that their closeness is because she and Gunvalson "share a lot of the same values" and that "Vicki and Donn will be [their] lifelong friends."

In September, 2009, the Barneys received a Notice of Default on their house.

Gretchen Rossi

(Season 4 to present)
Rossi at the Virgin America OC Launch in April 2009
Costa Mesamarker resident Rossi joins the cast in season 4, replacing seasons 2 and 3 housewife Knickerbocker and season 3 housewife Fry. At 32-years old, the unmarried Rossi is the youngest "housewife" of the current cast. A native of La Crescenta, Californiamarker, Rossi initially met the other housewives through Keough as she used to be employed as a real-estate agent. Unlike Fry, Rossi is connected through her past real-estate experience with several housewives; namely, Keough, De La Rosa, and Curtin who used Rossi to help her look for a piece of land. However, she left the real-estate business after becoming engaged to a wealthy OCmarker executive named Jeff Beitzel, who is 24 years her senior. Jeff has been married and divorced five times and has four adult children. Although Rossi confesses that Jeff was not her "type" and she was not physically attracted to him at first, she calls him her "Prince Charming" and chooses to nurse him after his diagnosis of acute leukemia, until his death on September 13, 2008.

Lynne Curtin

(mid-Season 4 to present)
Curtin at the Virgin America OC Launch in April 2009
On December 16, 2008, 52-year old Capistrano Beach resident Curtin, joined the cast in the fourth episode of season 4 to replace Waring Peterson. She has been married to Frank Curtin for 18 years and is a stay-at-home mom for her two teenage daughters, Raquel (18) and Alexa (16). Her role as a stay-at-home mom and accompanying interpretation of appropriate parenting style is her storyline in season 4. She mentions that her "carefree and laidback" parenting style where she strives to be her daughters' best friend differs greatly from her husband's. Raquel is turning 18 and angling for a blowout bash and a car (preferably a BMW, Mercedes or Audi) as Curtin debuts in season 4.

While her younger daughter, Alexa, stays at home playing the guitar with her first boyfriend, Randy, Raquel prefers (in her words) to "party with her friends as often as she can" throughout Orange County. She is shown eating out in Laguna Beachmarker restaurants ordering alcoholic beverages and smuggling bottled alcohol into a bowling alley to surreptitiously drink with her fellow underage friends in the bathroom. Compounding her image as a "problem child" (as Curtin teasingly labels her eldest), Raquel discloses to Keough that she graduated from a high school program called Access at Horizons, which Keough explains is designed to cope with children with disciplinary problems.

A leitmotif is Curtin's reluctance to accept that she is getting older. When pressed by Rossi, Curtin will not divulge her age confessing that she is absolutely afraid of getting old when she just wants to "have fun." She prides herself on looking young and wearing the same size clothing as her teenage daughters. At Raquel's birthday lunch, Alexa wears a form fitting short dress that incites Randy to respond that he did not even recognize her and that she looked like a stripper. Curtin's response is that the dress is very "classy" and it actually belongs to her.

The other Housewives label her and Frank as "so laid back," with Barney and Gunvalson implying that they both use marijuana to achieve that level of calmness. Barney, Gunvalson, and Keough observe that the Curtins differ so greatly from the rest of the Housewives and their spouses because of their "mellowness." Barney comments in her camera confessional that the Curtins remind her of "70s surfers" and Gunvalson calls Curtin a "pothead."

She was recently evicted from her home for non payment of rent and the property owner filed a police report for the loss of several expensive pieces of furniture.

Alexis Bellino

(Season 5 to present)

In July, 2009, Bravo TV announced that a new "housewife", Alexis Bellino, had been signed for the upcoming fifth season. Bellino is a 32-year-old (in 2009) stay-at-home mother of three young children. She is in her second marriage, to 47-year-old Jim, a house-flipper/pawnbroker.

Bellino was raised in a small town in Missourimarker, but she now resides in Newport Beachmarker.

In the press release announcing her casting, Bravo described Bellino as someone who "likes to work out to keep herself looking and feeling her best" and as a "“spicy blonde who unabashedly lives life on her terms."

Past Housewives

Kimberly Bryant

(Season 1; guest appearance in Season 4)

Born in 1961, and at 48 years old, Bryant is a stay-at-home mom whose schedule primarily consists of shuttling her kids from activity to activity, working out, and socializing with her girlfriends. The show highlights her decision to surgically enhance her physical appearance after moving to Coto; her husband Scott asked her to get breast augmentation surgery after noticing that the majority of Coto wives were very well-endowed. Bryant comments that 85 percent of the women living in Coto have had breast implants. She describes how she went from an A-cup to a D-cup in breast size and how her husband's idea of a wife over 40 is a "lingerie model."

