Debra Maffett

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Debra Maffett
Debra Maffett and Ronald Letterman in 1983
Born (1956-11-09) November 9, 1956 (age 62)
EducationUniversity of Houston
Sam Houston State University
Lamar University
OccupationTelevision personality, producer, media consultant, speaker, songwriter, singer
Home townNashville, Tennessee
TitleMiss California 1982
Miss America 1983
PredecessorElizabeth Ward
SuccessorVanessa L. Williams
Buster Wilson
(deceased 2004)
AwardsEmmy Nomination Best Host[citation needed]

Debra Sue Maffett (born November 9, 1956) is an American beauty pageant titleholder from Cut and Shoot, Texas and was named Miss America 1983.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Maffett graduated from S.P. Waltrip High School in Houston, Texas, in 1975.[2]


Although she competed in the Miss Texas pageant several years without winning, she moved to California and was subsequently crowned Miss California 1982.[3] She represented California when she won the Miss America crown. Some controversy arose after it was revealed that Maffett underwent nasal surgery to correct her deviated septum.[4]


Maffett served as a host on, "PM Magazine," NBC and CBS pilots, "Guinness Book of World Records with David Frost," "Alive and Well," "TNN Country News," Hot, Hip and Country, "Making Healthy Choices," and " The Harvest Show."

Maffett appeared in the episode of "Matlock" that aired December 1, 1987 entitled The Network as News Anchor Terry McNeil.

Personal life[edit]

Maffett was married to singer, Buster Wilson, until his death in 2004. Wilson had a daughter, Jenny (born 1990), from a previous relationship.[5] Maffett gave birth to son, Rydder in 1996.[5]


  1. ^ Miss America Fates and Fortunes Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  2. ^ IMDB Biography of Debra Sue Maffett
  3. ^ "Miss California History". Miss California. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Tauber, Michelle; Neill, Mike; Russell, Lisa; Fowler, Joanne; Dam, Julie; Tresniowski, Alex; Miller, Samantha; Dougherty, Steve; Yu, Ting (October 16, 2000). "American Beauties: 80 Years". People.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Elizabeth Ward
Miss America
Succeeded by
Vanessa Williams
Preceded by
Cheryl Vancleave
Miss California
Succeeded by
Lisa Davenport