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Meet Margie Willett, The First Wife Of Dick Van Dyke

All We Know About Margie Willet

Who is Margie Willett?

Margie Willett married the renowned comedian and actor Dick Van Dyke in 1948. Unlike her ex-husband, Willett had no interest in Hollywood and was not associated with the glitz and glamour of the city. The couple had four children together, namely Barry, Carrie Beth, Stacy, and Christian Van Dyke. In addition, they are blessed with five grandchildren, namely Shane, Carey, Taryn, Wes, and Jessica, and five great-grandchildren, namely Alex, Ava, Gracie, Jane, and Mia Van Dyke. However, the couple ended their marriage in 1984 and went their separate ways.

Margie Willett Was Born In 1927 In Illinois

Margie Willet was born and raised in Danville, Illinois, USA. Unfortunately, the exact date and month of her birth remain unknown, and little is known about her family or background. It is unclear who her parents were and whether or not she had siblings that she grew up with. Furthermore, details about where she went to school and her experiences in school are currently unavailable. The only information we have about Margie Willet is related to her marriage to her famous ex-husband, Dick Van Dyke.

Margie Willett Was An American Citizen

Margie Willett was born in 1927 in Danville, Illinois, USA. Unfortunately, there is limited information about her childhood, including her parents’ occupations, religion, and the areas where she grew up. It is unclear whether she had any siblings or was an only child.

As for her education, there are no public records of the schools she attended or the degrees she earned.

Margie was a kind-hearted person who preferred to keep her personal life private. It is unknown what career path she pursued or the type of work she engaged in to make a living. Instead, she dedicated herself to being a devoted wife and mother. However, she is most recognized for her relationship with the renowned American actor, comedian, and singer Dick Van Dyke.

Margie Willett Married Dan Van Dyke in 1949

Willett and Van Dyke crossed paths in 1948 while working at the CBS TV studio in Danville, Illinois. Van Dyke, then a 20-year-old aspiring actor, and Willett, a makeup artist, grew close as they interacted. Their friendship eventually led to romance, and they got engaged. They tied the knot on February 5, 1949, and exchanged vows on the popular radio program “Bride and Groom” in front of a priest and two microphones. The show was sponsored by a radio producer and was attended by over 15 million viewers. Willett preferred to stay out of the public eye, but she always supported her husband’s work and accompanied him to various events and red-carpet appearances.

Margie played an essential role in Dick Van Dyke’s career. She encouraged him to take on the lead role in the hit show “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which became a massive success. Despite their best efforts, their marriage faced challenges due to Van Dyke’s drinking and work-related pressures. Margie also struggled with addiction and eventually joined her ex-husband in rehab to support his recovery.

Van Dyke and Margie Willett Got Married on a Radio Show

During a 2016 interview with The Guardian, the actor confessed that he and his partner were too broke to get married. However, a radio host came to their aid by offering to foot the bill for their wedding and honeymoon if they got married on his show. The couple took up the offer, and 15 million viewers watched as Van Dyke and his first wife Willett exchanged vows on ABC’s Bride and Groom in 1948. Van Dyke also shared that his late ex-wife was often mistaken for his mother or sister, recalling when she bought six copies of a magazine featuring him on the cover, and the cashier asked if she was his mom.

Margie Willett Suffered a Miscarriage

The couple’s journey wasn’t all smooth sailing from the start. In his memoir, Van Dyke disclosed his relationship with Margie, revealing they had an apartment duplex and enjoyed living by the beach. Unfortunately, Willett suffered a spontaneous miscarriage while pregnant with twins.

Van Dyke went on to explain that while Willett was at home with her mother in the hospital, they were expelled from their apartment for not paying rent. Despite these challenges, the couple had four children – Carrie Beth, Christian, Stacy, and Barry. Their first child was born in New Orleans in 1954, followed by their youngest daughter in Los Angeles.

As Van Dyke’s career took off and he gained fame, he began incorporating his children and grandchildren into his television projects, such as The Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis Murder. However, his partner Margie Willett didn’t always enjoy the Hollywood lifestyle.

