Joan Boocock Lee was a renowned and high-profile woman who lived a life full of love, adventure, and creativity. She was a British-American model and voice actress who was best known as the wife of comic book legend Stan Lee.
She was also his muse and inspiration for some of his most iconic characters, such as the Fantastic Four and Gwen Stacy.
She had an amazing personality, a good sense of humour, and a love for literature and art. She was also a devoted mother, a loyal friend, and a supportive partner for Stan, who called her his superhero.
- Full name: Joan Clayton Boocock Lee
- Date of birth: February 5, 1922
- Age: 101 (as of 2023)
- Gender: Female
- Place of birth: Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
- Nationality: British-American
- Profession: Model and voice actress
- Height: 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
- Parents: Alfred Clayton Boocock and Gladys Clayton
- Siblings: N/A
- Spouse: Sanford Dorf Weiss (m. 1943; annulled 1947), Stan Lee (m. 1947; died 2017)
- Children: Joan Celia Lee (b. 1950), Jan Lee (b. 1953; died 1953)
- Relationship status: Widowed
- Net worth: $10 million
Early Life & Education
Joan Boocock Lee, whose posthumous age would be 101 as of 2023, was born on February 5, 1922, in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
She was the only child of Alfred Clayton Boocock, a businessman, and Gladys Clayton, a homemaker. She grew up in a comfortable and cultured environment, surrounded by books and art.
She attended the prestigious St. Margaret’s School in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she excelled in academics and extracurricular activities.
She developed a love for literature, especially the works of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen.
She also had a flair for drama and poetry and participated in several school plays and recitals. She graduated from high school in 1939 and decided to pursue a career in modelling.
Joan Boocock Lee had a romantic personal life. She was married twice. She met her first husband, Sanford Dorf Weiss, an American soldier, in London during World War II.
They married in 1943, but the marriage was unhappy and short-lived. Joan soon realized that she had married Weiss on a whim and that they had nothing in common.
She also felt lonely and bored, as Weiss was often away on duty. She filed for an annulment in 1947 and moved to New York City to start a new life.
There, she met her second and true husband, Stan Lee, a young writer for Timely Comics, the precursor of Marvel Comics.
It was love at first sight for both of them, as they felt an instant connection and attraction. They married on December 5, 1947, in a simple ceremony at the city hall and moved into a small apartment in Manhattan.
They had two daughters, Joan Celia, born in 1950, and Jan, born in 1953. Unfortunately, Jan died shortly after birth due to complications, which devastated the couple. They never had any more children, but they remained close and supportive of each other.
Joan Boocock Lee was Stan Lee’s soulmate, best friend, and confidante. She encouraged him to pursue his dreams and ambitions and helped him overcome his doubts and fears.
She was also his muse and inspiration for some of his most famous and beloved characters, such as the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the X-Men.
She influenced his writing style, sense of humour, and vision of strong and independent female characters. She also shared his enthusiasm for comics, movies, and pop culture and often accompanied him to conventions, events, and interviews.
They had a happy and harmonious marriage filled with affection and mutual respect. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2017, just a few months before Joan’s death.
Joan Boocock Lee had a successful and diverse career as a model and voice actress. She started her modelling career in London, working for several agencies and magazines.
She was known for her beauty, elegance, and grace and was often compared to Vivien Leigh and Katharine Hepburn.
She modelled for various products, such as hats, gloves, dresses, and jewellery. She also appeared in advertisements and commercials, such as for Lux soap and Chesterfield cigarettes.
She continued her modelling career in New York and ventured into acting and voice acting.
She made her acting debut in 1958 in a small role in the film The Cool and the Crazy, directed by William Witney. She also appeared in television shows, such as The Incredible Hulk and The Simpsons, playing her in cameo roles.
She was more active and successful as a voice actress, especially in the 1990s, when she lent her voice to several animated Marvel shows, such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, and X-Men.
She voiced characters such as Madame Web, Miss Forbes, Miss America, and Agatha Harkness. She also narrated some documentaries and audiobooks, such as Stan Lee’s Amazing Marvel Universe and Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics.
She retired from her career in the early 2000s but occasionally made appearances with Stan at public events and conventions.
Joan Boocock Lee had an estimated net worth of $10 million at her death.
She earned her wealth from her modelling and voice acting career, as well as from her share of Stan Lee’s fortune.
Joan Boocock Lee died on July 6, 2017, at the age of 95, after suffering a stroke. She was hospitalized in Los Angeles, where she passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family and friends.
She was cremated, and her ashes were interred with Stan, who died a year later, on November 12, 2018.
They are buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California. She was mourned and remembered by many fans and celebrities, who paid tribute to her legacy and influence on the Marvel universe and pop culture.
She was also honoured with a posthumous cameo in the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame, where she appeared as a young woman in the 1970s alongside Stan.
Joan Boocock Lee faced some legal issues and disputes, mostly related to Stan Lee’s business and estate.
She was sued by Stan Lee Media, a company that Stan co-founded in 1998 but later left in 2001 after it went bankrupt and was accused of fraud.
The company claimed that Stan had transferred the rights to his characters and creations to them and that they were entitled to a share of the profits from the Marvel films and merchandise.
Joan was named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit, along with Stan and Marvel. Several courts dismissed the lawsuit and eventually settled in 2013.
She also had some conflicts with some of Stan’s associates and managers, who she suspected of exploiting and manipulating him, especially in his later years.
She accused them of stealing money, property, and memorabilia from Stan, as well as isolating him from his family and friends.
She also alleged that they forged Stan’s signature and made him sign contracts and documents that he did not understand or consent to. She tried to protect Stan and his interests and filed several lawsuits and restraining orders against them.
She also fired some of them and hired new lawyers and agents for Stan. She was supported by her daughter, Joan Celia, who also claimed that Stan was a victim of elder abuse and fraud.
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- The Cool and the Crazy
- The Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man
- Fantastic Four
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