January 23, 2021
Shawn King: Who Was Larry King's Estranged Wife?

Larry King has passed away at the age of 87, just weeks after being diagnosed with COVID-19, though his cause of death has not yet been confirmed as of this writing. The iconic radio and television personality enjoyed over five decades in the spotlight, interviewing a variety of people — from presidents and religious figures to swindlers and paranormal experts. Although his long-running TV show and bombastic personality kept him in the spotlight, his personal life also garnered the attention of many. Throughout his life, Larry married seven different women, though he was with his most recent wife, Shawn King, the longest.

A native of California, Shawn married Larry on Sept. 5, 1997, in the broadcaster's hospital room, reported People. Larry was about to undergo surgery for a clogged blood vessel in his heart, so the two decided to tie the knot, making Shawn his official seventh wife. The couple had two sons, Chance and Cannon, who are 21 and 20, respectively. Larry was Shawn's second husband, as she had previously married professional football player Daniel Southwick in 1980, though the two got divorced a few years later, according to People. She has one son from that marriage, Danny Southwick, who followed in his father's footsteps and also played professional sports.

Shawn Is Also In The Entertainment Business

(L-R) Cannon Edward King, Chance Armstrong King, Larry King, and Shawn King attend the National Film and Television Awards Ceremony at Globe Theatre.
Getty Images | Phillip Faraone

Shawn grew up in a musical family, the daughter of Karl and Jerri Engemann, per People. Her father was the vice president of artist and repertoire at Capitol Records and was Marie Osmond's manager for 35 years. He also was managing Larry at the time of the latter's death. Her mother sang with a musical group in the '60s and was also a studio singer for Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. This singing talent extended to Shawn, who became a singer as a child, working on such projects as Nat King Cole's Christmas Special and the Oscar Meyer wiener commercial.

As she got older, she switched her focus from music to acting and starred in a variety of television shows, including Knight Rider and Remington Steele. She also dabbled in movies, appearing in such films as Bombshell and Monaco Forever. She hosted Hollywood Insider on USA Network for six years in the '90s as well.

Recently, Shawn has switched her focus to producing, working on a few films, though her main focus has been Ora TV, an on-demand video network that she co-founded in 2012. She has also returned to producing music, releasing two CDs in the mid-2000s.

Shawn And Larry Were Divorcing

Larry King and Shawn King arrive at The Brent Shapiro Foundation Summer Spectacular at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Getty Images | Rachel Murray

In 2019, news broke that Larry had filed for divorce from Shawn after 22 years of marriage. The information was apparently a shock to her, as reported by the Daily Mail. According to the publication, she was "blindsided" by it. This was not the first time the two had marriage troubles, however. Back in 2010, the couple filed for divorce from each other, although they soon withdrew the papers and reconciled.

Larry had cited irreconcilable differences as the cause for the most recent split. He opened up to People about his decision to end his longest marriage, telling the publication that, although he loved Shawn, they no longer got along. He cited a few differences between them as reasons for their difficulties, including their 26-year age gap and the fact that Shawn is a devoutly religious Mormon and he is an "agnostic atheist."

The split also came after Larry had experienced a near-fatal stroke, which caused him to reevaluate his life.

"When there are moments of unhappiness in a marriage, you can overcome it at 40, but at my age, it became a lot. I wanted to be happy. Separating was of course difficult. But there is nothing worse than arguing."
As of his death, Shawn and Larry's divorce had not yet been finalized.