In an excerpt from his memoirs, Van Dyke recalled that Willett “didn’t like Hollywood or its stars, but she made an exception when, in 1972, we were invited to dinner – cooked by Frank Sinatra.” Despite hoping for Sinatra’s singing performance, he wasn’t feeling up to it on the night.

Speaking to The Guardian, Van Dyke revealed that Willett had difficulty with the limelight, often shushed at shows by people wanting to talk to him. She would cut her hair short and avoid makeup, and they were sometimes mistaken for siblings. Margie was highly private before marrying Dick, and he admitted that she preferred living on their family ranch.

Margie Willett And Dick Van Dyke Had Four Children Together

Dick Van Dyke and his wife, Margie Willett, were blessed with four children – Christian, Barry, Stacy, and Carrie Beth Van Dyke. It’s remarkable that all of them followed in their father’s footsteps and pursued careers in the entertainment industry. They were fortunate enough to have early exposure to Hollywood and even made appearances on shows their father hosted, such as The Dick Van Dyke Show, Diagnosis: Murder, and The New Dick Van Dyke Show.

Christian Van Dyke

Christian Van Dyke, the eldest of the siblings, was born around 1950. He made his debut on The Dick Van Dyke Show when he was 31. Despite initially trying his hand at showbiz, Christian chose a different path after completing his studies at Occidental College and obtaining a law degree from Arizona State University. He went on to have a successful legal career, serving as an assistant district attorney for Corvallis, deputy attorney general for Salem, and district attorney for Marion County. He also made a mark in the business world, working as corporate counsel at Nike and later as Patagonia’s director of sales and marketing.

Barry Van Dyke

Barry Van Dyke, born on July 31, 1951, is the couple’s second child. Despite growing up in the entertainment industry, Barry did not immediately pursue acting. As a teenager, he worked at a local cinema, where he met his future wife, Mary Carey, at 16. Barry gained valuable production experience by working as a gofer on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, holding cue cards and immersing himself in the creative aspects of TV production. With the help of his father’s connections, he landed roles as an extra and had small parts in productions such as Galactica, Airwolf, and Casino.

Stacy Van Dyke

Stacy Van Dyke, born in 1955, is the couple’s third child. She starred alongside her father in various shows and demonstrated her acting skills in roles like Sally on The New Dick Van Dyke Show and Carol Hilton on Diagnosis: Murder. The acting was a constant passion for Stacy, even before her debut on television, and her father was impressed with her talents. Stacy was part of The Barnstormers, a group of performers at the Windmill Dinner Theater in the 1970s, leaving her mark on Phoenix’s theater history.

Carrie Beth Van Dyke Is The Couple’s Last Child

Born in 1961, Carrie Beth Van Dyke is the youngest of Van Dyke’s children and the youngest daughter. She made guest appearances on two episodes of The New Dick Van Dyke Show during the early 1970s. In contrast to her siblings, Carrie was able to lead a modest life away from the limelight.

In 1983, she tied the knot with Kevin McNally, an actor, and musician who later became a cast member on Diagnosis: Murder for 19 seasons with her father. Carrie has always maintained a private life and kept her interests and personal life away from public attention.

Why Did Van Dyke And His Ex-Wife Margie Divorce?

Unfortunately, the couple could not keep their relationship going and divorced. In “Keep Moving,” one of the books Van Dyke wrote, he discussed a few aspects of his affair with Margie. While many thought the star was living a glamorous Hollywood lifestyle, the icon suffered from alcoholism.

In an excerpt from his memoir in which he discussed these problems, Van Dyke learned about his ex-wife Margie Willett’s struggles with addiction when she picked him up from rehab:

On my last day, Margie came to pick me up. But, after a few minutes, the counselor entered and announced that Margie was in my room. “She’s checked herself in,’ he explained. It was discovered that Margie was suffering from Librium. The drug was prescribed for depression and anxiety, and then became addicted. I had no idea. We were a couple, one of us – a drinker with an addiction.

