Stan and Joan Lee
Stan and Joan Lee’s 69-year marriage was a love story that should have never happened. The reason why is simple: she was already married to someone else when Stan professed his undying love for her. Stan himself had a reputation for being a bit of a player, especially among the guys at Timely Comics. One of his cousins dared him to ask out a gorgeous redhead, so, ever the ladies’ man, Stan took him up. He went to knock on the door of the lady in question to ask her out, but instead, Joan Clayton Boocock answered the door.
Joan Boocock was born in the Castle Ward Rural district of what is now the Newcastle Metropolitan Borough in the United Kingdom, in the year 1922. Following World War II, she followed the American serviceman Sanford Dorf Weiss, whom she married in 1943. The two knew each other for less than 24 hours before getting married, but Joan said that the marriage was happy. The problem was that it was, well, boring. She had established herself as a hat model in the United Kingdom and worked as one in the United States, as well. She was at work at the modeling agency when Stan Lee knocked on the door, looking for someone else.
Of Stan and Joan’s first date, Joan fondly recalled, “He wore a marvelous floppy hat and scarf and spouted Omar Khayyam when he took me for a hamburger at Prexy’s. He reminded me of that beautiful man, [British actor] Leslie Howard.” Though she was content with her first husband, she wasn’t all that interested in him. Stan, though, had her enamored from their first meeting. She had nothing but good things to say about him in the following few days.
Joan was ready to divorce her boring first husband, so Stan sent her on a plane to Reno to get a divorce. He knew from their first date that he would marry her. The reason why is simple: he had grown up drawing his “dream woman,” and Joan resembled her perfectly. While in Reno, she sent him a letter addressed, “Dear Jack.” Stan grew worried that he would lose the love of his life to some second-rate cowboy, so he flew to Reno to meet her. They ended up getting married by the same judge who issued Joan’s divorce, in the room right next door.
They flew back to New York and bought a home in Long Island in 1949, where they lived until 1952. They had two daughters, Joan “JC” and Jan. Sadly, Jan died three days after birth, but JC survived. JC and Stan were present when her mother passed away in 2017 at the age of 95. Her death was due to complications from a stroke. She had dedicated much of her life to her husband and his career, while also enjoying her own spotlight by being cast in many of the movies that were based on Stan’s comics.