Eric Morecambe's widow Joan dies at 97 | Couple met on the variety circuit in 1952 © David Parker / Alamy Stock Phot

Eric Morecambe's widow Joan dies at 97

Couple met on the variety circuit in 1952

Eric Morecambe's widow Joan has died on her 97th birthday, her family has announced.

She died peacefully following a short illness, her family announced in a statement.

A former Miss Margate, she was trying to establish a career as a solo singer when she first Morecambe met at a rehearsal for a variety bill at the Edinburgh Empire on July 14, 1952.

The comic was said to be smitten with her – and five months later they married. Soon after the first of their three children, Gail, was born, followed by Gary – who has written several books about his father – and Stephen, who they adopted much later.

Joan remained married to Eric until his death 40 years ago in May 1984 at the age of 58.

A statement issued on behalf of the children yesterday said: ‘It is with great sadness and the heaviest of hearts that we must share the news that our mother, Joan, has passed away peacefully at the age of 97 after a short illness

‘Our family kindly requests some privacy during this time while we grieve our sad loss.'

Born on March 26, 1927, Joan died on her 97th birthday on Tuesday.

In 2015, she was made an OBE for charitable services in the Queen's New Year's Honours List. She founded the Lady Taverners, the cricked-based charity, in  1987 and remained its president until 1992.

• Pictured above: Eric and Joan at Heathrow Airport in 1984.

Published: 28 Mar 2024

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