After her release, the wife of Dick Van Dyke began spending more time at their ranch in the desert. He then explained why he began confiding with his agent’s secretary, Michelle Triola, in 1975. In the song “Keep Moving,” the actor recounts the incident that ended his marriage. Writing:

Michelle was an easy person to talk to, and she understood me. At that moment, Michelle sued actress Lee Marvin, with whom she had been in a relationship for six years. I was attracted to an affair. I was in a relationship with a woman who was not my wife. It was unbelievable. I was crying in shame.”

The couple began to fall in love, and in 1976, Van Dyke admitted to Willett that he was involved in an affair. Dick Van Dyke and Margie Willett separated from then on, but they didn’t get divorced until 1984.

Margie Willett And Her Husband Initially Struggled to Make Ends Meet After Marriage

In the early years of Margie Willet’s marriage to Dick Van Dyke, the actor, and comedian was not yet at the fame and popularity we know his name for, and the couple could not afford the wedding.

The first couple’s marriage was challenging when they struggled to meet their financial needs. Their financial situation was such that they had to face the dreadful fact that they were unable to afford a home to be able to call home. Instead, they settled for an unorthodox living arrangement, temporarily living in their car.

The beginning phases of Van Dyke’s life were marked by slow progress, and therefore, Van and Margie had to deal with financial uncertainty since very little money came in for them. As their financial situation changed, Willett and Van managed to buy a house in the beautiful neighborhood of Malibu; however, the money came in slowly at the moment.

During the couple’s lives, Margie Willett became pregnant, having twins. But their joy was abruptly ended by the tragic loss of a spontaneous miscarriage. The emotional burden was enormous, forcing the couple to deal with the devastating sadness and the loss of their babies.

In the aftermath of their terrible loss, their lives became more difficult because while in the hospital, their landlord from Malibu made the unlucky decision to expel them because they could not pay rent. It was a difficult time for the couple.

But, soon after, his career gained momentum, and new doors were opened, improving their financial position. Cash began flowing more efficiently, and the family breathed relief.

Margie Died In 2008, At Age 81, After Battling Pancreatic Cancer

Tragically, Margie Willett passed away in the year 2008. The actress passed away from pancreatic cancer just one year after her incredibly devastating diagnosis. She was 81 at the time she died.

Although they were separated for a lengthy period, Margie Willet’s death had an immense impact on Dick Van Dyke. When he spoke to The Guardian, Dick opened up about his profound loss, saying many of him disappeared with Margie.

This was natural, considering the former couple had been through the lows and highs of their lives together, beginning when they had nothing. Van Dyke’s honest admission that he had lost a portion of himself due to Margie’s death was a source of joy for many who were awed by him as an entertainer and an individual.

Her Net Worth At Last Days

The report stated that Margie Willett was worth $1 million when she passed away. She was always far from the spotlight and seldom appeared in public.

Because of this, it is much more difficult to find further information regarding her property records and other financial information.

On the other hand, her spouse Dick is estimated to have a fortune that is $ 50 million. He has been a part of numerous successful films and television shows over his career. It’s also his primary source of revenue.

A Quick Notes On Dick Van Dyke:

Dick Van Dyke is an American comedian, actor, singer, and dancer. He was born on December 13, 1925, in West Plains, Missouri, and raised in Danville, Illinois. His career began in entertainment as a comedian and Radio DJ before moving to film and television.

Van Dyke’s most memorable role was in the sitcom of the 1960s, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” where Van Dyke was the main character, Rob Petrie. This show became a huge critical and commercial success and earned Van Dyke several Emmy Awards for his performance as a performer and producer.

Alongside “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” Van Dyke has appeared in numerous other films, which include “Mary Poppins,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “Night at the Museum.” Van Dyke has also been a guest on numerous television shows, such as “Diagnosis: Murder” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”

Van Dyke is also a famous stage actor featured in various Broadway productions, such as “Bye Bye Birdie” and “The Music Man.” He has been awarded several Tony Awards for his work in the theater.

Throughout his entire professional career, Van Dyke has been recognized for his lively and charismatic performances as well as his dancing and singing ability. He is widely recognized as one of the top entertainers of his generation, and his contribution to the world of entertainment has brought him many awards and awards.

What happened to Margie Willett?

