Who is Bethenny Frankel’s father, Bobby Frankel?

What does Bethenny Frankel's dad look like

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When RH NY’s Bethenny Frankel isn’t serving up scathing comments, healthy meals, or SkinnyGirl Margaritas, she expresses that she’s broken and damaged from a very toxic childhood. In fact, she barely even knew her father, renowned horse trainer Robert (Bobby) Frankel.

During the third season of the BRAVO docudrama, Bethenny travels to L.A to see her father, who’s health is declining severely from a bout with leukemia. He was diagnoses with leukemia 10 years before, but went into remission. She returns home a few days later for a scheduled confrontation with Jill Zarin, having not seen her ailing father. He had refused to see her, but does eventually agree to see her right before his death. Robert passed away November 16, 2009.

Bethenny told Harper’s Bazaar Robert was out of her life by the time she was four. The future natural foods chef and reality branding maven was still ended up spending a great deal of time at the horse track because her stepfather John Parisella was also a horse trainer. Her life without her father wasn’t exactly a lollipops and roses either. She explained to Harper’s:

“I grew up in a very toxic home. You know, I grew up with alcoholism and bulimia, cigarettes, and I think Freud would say that’s why I was drawn to health.”

Frankel had a long-standing friendship which turned into a bitter rivalry with Bethenny’s stepfather John Parisella after he married Bethenny’s mother Bonnie.

Bobby, a Brooklyn boy, got into race horse training in the 1960s assisting Buddy Jacobson. He got his first winner in 1966, and through 1968-71 he made quite a name for himself in New York. Bethenny was born during this period (November 4, 1970). By 1972 Robert had moved to California where he set records at Hollywood Park.

The horse trainer followed the techniques of Charlie Whittingham, and continued to rack up cash and accolades throughout his career. He was U.S. Champion Trainer based on earnings in 2002 and 2003 and ESPN has called him “one of the most successful and respected trainers in the history of thoroughbred racing.”

His horses won every major race in North America except for the Kentucky Derby, pulling in over $200,000 million of prize money.

Bethenny Frankel speaks openly about her strained relationship with her father on her Bravo reality shows Real Housewives of New York and Bethenny’s Getting Married? Although she saw her father at the end of his life, this was one of the only times she ever saw or spoke with him and was still deeply hurt that he didn’t regret not having her in his life. She also went in depth about the trauma of her non-relationship with her father and the toxic nature of her roller-coaster relationship with her mother in her auto-biographical self-help book A Place of Yes.

Bethenny is still estranged from her mother Bernadette (Bonnie) Frankel.

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  • me2

    Men like that SHOULD NOT BE HAVING KIDS if they can’t give them a good childhood. HE GOT HIS!!! KARMA!

    • whatsup

      How do you know he wanted kids? Maybe he said “no” to kids and wife got pregnant anyway? Why’s man always the dirty dog?

      • AliceV

        there’s a cure for that . . . don’t have sex if you don’t want kids. OR make sure you DO something like wear a condom. He danced and now it’s time to pay the fiddler. I don’t care what he did with horses, he proved what a pathetic a$$hole he was by not taking care of his family.

        • http://yahoo mz diva

          I couldn’t have said it better myself…and who wouldnt have wanted a beautiful and intelligent daugter BETHENNEY

  • fugoverdose

    obviously somethinghappened that we don’t know about ..
    he’s maybe not the real bio father …

  • Ali

    I have no clue who bethanny frankel is and nor do i care. But Bobby Frankel was a fantastic trainer, giving America some great horses like Empire Maker, Medalgia D’oro, and Ghostzapper. Rest in Peace, Bobby.

    • http://whatever susan

      How dare you say Bobby Frankel was a great trainer when he sucked as a human being. I know the life of horse trainers..one in particular comes to mind. As a 40 something year old fat disgusting horse trainer, he took a 17 year old as his girlfriend while he wife was dying of breast cancer. When his wife died, he married the young bitch, moved to Paris. His children pretend to worship him, but secretly they despise the bastard

  • Liz Pasquale

    Bethany Frankel’s parents must have done a few things right, even if that included allowing others to help raise their daughter. Bethany Frankel is an intelligent, well-educated, interesting and accomplished woman with a sensitive nature. She likes to say that she raised herself, but no one does, certainly not when the person turns out as well as Bethany Frankel has.

  • Deb

    Bethenny will see how hard it is to have a career and a child. After the baby nurse leaves I don’t want to see a single nanny. No one is perfect. All I can say is her mother must love her, since shes not all over every magazine telling her side. Did she write a book about her? Not everyone has the warm fuzzy feeling inside.

  • Deb

    Oh and me and my husband argue in front of a child. Its hard not to. You still have to live your life and theres not one of you that can say you have a perfect relationship. Or that any fight you had you said wait until the kids go to bed. What she should have learned from the whole thing is how easy it is to chose the wrong man. I grew up with acoholics but I also don’t care to drink. I think the only shows I didn’t see her drink was when she was pregnant. Not to mention what is it the voka she has out. I was always told people who live in glass house shouldn’t throw stones. She uses it as an excuse. Grow up and stop blaming your parents.

  • Sheila

    Deb, i don’t see her blaming anyone for anything.. she is just expressing how she feels and trying to work through it. everybody takes handles their abuse differently.. My parents were alcoholics my sister excelled through high school… I didn’t…. everybody is different…. for you to say a blanket statement to just keep over it… is ignorant on your part…