Esteemed composer and songwriter Andrew Lloyd Webber, known for musicals like Cats, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera, has made quite a name for himself in entertainment, over his decades in the industry. He is an icon to many and a legend in his field. Webber’s personal life has been just as eventful as his professional. He is a family man, with several children and a love life to juggle. Webber has also had several triumphs with his health, even overcoming prostate cancer in 2010. By his side as he fought the disease was his wife Madeleine Gurdon, who he married in 1991. Get to know more about Gurdon, her marriage to Webber and Webber’s love life below.
1. Gurdon Is Webber’s Third Wife
Prior to meeting and marrying Gurdon, Webber was actually married twice, making Gurdon his third wife. Webber’s first wife was a woman named Sarah Hugill and the ex-couple married in 1971. They then divorced in 1983. According to The Guardian, Hugill was just 18 years old and Webber was 23 when the two married. During the course of their marriage, they had two children – Imogen Lloyd Webber and Nicholas Lloyd Webber. Today, Webber’s daughter Imogen is a political commentator and author.
Webber’s second marriage was to singer Sarah Brightman, who The Guardian reported he was having an affair with while married to Hugill. The two tied the knot about a year after his first marriage ended, in 1984. Brightman was actually cast in the lead role in Webber’s famous musical “The Phantom of the Opera”. This was just one of the major roles she received. The couple ultimately split in 1990 and never had children.
2. Webber Said that Gurdon Saved Him From Killing Himself
According to The Sun, in Webber’s memoir “Unmasked,” he expressed that, due to depression, he had contemplated suicide three times in his life. His latest “episode” was the result of dealing with cancer and chronic back pain. Webber said that it was wife Gurdon, who helped him through his most recent suicidal thoughts. The Independent reported that Webber admitted to first thinking about killing himself when he was just 15 years old.
3. Together the Couple Has Three Children
While Webber has two children from a previous marriage, he has five children total and three of them are from his marriage to Gurdon. His three children are two boys and a girl – Alastair, William and Isabella.
4. The Couple No Longer Has Sex
The Mirror has reported that Webber was left impotent after battling prostate cancer in 2009 and beating it in 2010. Webber joked that, “I’m a ladies’ man who can never make love. I’m resigned to that.” The composer told Piers Morgan on his ITV1 series, Life Stories, that, “I did look into the alternative possibilities … I did go to the sex education [clinic] for people who have lost their prostates and [the therapist] was very sweet. She said, ‘Ooh, but you can try Viagra, you can try all that and see if it works’ … The main side effects, of course, are that you can’t have sex.” On the bright side, Webber says, “I’m alive. I have my music, I have my children. I am the luckiest man.” Webber revealed that he and his wife have decided against using “various sex stimulants”.
5. Gurdon Was an Equestrian Competitor
Gurdon was an equestrian competitor when she met Webber. She reportedly got to know him because of his Watership Down neighbors, who loved horses. She was a competitor for about a decade and even was a part of riding in events in Princess Anne’s set. Second Nexus has reported that Gurdon also enjoyed designing clothes, mainly focusing on country wear, because of her passion for riding.