Sad news to report, True Believers. Stan Lee's wife of 70 years, Joan Lee, sadly passed away at the age of 93 earlier this morning in Los Angeles, California. Lee died from complications from a stroke she suffered last week, for which she was hospitalized. In a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for the family confirmed the tragic news.
"I can confirm the sad news that Joan Lee passed away this morning quietly and surrounded by her family. The family ask that you please give them time to grieve and respect their privacy during this difficult time."
Born Joan Clayton, Lee worked as a top hat model in the UK before meeting her future husband in Stan Lee. As the comic book creator revealed during an interview with THR, their first encounter came as a coincidence. Lee's friend had set him up with a hat model named Betty who worked in a store called Laden Hats.
Lee went to the store but Betty wasn't there, and Joan Lee answered the door for him. To his surprise, she was the woman of his dreams he had been drawing for years:
"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."
The couple got married on December 5, 1947, and had two children, Joan Celia Lee (born in 1950) and Jan Lee (born in 1953, but sadly died three days after birth). Lee always supported her husband in his endeavors, and even appeared alongside him in some his signature Marvel movie cameos, most prominently in the opening sequence of X-Men: Apocalypse.
Our thoughts go out to Stan Lee and the rest of the Lieber and Clayton families in this difficult time.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]