At the end of season 1, Bryant explained her family's departure to Chicago by saying that her medical history of melanoma and her son's recent growth of a benign, but still pre-cancerous, mole determined their move from the sunny OCmarker weather. The O.C. Register, however, provided an alternate explanation of why the Bryants left town: Scott purportedly physically assaulted a woman named Jana Kindchadwick after Kindchadwick and Bryant themselves engaged in a physical altercation. Scott was eventually found not guilty in his misdemeanor battery criminal trial for assaulting Kindchadwick.

Bryant makes cameo appearances at Waring's bridal shower in season 3 and in season 4 when Gunvalson and Keough reunite with her during their trip to Chicago to visit family. She also attends a season 4 end-of-summer party with the current housewives.

She now lives in Lake Bluff, Illinoismarker.

Jo De La Rosa

(Season 1 to Season 2; guest appearance in Season 4)

De La Rosa was born in Lima, Perumarker and emigrated with her parents to Tustin, Californiamarker at the age of three. In 1994, her parents won the California Lottery and moved the family to Mission Viejomarker. She graduated from UC Irvinemarker with a degree in English and Comparative Literature. She then started a career in the title insurance industry where she met Slade Smiley who served as her entrance into the Coto lifestyle.

In season 1, De La Rosa lived with Slade in his house behind the Coto gates. Included in her Coto family were his two sons from two different relationships: Gavin and Grayson. Slade is an executive in the title insurance industry and provided De La Rosa with the money and prestige of living the Coto lifestyle. He gave her a Mercedes sedan and a luxurious home and wanted De La Rosa, in turn, to be the conventional stay at home wife and mother. In De La Rosa's words, "He's [Slade] pretty much keeping me." Despite having all of her financial needs taken care of, she still had trouble adjusting to the traditional housewife role.

In season 2, De La Rosa decided to move out of Coto to take a position as the title representative for her company's Beverly Hillsmarker territory. Slade in turn ended their romantic relationship during a session with a relationship therapist, but becomes her unofficial "guide" on contract or business issues as she pursues a singing career. Another change to her Coto life during this season was that Slade's younger son, Grayson, did not appear to live with De La Rosa and Slade.

De La Rosa was not included as a season 3 cast member as she has moved to Los Angeles with a record contract from Immergent Records in tow and does not keep in touch with the other housewives. However, she makes cameo appearances at Keough's backyard cocktail party on the season 3 finale episode and the post-season 3 reunion episode.

De La Rosa and Slade were spun-off on a dating reality show following her pursuit of love and a music career in Los Angeles. On July 12, 2008, their spin-off, entitled, "Date My Ex: Jo & Slade," premiered on BravoTV. Before the spin-off premiered, BravoTV aired a one episode special called, "Jo and Slade: The Break Up," on June 30, 2008 that recapped De La Rosa and Slade's romantic history and previewed their spin-off.

De La Rosa released her first album, titled "Unscripted," on August 19, 2008.

In season 4, Rossi appears as an extra in De La Rosa's first music video with Slade as the video's producer. Rossi explains that she met De La Rosa and Slade when she worked in the real estate industry. Rossi and Slade are now dating.

De La Rosa was recently seen working as a bartender at Cafe Boogaloo in Hermosa Beach, CA.

According to De La Rosa's website, she is currently working on her sophomore album.

Quinn Fry

(mid-Season 3; guest appearance in Season 4)

Fry joined the cast mid-season 3 on December 11, 2007, by answering a casting call advertisement in a local newspaper. She was born in 1955 in Fort Knox, Kentuckymarker, where her father was stationed in the military. Married twice before and now single, she lives in San Clemente. She has two children, one from each of her marriages: Shannon (31 at the time, a Eurekamarker resident) and Colin. Colin lives with Fry and attended San Clemente High School as a senior at the time. She works as an internet marketing manager and managing editor of an Orange County-based lifestyle and entertainment website and has also appeared as an on-air personality for the Cox Communications cable program, OC Lifestyle.

She is portrayed as a "cougar" as she is casually seeing a 26-year old named Jared and she comments that "I love having a younger man in my life." However, a liaison with a golf pro in his forties, named Billy, is the relationship that Fry more seriously pursues. The other housewives meet her for the first time at a Mission Viejo restaurant where they immediately ask Fry a number of personal questions, such as, her age (52 at the time) and the name of her plastic surgeon. At this meet-and-greet, she calls the other housewives "catty" in response to their derisive comments after being introduced to Jared. For example, Barney comments in her camera confessional about Fry dating Jared that "I think if you're super hot like Demi Moore you can get away with it, but that's not the case."

As a devout Christian, Fry's debut season chronicles her search for a committed relationship that will lead to marriage. She struggles to balance her self-purported "sensual" side with her religious conviction that she is meant to be married. She describes her most recent relationship with a man that she lived with for three years as a waste of time because he was simply not interested in being married. At the end of season 3, Fry breaks up with Billy because he could not even call her his girlfriend let alone marry her.

