Gretchen Hillmer

Gretchen Hillmer also known as Gretchen Renee Hillmer Bonaduce was born on September 24, 1965 in Waukegan, Illinois.  She is famous for being a mother of two, television producer, and entrepreneur. Most of her fan base was built from her reality TV series Breaking Bonaduce when she was the wife of former child TV star, Danny Bonaduce.


Gretchen was born to a mother named Wanda Hillmer. There is limited information about her early years and education because she has not provided some of personal information in interviews.

Entertainment Career

Gretchen has made her media appearances in numerous movies and TV shows like “Re-inventing Bonaduce” and “Breaking Bonaduce ”.

In an interview with Shira’s Got The Scoop, she was asked about her ex-husbands aggressive and sometimes scary behavior on their reality show, Breaking Bonaduce, “It’s interesting because this was a time before social media took off. Had it been today, it would have been very different because of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all those platforms. I would never want my kids to be able to see things online with the way things have exploded today. But back then, there was no way to look into the future and how social media would evolve as there were only message boards then. VH1 even had suggested we not look at those which were pretty much in their infancy. They were not a popular thing, certainly nowhere near as popular as social media is today. You are right that what we signed on for was a totally different show than what Breaking Bonaduce ended up being. The show was supposed to be Rock and Roll Dinner Party where rock stars come over and hang out together. That was the pilot we shot and then VH1 said ‘we don’t like this idea, but we like you two and want to do a show with you guys.’ Then it just went south from there.”

In 1993, she played Debbie in the film “America's Deadliest Home Video ”. She also appeared in the TV series “Biography". In 1996, she appeared on the TV series “E! True Hollywood Story”. Later she appeared in another TV project, which was titled “VH1: All Access”. In the year 2002, she played a role in the TV series “SoapTalk”. In the same year, she also made an appearance in the daytime TV series “Dr. Phil”. She also played a guest role in the TV show “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch”. She also worked behind the scenes by producing several small television projects. In 2015, she played a role in the film “Lord of the Freaks”, which was directed by Andrew Treglia.

In addition to her acting career, Gretchen also tried her hand at being a rock singer. She was a member of cover band which was called “The Fatal 80's”. They had a pretty short career because of the setup of their band. They played covers of popular music which was not strong enough to sustain their career. They did not have enough confidence to create their own music and tried to rely on the biggest hits of other artists.


Hectic Married Life

She was married to former child TV star turned reality television personality, Danny Bonaduce. Danny got most of his fame when he was a member of his family band called the Partridge Family. They were a huge hit during their peak but Danny was the only family member that stayed in the entertainment industry.

Gretchen and Danny got married to each other on November 4, 1990. Gretchen was the second wife of Danny. They met each other on a blind date and it was a great adventure for them. The couple got to the end of a bitter divorce on November 5, 2008, after 18 years of a long marriage. The official reason of their divorce was due to irreconcilable differences. Their marriage had always been rocky and the divorce seemed like an eventual ending for them.

While they were married, Danny was known as radio and television personality. He was also a comedian and would sometimes participates as a professional wrestler. Her first marriages somehow started out magical. Their first time meeting and how they got married seemed strange to many. Even though their marriage fell apart at the end, they were praised for being able to live shoulder to shoulder for many long years. They tried to be mature with each for the sake of their children. The former couple had two children together. They were named Isabella Michaela Bonaduce and Dante Jean-Michel Valentino Bonaduce.

After their split, Danny started dating a woman named Amy Railsback in 2007. She eventually became his third wife. Gretchen also moved on and married again. She ended up with a man named Kevin Starr. Kevin is known as a touring musician.

Personal Life

Gretchen is a very talented woman who has tried her hand in various branches of art and the media industry. Now, she devotes more time to music and her vocals. She wants to achieve her music dream no matter how long it takes.

In regards to her TV projects, it appears that she is no longer trying to pursue television appearances. Her start on television was due to her first marriage with the charismatic Denny but she no longer has the passion to be on television.

Despite being a celebrity, she chooses not to disclose the details of her personal life to her fans. She also seems to be focusing more on her career as a film actress than a television personality. After her rapid success, she is still very calm and collected. She is a very down to earth woman and has avoided controversies because of her mellow personality. She is not very popular on social networking sites because of her low profile. Her net worth is unknown because she has shielded her financial details from the media. It is not known how money she got from the divorce from Danny. She was speculated to get some money from appearing on the reality TV show.

Last Modified: Mar 9, 2020

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