Rodney Dangerfield was an actor, stand-up comedian, screenwriter, and producer who will not be forgotten by all who he made to smile with his ‘I don’t get no respect’ catchphrase. Despite his fame, Rodney Dangerfield was also dedicated to his wife, which his fans and the media admired. During his lifetime, he was more of an enigma than a comedian; he was also the first comedian to ever own a website. His contributions to the world of comedy cannot be easily forgotten, particularly considering his very funny one-liners. One of his huge mysteries were the demons he battled as a stand-up comedian in the form of severe depression.
In many ways, Rodney Dangerfield lived a full life. Professionally, as a comedian and entertainer, he became an icon in his field and the American entertainment industry. Although he passed away in October 2004, following complications from surgery, he has remained a respected figure in American entertainment to this day.
While dealing with his struggles, it was not only the marijuana that kept those scary demons on the leash. There were women in Rodney’s life who made him at peace when the going got tough. Unlike many men in the entertainment industry who go through multiple divorces, Rodney was quite easy-going. He also had relationships with only two women ever in his life, Joyce Indig, and then Joan Child.
Why Did Rodney Dangerfield And Joyce Indig Get Divorced?
Joyce Indig was Rodney Dangerfield’s, first wife. Although not so much is known about her, we do know that she was a singer and that Rodney married her twice. First, between 1951 and 1961, and the second time, between 1963 and 1970. Rodney was only 30 years when they first got married in 1951. At the time, he was still a struggling comedian, who earned a paltry $300 per week.
Joyce was a singer and being in the entertainment industry too, she understood that getting gigs which will pay the bills was not going to be regular for an upcoming comedian so she advised Rodney to quit stand up comedy and do something a “real man” would do to take care of his young and growing family.
Rodney had to give up show business and became an aluminum siding salesman. Initially, they settled in New York but later relocated to New Jersey, where they gave birth to their first child, Brian Roy. After 13 years together, in 1962, Rodney and Joyce got divorced for reasons that have been attributed to clinical depression, which led to the deterioration of their marriage. However, the divorce did not last and in the following year, they got back together.
During their second stint as husband and wife, Rodney Dangerfield and his wife gave birth to their second child, Melanie Roy-Friedman.
Sadly, their second time as a married couple did not last, and in 1970, they divorced permanently with Joyce getting custody of their two children while Rodney went on comedy tours.
His Love Story With Joan Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield’s second wife was Joan Child, who is known these days as Joan Dangerfield. They were married from 1993 until his death in 2004. Their love story is quite an interesting one. After his divorce from Joyce in 1970, the talented comedian remained unmarried for many years until he found love again in the arms of young Joan in 1983. Rodney had strolled past a Flower shop in Santa Monica on that fateful day when he saw a beautiful lady he couldn’t get his eyes off. For young beautiful Joan, she described their meeting as love at first sight; having been a fan of the renowned comedian, it was a big honor finally meeting him in person, and to have him stop at her shop was a dream come through.
Dangerfield soon began dropping by every other morning to watch Joan arrange flowers and have conversations with her, their friendship blossomed and ten years later, they were married, despite the age and religious differences between them; Joan was thirty years younger, and a Mormon while Rodney was Jewish. Like in movies with happily ever afters, the duo stayed together through thick and thin until Rodney’s death in October 2004.
As mentioned above, Joan worked in a flower shop in Santa Monica before becoming the wife of the iconic comedian; in actuality, she owned the shop.
Following Rodney Dangerfield’s demise in 2004, his wife, Joan, became the sole custodian of his intellectual works and his entire estate. She also went into business and is the managing partner and co-founder of the consulting firm, The Opus 73 Group – a firm that provides investment promotion services to the Chinese government. Joan started the business after two decades of running the floral shop, Jungle Roses, where she and her late husband met.
Aside from running the consulting film, she has also dedicated herself to ensuring that her husband’s legacy is kept alive; this has done by creating a website in his name – a feat that made Rodney Dangerfield the first celebrity to own his official website, and also by running the Rodney Dangerfield Institute for the Study of Comedy located at Los Angeles City College.
She has also produced a 2-hour documentary about her late husband’s life and also manages her husband’s work under the company, Dangerfield Entertainment. Joan also owns the production company, Paper Clip Productions. In addition to all these, she serves on the Advisory Board of the Department of Neurosurgery at UCLA, where her husband passed away.
Does He Have Children With Joan?
Rodney Dangerfield had two children but not with Joan. Both Rodney Dangerfield’s children Brian and Melanie were products of his union with his first wife – Joyce Indig. His first child, a son named Brian Roy, was born in 1949 and the second, Melanie-Roy Friedman, was born in 1964.
Not much is known about his son, who like his father, has chosen to live a life out of the spotlight. Melanie, like her brother, also spends her life away from the spotlight. The only known exception was in 2002 when she was involved in a legal dispute with her stepmother, Joan Dangerfield. The dispute, which was over the rights to Rodney’s intellectual property, was eventually settled out of court and nothing has been heard from her ever since.