"I can confirm the sad news that Joan Lee passed away this morning quietly and surrounded by her family," a spokesperson for Stan Lee and his family told The Hollywood Reporter. "The family ask that you please give them time to grieve and respect their privacy during this difficult time."
According to sources, Joan Lee suffered a stroke earlier this week and was hospitalized. The former British model married Stan Lee back in December 1947. Reports say the pair instantly fell in love, and they had two children together. J.C (Joan Celia) was born in 1950 while Jan was born in 1953. Sadly, their second child passed away shortly after being born.
Last year, Stan Lee spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and recounted how he met his wife. Joan moved to New York during World War II after marrying an American soldier after her childhood sweetheart wed someone else. Joan was unhappy with her new situation, and Lee said his cousin wanted to try and set him up with someone. The family member had a model named Betty in mind, but Lee wound up meeting Joan instead.
"When I was young, there was one girl I drew; one body and face and hair. It was my idea of what a girl should be. The perfect woman. And when I got out of the Army, somebody, a cousin of mine, knew a model, a hat model at a place called Laden Hats. He said, 'Stan, there's this really pretty girl named Betty. I think you’d like her. She might like you. Why don’t you go over and ask her to lunch.' Blah, blah, blah.
"So I went up to this place. Betty didn’t answer the door. But Joan answered, and she was the head model. I took one look at her — and she was the girl I had been drawing all my life. And then I heard the English accent. And I’m a nut for English accents! She said, 'May I help you?' And I took a look at her, and I think I said something crazy like, 'I love you.' I don’t remember exactly. But anyway, I took her to lunch. I never met Betty, the other girl. I think I proposed to [Joan] at lunch.”0comments
Joan was able to get a divorce from her current husband by moving to Nevada. At that time, the state was more lenient with divorce grants, but Joan was able to pursue her love for Stan Lee. An hour after being granted a divorce, Joan and Stan married. The couple then returned to New York where Stan continued his work with Timely/Atlas Comics, and Joan continued to be an avid supporter of her husband’s work in the coming decades.
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