Joan Lee, the wife of legendary Marvel Comics writer-editor and executive Stan Lee, died Thursday in Los Angeles, according to media reports. She was 93.
Joan Lee died following a stroke earlier she suffered sometime earlier in the week and was hospitalized, according to the report. The Lees were married on Dec. 5, 1947 and remained together for the next seven decades, having two children together: Joan Celia (“JC”), born in 1950, and Jan, who died shortly after her birth in 1953.
Lee has credited Joan for inspiring “Fantastic Four,” the comic series he created with Jack Kirby that propelled Marvel comics into prominence and redefined the superhero genre. Lee, who had been working for Marvel comics since the early 1940s, when it was known as Timely Comics, was unhappy with his career and the state of comics as a medium. Joan, however, urged him to “write one comic you are proud of” before quitting.
Originally from England, Joan moved to the United States after marrying an American soldier during the second world war. The marriage did not last long, however. Joan and Stan met in 1947 and married soon after – according to Stan Lee, approximately an hour after her divorce was finalized.
Joan Lee was a writer herself, penning a 1987 novel called “The Pleasure Palace,” and also occasionally worked with the characters her husband helped to create. She voiced characters on two animated Marvel shows in the 1990s, “Fantastic Four” (as Miss Forbes) and “Spider-Man” (as Madame Web), and also cameoed in 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news of Joan Lee’s passing.
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