That’s right, 69 years. In an era when half of all marriages end in divorce, nearly seven decades of marriage is almost incomprehensible. Except to the Lees. Stan and Joan Lee got married in 1947, and were together through thick and thin. Without Joan, there would have been no Marvel Universe, because it was her challenge to Stan to write a comic he was proud of that resulted in the Fantastic Four. Otherwise, Stan Lee might have been another failed novelist instead of the godfather or a multimedia empire. It’s just one reason why we’re sad to report tonight that Joan Lee has passed away at 93.
“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 said in a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter. “The family ask that you please give them time to grieve and respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
Joan Lee was a British immigrant to the United States as a war bride to an American soldier. Living in New York, she was unhappy, but then her paths crossed with Stan Lee, another New Yorker in a funk that was on his way to a lunch date with another woman. Joan, he said, was the woman he had been literally drawing his whole life, and after a Las Vegas divorce, Joan and Stan celebrated with a Las Vegas wedding the very same day, December 5, 1947.
Even though he had Joan, Lee was still have work troubles, and at the dawn of the Silver Age of Comics, Stan was about to put his life in comics behind him, but his wife has a suggestion, “[D]o it your way. The worst they can do is fire you. And you want to quit anyways!” After that line, recalled by Arie Kaplan in the book, Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!, the rest, as they say, was history.
But Joan got her chance to leave a mark on the Marvel legacy in her own right. She provided two key voices on 90s Marvel animated series, as Miss Forbes Fantastic Four and as Madame Web Spider-Man, and she recently appeared along Stan in his cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse as a couple watching the missile launch. Our own Jeremy R. Hudson spoke with Stan Lee last year when the comics legend pre-emptively spilled the beans about the cameo in advance of Apocalypse’s release. “He was absolutely beaming that she was going to be his ‘co-star’, when ever he spoke of her his eyes lit up; you could see and feel how much he loved her,” Jeremy said.
“The couple of times I met Stan, he always brought her up, and it was always in this pride filled, sweet, loving way like they had just started dating. That’s amazing after 69 years. I’m truly and honestly heart broken for him,” Jeremy added.
According to sources, Joan Lee was in hospital being treated for a stroke she suffered earlier in the week. In any event, Joan Lee is survived by her beloved husband Stan, and their daughter Joan Celia. The condolences and well wishes of Nerd Bastards staff, fans, and friends go out to Stan and his family in this very difficult time.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter