Who was Vivian Liberto?
Vivian Dorraine Liberto was born under the sign of Taurus on 23 April 1934, in San Antonio, Texas, USA of American and Italian descent, and passed away on 24 May 2005 in Ventura, California at the age of 71. She was probably best recognized for being the first wife of Johnny Cash, the late country singer and one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
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Would you like to know more about Vivian Liberto and her life with the legendary country singer? How rich was she? If you are interested, stay tuned and find out all the details about her.
Vivian Liberto Net Worth
If to talk about her net worth, there is no information in the media about her career. Anyway, if you ever wondered how rich Vivian Liberto was, it is known that she had a net worth of $60 million at the time of her death. She was involved in the entertainment industry as the ex-wife of the late famous singer, whose net worth was estimated to be over $120 million and he probably shared that with her while they were married, and as a part of their divorce settlement.
Early Life, Parents, Siblings, Education
Concerning her early life, Vivian Liberto spent her childhood in the hometown of San Antonio, where she was raised alongside her two siblings in a Roman Catholic family by her father, Thomas Peter Liberto, and her mother, Irene Robinson Liberto. She was the middle child, as she had an elder brother named Raymond Alvin, and a younger sister named Susan Flye. Her parents’ professions were not revealed to the public, nor any information regarding her educational background.
Her Marriage to Johnny Cash
Speaking about her involvement in the entertainment industry, Vivian reached enormous popularity through her marriage to Johnny Cash. She met him at a roller skating rink in San Antonio in July of 1951, while he was in Air Force training, and they soon started dating. After only three weeks of their relationship, he had to move to Germany because he served in the US Air Force, but that didn’t separate them as they continued to keep their relationship alive over the next three years by sending hundreds of letters, before he returned. The couple eventually exchanged their wedding vows at a ceremony held at a Catholic Church in San Antonio on 7 August of 1954. After that, they moved to Memphis, Tennessee where Johnny launched his music career, and they started a family.
His Big Break, Problems with Law, and Divorce
In the very beginning of their union, Johnny and Vivian barely made ends meet, since he worked as a salesman, who fought at the same time for his place on the music scene. In the following year, his big break came as he released the hit single “Cry! Cry! Cry!”, and their lives changed completely. His subsequent popularity brought him not only a huge amount of money, but also drug addiction, affairs with other women, and problems with the law. All of those things led Vivian to file for divorce in 1966, while it was eventually finalized in 1967.
Today in 1954, Johnny Cash married first wife and mother of his four daughters Vivian Liberto at St. Ann’s Catholic Church.
Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto were blessed with four daughters. She gave birth to their first daughter Rosanne in May 1955, and she is also involved in the music industry as a country singer, following her late father. Thanks to her accomplishments, Rosanne won the 1985 Grammy for Best Country Song for “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me”. The couple welcomed their second daughter, Kathy, in April of 1956, Cindy in July 1959, and their fourth daughter named Tara in August 1961.
Controversy and Her Ethnicity
If to talk about her ethnicity, Vivian Liberto was Italian-American. However, in October 1965, a photo of the couple published by the Associated Press increased speculation regarding her ethnicity. – many people thought that she was actually African-American. It would not be a scandal if it had not happened in the period when racial segregation was still alive in some parts of the US. The photo led to a number of death threats to Johnny Cash, and he even had problems as some people boycotted his concerts, until his manager came out publicly and denied that she belonged to black ethnicity.
Career and Memoir
Speaking about her professional career, there is no information in the media as she managed to keep it very low profile. It is only known that she was a homemaker and devoted mother, who spent her time looking after her daughters away from the eyes of the public. However, during the last years of her life, Vivian co-authored with Anne Sharpsteen the autobiographical book entitled “I Walked The Line: My Life With Johnny”, which was posthumously published in 2007. It represents her side of their story, and a reply to the Oscar winning film “Walk The Line” (2005), based on his autobiographies.
The book gives a description of her 13-year long marriage with the legendary country musician, and is based on the love letters they exchanged from 1951 to 1954, while the title of the book represents the title of his popular song “I Walk The Line” (1956), for which she served as an inspiration. Moreover, she made appearances in the documentary film “The Life And Times Of The Cash Family” in 1999, and another one entitled “My Darling Vivian”, which is currently in post-production. Vivian was also known for serving the community, as she collaborated with many charitable organizations. She was even the President of the Garden Club of San Buenaventura.
Cash married Vivian Liberto on this day in 1954. The couple had four daughters during their 12-year union. pic.twitter.com/flUT6IKExE
— Johnny Cash (@JohnnyCash) August 7, 2019
Life after Divorce and Death
Following the divorce, Vivian moved with their daughters to Ventura, California, where she raised them. In 1968, she remarried to police officer Dick Distin, and they lived together until her death; the couple had no children together. Vivian passed away at the Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura on 24 May 2005 at the age of 71, the cause of her death being complications after surgery for lung cancer.