Alyce Cleese

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Alyce Cleese
Born Alyce Faye McBride
(1944-10-28) 28 October 1944 (age 73)
Frederick, Oklahoma, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Psychotherapist
Years active 1966–present
Dave Eichelberger
(m. 1966; div. 1975)

John Cleese
(m. 1992; div. 2008)

Alyce Faye Cleese (previously Eichelberger; born Alyce Faye McBride on October 28, 1944) is an American psychotherapist, author and talk radio host. She was previously married to golfer Dave Eichelberger, as well as actor-comedian John Cleese.


Alyce Faye McBride received her Bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University in 1966. While at Oklahoma State, she served as "queen" of Willard Hall, before it was transformed from a women's dormitory into its current role as the site of the University's College of Education. She continued her studies at Baylor University, earning Master's degrees in Educational Psychology and in Vocational and Educational Counseling. The future Eichelberger Cleese then moved to London, where she studied the Psychoanalysis of children under Anna Freud, working with disturbed children from disadvantaged backgrounds at The Hampstead Clinic (established by Freud in 1952), and receiving an advanced degree, the Diploma in the Maladjusted Child,[1] from the University of London Institute of Education.


Eichelberger worked as a psychotherapist for more than three decades. She is the co-author (with Brian Bates) of How to Manage Your Mother: Understanding the Most Difficult, Complicated, and Fascinating Relationship in Your Life[2] and she sits on the Board of Trustees of the Esalen Institute.[3] Alyce Faye Cleese is on the American Board of National Theatre for London and the Board of Shakespeare Society for New York. She is a visiting senior tutor for Massachusetts General Hospital.


She was honored by Harvard University for her work in psychotherapy,[1] and was inducted into the Oklahoma State University College of Education Hall of Fame in 2007.[1]

Marriage to John Cleese and divorce[edit]

After divorcing Dave Eichelberger (with whom she had two sons), she met actor John Cleese in 1990 and they married in 1992. They divorced in 2008, though details of the divorce settlement only became public knowledge in August 2009[4]. Faye was represented by Fiona Shackleton, divorce lawyer for Prince Charles and Paul McCartney.

The film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner, who accompanied the couple on their honeymoon in 1992,[4] once asked the comic actor what he would do differently if he could live his life again. Cleese responded: "I wouldn’t have married Alyce Faye Eichelberger and I wouldn’t have made Fierce Creatures."[5] After the divorce was finalised financially, with Eichelberger receiving £12 million in finance and assets, including £600,000 a year for seven years, Cleese said "What I find so unfair is that if we both died today, her children would get much more than mine. ... I got off lightly. Think what I’d have had to pay Alyce if she had contributed anything to the relationship—such as children, or a conversation."[4][6]


  1. ^ a b c "OSU College of Education Announces 2007 Hall of Fame Inductees". Oklahoma State University. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  2. ^ "Getting Real With Your Mother". CBS News. 2000-05-09. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  3. ^ "Esalen Institute Board of Trustees". Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  4. ^ a b c Andrew Pierce (18 Aug 2009). "John Cleese in £12 million divorce settlement". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  5. ^ Michael Winner "Restaurant review: [MW] at Villa Principe Leopoldo, Switzerland", The Sunday Times, 6 July 2008. Retrieved on 2008-08-03.
  6. ^ Sawer, Patrick (2009-10-03). "John Cleese divorce tour: the first review". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 

External links[edit]

  • Eichelberger on UCTV as part of the Henry A. Schimberg Endowment in Ethics & Enterprise Lecture Series.