Fry leaves the cast after the end of season 3, but attends a party Keough gives during the premiere episode of season 4. She keeps in touch with Keough calling her the "glue that keeps the Housewives together" and describes her as the "peacekeeper." At Keough's invitation, Fry plans to attend a "Housewives" function to reunite with Gunvalson, Keough, and Knickerbocker. However, she describes Waring as a "fake" and classifies Barney similarly, stating that they smile when the cameras are on but are completely different when she sees them on the street.

Tammy Knickerbocker

(Season 2 to Season 3; guest appearance in Season 4)

Tammy Knickerbocker (born Leo) is a single mother, 46, joined the cast in season 2 through Keough's recommendation. She has been friends with Keough for over 15 years and her family include her two daughters from her first marriage, Megan and Lindsey and a young son named, Ryley, from a recently ended relationship. Her first marriage to Lou (who died of a heart attack at age 67 on April 24, 2007) ended when he had an affair with his assistant and their lucrative business went bankrupt. Her lifestyle has been "reduced" from being married and owning one of the largest houses in Coto de Caza to being single and renting a $1.3 million house in the community while her permanent Coto home undergoes renovations because of severe water damage.

Another twist to her storyline is that Ryley's father, Duff, works in Coto as Gunvalson's home office manager. Knickerbocker and Duff attempt to balance their "friends with benefits" relationship with raising their young son. In the end, however, Duff and Knickerbocker decide to end any romantic relationship. Duff swears off the "crazy women of Coto de Caucausian" and Knickerbocker introduces the new man in her life to the other Housewives at Gunvalson's splashy end of summer barbecue.

Knickerbocker left the series at the end of season 3, however, she makes a cameo appearance at the end of season 4 attending a party with current and selected former housewives.

Lauri Waring Peterson

(Season 1 to mid-Season 4)

Lauri Waring Peterson (born Scorpio) in season 1, Waring was a multiple-divorced single mother who used to live in a grand house with maid service in neighboring Dove Canyon with her ex-husband, but in the aftermath of her latest divorce had to downsize to a smaller townhouse outside the gates in Ladera Ranch. Her family included Ashley, Josh and Sophie.

Although 46 at the time (and 49 now), Waring, a former model, still attended parties at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansionmarker, though she was quick to point out she was never a Playboy bunny. To make ends meet, she worked in Gunvalson's home insurance office. Her daughter Ashley moved back home to escape the difficulties of paying her own bills and her son Josh spent time in juvenile detention.

In season 1, Waring struggled with the adjustment from her former affluent lifestyle provided by yet another wealthy husband to a more modest standard of living on her own. She has said that she has gone from being poor to being rich to being poor again, and that "having money is easier." However, her perception of "poor" still includes her purchase of jewelry valued for thousands of dollars during a private shopping excursion with the housewives. During Season 1, Gunvalson hired Waring into her home-based insurance company, however by season 2, after forming a relationship with a rich land developer, Waring appears to have a less active role in Gunvalson's insurance company and by season 3, Waring never appears working with Gunvalson or in the insurance business.

During season 2, Waring became engaged on Lake Comomarker to a wealthy real estate and land developer, George Peterson. Season 2 focused on Waring's relationship with George and the financial improvements to her lifestyle that this upwardly mobile relationship provides her and her children. Waring identifies herself as a Republican (although she is unable to define what that means to her) and attends a Republican Party fundraiser as part of George's social obligations.

By season 3, Waring, Ashley and Sophie have moved in with George into his home in San Juan Capistrano. She is shown planning her expensive third wedding and riding horses at George's ranch. After leaving rehab, Josh moved into Waring's Ladera Ranch townhouse with Ashley, however, Waring purports that Josh broke a number of "house rules" and she evicted him. After leaving his mother's townhouse, Josh moved in with George's ex-wife, Gina. Josh doesn't appear in the credits as part of Waring's family and Waring has alluded that she doesn't see him anymore. Despite the appearance of numerous children from George's former marriage and Waring's repeated commentary about their "modern Brady Bunch family" in season 2, only one daughter, McKenzie (18), appears to live with George and Waring during season 3. The season 3 finale included an extended psychotherapy session attended by Waring and Josh where they achieved resolution in their conflicted mother-son relationship. Josh ends up being included in his mother's lavish wedding ceremony as his grandmother's escort down the marital aisle.

