Now, however, the elusive Mr. Markle has been tracked down to a small clifftop house in a slightly run-down seaside town in Mexico.
Markle, 73, who is expected to walk his daughter down the aisle in May when she marries Prince Harry at Windsor Castle, lives a secluded life but occasionally tells acquaintances: “Have you heard of Meghan Markle? I am her dad.”
Markle, who is believed to have declared himself financially bankrupt, refused to comment on the impending marriage of his daughter into the British royal family, telling DailyMailTV: “I can’t speak out of respect for my family. I just can't.”
Markle’s quiet expatriate lifestyle in the small town of Rosarito, in Baja California revolves around shopping in Walmart, eating tacos, and drinking $1 bottles of beer in local bars in the town, which is home to 15,000 Americans and 50,000 Mexicans.
Plywood reportedly covers the windows of his home that face inland, while the other side enjoys stunning views from the vantage point of 120-foot cliffs toward the Coronado Islands.
The house is part of a small vacation-home development where longer-term rents start at around $1,200 per month, according to DailyMailTV. A sandy beach is accessible by steps, however Markle does not appear to make use of it, and walks with a limp. Nor does he use the complex’s swimming pool or tennis courts, locals said.
Markle, an Emmy-winning lighting director who worked on shows including Married…With Children, has moved twice since relocating to Rosarito after his 2011 retirement.
According to the report, he keeps many of his possessions in a storage complex nearby and has struck up a friendship with the owner, Ramon Moreno, 61, who told the outlet, “Tom is a good man and a good customer. I last saw him less than a month ago.
“He rents a storage unit here. Just the one. We have 100 units in total. He came to us about a year ago and my wife Lourdes and I have got to know him over the weeks and months.
“One of the first things he said was: ‘Have you heard of Meghan Markle?’ I said, “Yes, that name rings a bell. I know she is on television.” He said, “I am her dad.”
“He was proud of her when she was in Suits, even before she was with the prince. I am sure Tom will be there at the wedding. He will want to be there. He will be so happy.”
The presence of her dad at the wedding would suggest that Meghan and Thomas have put any difficulties they may once have had behind them.
In a video which surfaced this week, an 18-year old Meghan was seen being driven past her father’s house on the way home from an audition to be one of Shakira’s backing dancers saying: “We aren’t on the best of terms.”