Joan Lee, Wife of Marvel’s Stan Lee, Dies at 93
Joan Lee, the wife of Marvel creator Stan Lee, has died at the age of 93. The couple were married for 69 years and had two children.
“I can confirm the sad news that Joan Lee passed away this morning quietly and surrounded by her family,” a spokesperson for the Lee family said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “The family ask that you please give them time to grieve and respect their privacy during this difficult time.” Joan died following a stroke earlier this week, THR’s sources say.
Stan recounted how he met Joan to THR last year for Marvel’s 75th anniversary:
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.
Stan Lee often credits Joan for inspiring the Fantastic Four, which were the first team of superheroes to put Marvel on the map.
While the couple lived in California, Joan did voice work on TV shows Fantastic Four (as Miss Forbes) and Spider-Man (as Madame Web), and also made a cameo in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. She published a novel, The Pleasure Palace, in 1997.