The American entertainment industry can never forget the likes of Dick Van Dyke who is a veteran actor and multi-talent comedian; as well as a prolific writer and producer. Dyke can simply be referred to as a lifetime achiever following his numerous accolades and wide recognition. Amazingly, he has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and also received the SAG Life Achievement Award. While the icon has been active in the American entertainment industry for over six decades; little or less is known about his first wife Margie Willett. Learn more about her below.
Who is Margie Willett – Dick Van Dyke’s ex-wife?
The lesser-known Margie Willett was an American celebrity, notable for being the wife of the American entertainment icon Dick Van Dyke. The pair started their lifelong journey several years ago, after being married for more than three decades, things became rough between them. Their separation was due to Dick’s infidelity which he had disclosed in his recently published memoir. Learn everything you need to know about Margie Willett and her relationship with Dick in these five facts below.
1. Her Early Life and Background
Dick Van Dyke’s ex-wife was born as Marjorie Willett in Illinois, United States in 1927. Margie was born to American parents; she holds an American nationality and belongs to the white ethnicity. Willett was a very private person; hence, there is no much information about her early life and childhood experiences. She came into the limelight following her marriage to American entertainer Dick Van Dyke. Apparently, she was well educated; perhaps, she wasn’t so attracted to the entertainment biz.
2. Her Marriage to Dick Van Dyke
Margie Willett and Dick had a long-term relationship before they decided to tie the knot. The pair got married in February 1948, just a year after her husband kicked off his comedy career. Life was so rough for the couple who were struggling to survive at the time. Surprisingly, they couldn’t sponsor their own wedding and finally got an opportunity when the producer of the radio program called Bride Groom offered to foot the bills if they agreed to wed on the live radio show. Apparently, the offer was quite irresistible at the time; the pair went on to have their wedding during the show. Afterward, their honeymoon was also sponsored by the producer.
3. Her Family Life and Children
Margie Willett and her former husband Dick had four children in their marriage that lasted for over three decades. They had two sons named Barry and Jerry as well as two daughters named Stacy and Carrie. Amazingly, her four children are successful celebrities; they trailed the same path as their father and have carved a niche for themselves in the American entertainment industry. Barry has been working closely with his father on his various projects and has made several appearances in his crime drama series titled Diagnoses: Murder. In addition, Stacy and other Van Dyke’s children and grandchildren have equally made appearances in their father’s shows.
4. Margie Willett‘s Divorce From Dick Van Dyke
Margie Willett and her husband had a very blissful married life and after being married for over three decades; their relationship turned sour. The amazing couple lost the spark in their relationship after the rumors of her husband’s extramarital affair saw the light of the day. Dick was having a secret affair with an actress named Michelle Triola. At the time, Michelle was the secretary of Dick’s agent. The duo kept their affairs as a secret until 1976 when it was all blown up. She couldn’t bear it anymore, Margie and Dick went their separate ways; their divorce process was finalized in 1984.
After their divorce, Margie Willett decided to stay off the love game; there was no news of her subsequent relationship or marriage. Dick, on the other hand, made his relationship with the actress formal and they both lived together for over three decades until her death in 2009. Three years after her death, Dick went on to marry Arlene Silver who is a makeup artist. They had met six years earlier before they got married. The couple has been together to date and regardless of their age difference, they are still enjoying a blissful relationship.
5. Her Death and Cause of Death
Margie Willett lived a rather fulfilling life. Despite being married to a prominent Hollywood celebrity, the amazing lady succeeded in maintaining a low profile. While her husband Dick Van Dyke was enjoying the glamour of the limelight, Margie, on the other hand, shielded herself as well as her children from being drowned in the paparazzi lifestyle. She continued living a solitary life in her abode until her health began to deteriorate. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007 and after one year of battling with the illness; Margie Willett gave up the ghost in 2008 at the age of 81.
Following her death, she left behind her four children as well as ten grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Although it has been long since she divorced from Dick, he said he was deeply affected by her death. As they always say true love never dies, Margie Willett might be dead but her legacy will always live in heart of her children and loved ones.