In season 4, Waring makes a brief appearance with the other housewives as they enjoy massages, facials, manicures and pedicures at a high-end Los Angeles day spa. While the other housewives bond and leisurely enjoy spa treatments, Waring leaves early to attend a family function with George. Gunvalson comments that Waring used to be a close friend but not since she married George and says that, "It's sad." As the season progresses, it is apparent that Waring interacts very sporadically with the other housewives saying that her focus and attention is with George and her family. December 9, 2008 marked the departure of Waring from the show to focus her attention on her family and their difficulties, specifically citing Josh's spiral into heroin addiction. Prior to the start of season 4, in June 2008, Josh was charged with two felony counts of possession and intent to sell heroin and ecstasy, one misdemeanor count of unauthorized possession of a hypodermic needle, and being under the influence of heroin. He has subsequently been sentenced to 240 days in jail.

After officially leaving the cast during season 4, Waring makes a subsequent season 4 appearance at a tête à tête lunch in Laguna Beach with Barney. Barney fills Waring in with all this season's gossip and admits that the Housewives get extremely catty when they're all together. Waring says that while she misses all the girls and will be back soon, she doesn't miss the drama. However, she does enjoy dishing with Barney about Keough only having "one" friend and mocks Gunvalson about how she "owns" Lake Havasumarker. Waring makes an additional season 4 appearance at the reunion show providing updates on Josh's condition and discloses that she has drifted away from her former castmates and these friendships. Waring also previewed her first book which will be a behind-the-scene perspective of her participation as a "Real Housewives..." cast member.

Jeana Keough

(Season 1 to mid-Season 5)

Jeana Keough (born September 18, 1955) is a 54-year old former Playboy Playmate of the Month (November 1980, under the name Jeana Tomasino) and actress (featured in the 1981 film History of the World, Part 1 and in the 1982 movie Beach Girls) from Milwaukee, Wisconsinmarker. She currently works as a realtor. In season 3, she legally separated from her second husband, Matt Keough, with whom she has three children: Shane, Kara, and Colton. Matt is a former major league pitcher for the Oakland A's and several other major league teams. He is currently employed as an executive with the Oakland A's.

Keough often described her experience as a mother as tough and her children are often seen battling with one another over the usual sibling rivalries and the not so usual sibling rivalries, such as, who has the newer BMW. Kara talks on-air about her family dynamic by saying, "We show our love by buying each other things." During both seasons 1 and 2, Keough explained that Matt was often out of town on business which left her as the primary parent and disciplinarian to her three children which resulted in a very hectic household. Part of this absence can be attributed to Matt serving time in jail for a drunk driving accident in which he hit a bicyclist. Season 2 continued to document Keough's marital struggle and one of her closing statements is that "We have four houses, he [Matt] can choose one."

In season 3, Keough's Coto family has gotten smaller as she and Matt have legally separated and Colton is the only child living consistently at home. Shane plays minor league baseball out of state and Kara (a former child actor) prepares to attend UC Berkeleymarker in Northern Californiamarker. In prior seasons, Colton was depicted as the reasonable, obedient, down-to-earth child with Keough describing him as her "golden child." However, this season shows Colton defying his mother, Coto HOA rules and traffic laws; with Keough now saying that she doesn't trust Colton alone and she really wants to keep a closer eye on him.

Keough explores the dating scene in season 3 explaining to friends that she and Matt did not have a real marriage, just a relationship that used to be based on a strong physical and sexual attraction. According to Keough, Matt does not really like or love her; they got caught up in the sex at first, then the children came along and they just got on with the "business of marriage." She continues to explain that when she gained weight he, being an athlete, could not understand and so stopped being "nice" to her.

In the opening scenes of season 4, Keough and Matt still live in the same house with Keough explaining that she takes in all types of people into her house, "why wouldn't she let the father of her children live in her home." Despite their close living quarters, Keough asserts that she and Matt are definitely separated and she has just redecorated her master bedroom for thousands and thousands of dollars as a show of her independence. With Shane and Kara living in different cities, Colton remains the only child living with her and Keough relies on family friend "Uncle Richie" to act as a father figure for him (such as helping Colton get ready for prom). With the downturn of the real estate market, and California particularly hard hit, a portion of Keough's season 4 storyline depicts how the market lows and the current recession has affected Keough's occupation as a high-end realtor. It was announced that the third episode of season 5 would be Keough's last appearance on the show.

Series Overview

Season Episodes Season Premiere Season Finale
1 8 March 21, 2006 May 9, 2006
2 10 January 16, 2007 March 20, 2007
3 12 November 6, 2007 January 29, 2008
4 15 November 11, 2008 February 24, 2009
5 November 5, 2009


Episode Guide

Season 1

Ep # Title Airdate



Season 2

Ep # Title Airdate



Season 3

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Season 4

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Season 5

Ep # Title Airdate



See also



References

External links

Show web site Cast member official web sites Articles
  • Monster's Bawl March 30, 2006 Kara Keough's letter to the OC Weekly editor
Other Sites


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