Tragically, Margie Willett passed away in the year 2008. She reportedly died of pancreatic cancer just one year after being given this devastating news. She was 81 at the time of her death.

Even though they were separated for a lengthy period, Margie Willet’s death profoundly affected Dick Van Dyke. Through an interview in The Guardian, Dick opened up about his deep grief and said that a significant portion of him disappeared, as did Margie.

How old was Margie Willett when she died?

His first wife, Dick, died in 2008 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer one year earlier. She was age 81. Margie Willett’s passing deeply affected the actor. In an interview Dick gave to the Guardian, the actor admitted to having lost a piece of himself because of her passing.

How old is Barry Van Dike?

Barry Van Dyke is the second child of Margie Willet and Van Dyke, born on July 31, 1951. Even though he was exposed to the entertainment industry early, Barry did not pursue acting when he was young. His father, Dick, allowed him to decide for himself at a certain age. Barry worked at a local cinema during his teenage years, where he met his future wife, Mary Carey, at 16. Today, Barry is a 71-year-old American performer.

How are Margie and Tommy old?

Isaac Asimov’s science fiction story “The Fun They Had” featured Margie and Tommy as their main characters. Margie is eleven years old while Tommy is thirteen, and the story takes place in 2157. In this futuristic world, children are educated at home with the assistance of a mechanical teacher.

Who taught Margie?

Margie and Tommy received instruction from mechanical teachers, who displayed lessons on large black screens. After each lesson, the students were given questions to answer. They were also required to submit their tests and homework assignments through designated slots.

Who was Tommy of Margie?

Margie’s best friend is Tommy, who is 13 years old. While exploring the attic, Tommy stumbled upon Margie’s grandfather’s journal. He is pretty knowledgeable about the schools of many centuries ago, more so than Margie. Tommy understands that true teachers taught students in what was known as “school” in those times.

Who is Van Dyke married to?

Dick Van Dyke, the renowned comedian and actor, is currently happily married to Arlene Silver, an experienced makeup artist who is 46 years younger than him. They first met at the SAG Awards in 2006 and subsequently tied the knot in 2012. They love dancing and music, and their relationship is thriving.

Dick Van Dyke was previously married to Margie Willett, with whom he had four children: Christian, Barry, Stacy, and Carrie Beth. Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 1984 after a prolonged separation. Following their divorce, Dick lived with Michelle Triola for over 30 years until she passed away in 2008.

Does Van Dyke have a brother?

Yes, Jerry Van Dyke. He was born Jerry McCord Van Dyke on July 27, 1931, and passed away on January 5, 2018. He was a renowned American comedian and actor and the younger brother of Dick Van Dyke.

Throughout his career, Van Dyke played various guest and supporting character roles on popular TV shows. He made his debut in TV acting on the Dick Van Dyke Show, portraying Rob’s older brother Stacey in several guest appearances. From 1989 to 1997, he played the character of Luther Van Dam on the widely popular show Coach.

Who are Barry Van Dyke’s children?

Dick Van Dyke, a well-known actor, had a first wife named Margie Willett. He has two younger sisters, Stacy and Carrie Beth, and an older brother named Christian. Additionally, his father remarried Arlene Silver-Van Dyke, a makeup artist.

Dyke pursued theatre arts at Pierce Junior College in Los Angeles before entering the acting industry. He married his current wife, Mary Carey, in 1974, and they have four children together: Carey, Shane, Wes, and Taryn.


What Happened to Van Willett’s Marriage?

The producers of Radio financed the Willet and Van Dy show Bride and Groom. The ticket of the radio producer even helped pay for the couple’s honeymoon. After 36 years of marriage, the couple officially split apart in 1984.

Is Margie Willett Married To Dick Van Dyke?

Margie Willett used to be married to actor Dick Van Dyke, with whom she has four children. On February 12, 1948, the couple exchanged their vows during an event on the “Bride and Groom” radio program on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. On May 4, 1984, the pair who were once in love split in two.

What Happened To Dick’s First Wife, Margie Willett?

Margie Willett, Dick’s former wife, passed away in 2008 at age 81. According to reports, she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer one year before her death.

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