Garrison Keillor is an American author, singer, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality who has been married to three women: Jenny Lind Nilsson, Ulla Skaerved, and Mary Guntzel.
Keillor’s most famous work is the radio show A Prairie Home Companion. He was married to his first wife, Mary Guntzel, from 1965 to 1976. He later married Ulla Skaerved, a former exchange student from Denmark whom he re-encountered at a class reunion. The pair divorced in 1995. That same year, Keillor married classical string player Jenny Lind Nilsson, who remains his wife to date.
Meet Garrison Keillor’s Wives
Garrison Keillor’s first wife was Mary Guntzel, and they were married for 11 years. The couple attended the University of Minnesota together.
They had a son named Jason, who was born in 1969 and is currently 54 years old. Guntzel died in 1998. Prior to her passing, she had worked with mentally handicapped adults in Minnesota. One of the major characters in Keillor’s book Love Me is based closely on Guntzel, and the book is dedicated to her memory.
Not much is known about the reason for Keillor and Guntzel’s divorce, but Keillor has previously hinted about their differences in an interview when he said:
I really admired her. She was someone who found herself when she dared to take a role championing people who were not capable of standing up for themselves. Her great cause was working with people coming out of state-run hospitals who were not used to having civil rights and being independent. It was something that deeply engaged her in ways that being married to a writer and moving in a writer’s circle did not. She found it awkward and painful and it made her feel self-conscious and inferior.
Garrison Keillor Dated Margaret Moos for some time before Getting Married to Ulla Skaerved in 1985
Keillor’s second wife, Ulla Skaerved, was an exchange student from Denmark in 1960. He first met her during that time. They reconnected at their Anoka High School reunion and married in 1985.
Before reuniting with Skaerved, Keillor was in a relationship with Margaret Moos, a producer on his radio show. Many of Keillor’s fans were angry when he married his high school sweetheart. They felt protective of Moos, and this affected Keillor’s show.
In fact, he was forced to abandon his radio program and relocate to Denmark with Skaerved due to the negative feedback he was receiving and other problems he had with his management.
He returned to the United States in 1989 and started a new radio program called The American Radio Company. Keillor and Skaerved divorced a year after he returned from Denmark.
Jenny Lind Nilsson
Jenny Lind Nilsson was born on September 26, 1957, in Anoka, Minnesota, USA. She is currently 66 years old.
She was a violinist in the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and also a writer and consultant for the TV movie The Sandy Bottom Orchestra (2000).
In 1985, she married Garrison Keillor, and they have one daughter named Maia Grace. Maia was born on December 29, 1997, and is currently 25 years old.
The Truth About Garrison Keillor’s Sexual Misconduct with Other Women
As already established, Garrion has been married 3 times. However, between his first and second marriages, the entertainer was romantically involved with Margaret Moos. Margaret worked as a producer of his show, A Prairie Home Companion. The show was a weekly radio variety show created and hosted by Garrison and it aired live from 1974 to 2016.
Typical of a celebrity, Garrison’s romantic relationships have generated criticism in the public eye throughout his life. However, his previous romantic life did not raise so much alarm prior to the 2017 event that led Minnesota Public Radio, the distributor of his show, to cut ties with him over allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”
According to MPR, Keillor displayed dozens of sexually inappropriate gestures at a woman who worked on his A Prairie Home Companion radio show. According to the allegations, the gestures displayed by Keillor include explicit sexual communications and touching.
Keillor addressed the allegations in an email to the Star Tribune, saying that he had apologized for accidentally touching a woman inappropriately and that the matter had already been solved. According to him,
I put my hand on a woman’s bare back, I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about 6 inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later, and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.
Even though that incident became the first time Keillor was accused of sexual misconduct, it cost him a lot.
According to him, it is astonishing that 50 years of hard work can be trashed in the morning by an accusation. He has also said that he has always believed in hard work, but now it feels sort of meaningless.
Meanwhile, following the termination of his contract with Minnesota Public Radio, the entertainer talked about moving to a different country to start all over. In his words,
I think I have to leave the country in order to walk around in public and not feel accusing glances.
Keillor further said he had a good conversation with his wife about the development and what they really need in life. For him, what they should do is to leave the past behind.
By the way, MPR has removed archived Keillor shows from its website and no longer rebroadcasts shows he hosted. It also ended broadcasts of “The Writer’s Almanac,” his daily reading of literary events and a poem. More so, between Keillor and Minnesota Public Radio over transitioning their business relationship has continued to meet a dead end.