Margie Willett, an American lady, gained attention from the public since she was the first wife of Dick Van Dyke, a renowned and award-winning Hollywood actor, singer, comedian, and writer best remembered for his roles in “Mary Poppins” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
Earlier Years And Family
Except for the knowledge that Margie Willett was born in 1927 in Danville, Illinois, the United States, little is known about Margerie “Margie” Willett’s early years. She was a very private person, and her family has chosen to keep information about her private to honor her wishes for leading a quiet life while she was still alive.
Regarding Margie Willett educational background, little is known.
Margie Willett has no prior history of employment or business ownership.
Margie, who had previously led a life of secrecy, married Dick Van Dyke on February 12, 1948, at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, bringing an end to her life of anonymity. It wasn’t intended that way, but Dick couldn’t pass up the chance to have his wedding to Margie sponsored by a well-known radio show when he was just starting as an artist owing to a lack of cash. When the radio presenter of the show “Bride and Groom,” who was hearing him sing at the hotel, found that he was engaged to be married to his fiancée, he instantly offered to sponsor not only the wedding but also the honeymoon, providing house furnishings and appliances to take with him.
Dick requested Margie, they were wed on the air, and they spent their honeymoon at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort in Welches, Oregon.
Dick couldn’t afford to purchase her a house, so the couple struggled for a while and even lived in their car. In the end, Dick enjoyed considerable success not just on radio and the stage but also on TV and in films. The couple had four children—Carrie Beth, Stacy, Barry, and Chris—and was able to construct a house. While they had some pleasant years together, they were tragically plagued by issues both as a pair and as individuals.
Margie miscarried twins and the couple was able to recover because it happened early in their marriage. However, later on, owing to addictions, they both needed rehab.
Dick developed alcoholism while Margie developed a severe prescription drug dependency. They both decided to check into the same rehab facility, and they were successful in changing their ways. Margie was quite pleased with her husband’s accomplishments, but for some reason, she disliked the spotlight and always preferred to be in the background. To stay out of the spotlight, Margie decided to spend more time at the family’s ranch in the desert. Dick realized it, but he also found comfort in another woman’s embrace.
He had an extramarital relationship for eight years with Michelle Triola, his agent’s assistant and occasional actress who gained notoriety for her contentious prior liaison with Lee Marvin, another actor.
Michelle, like the majority of mistresses, was extremely understanding of Dick’s urge to entertain, but it made his marriage difficult. I was connected with a woman other than my wife, he admitted in an interview with Country Living. Unbelievable, that is. I was writhing with shame. I had to take action by 1976. After telling his wife what had happened, they both decided to lead separate lives. After 36 years of marriage, they ultimately filed for divorce in 1984.
Following the divorce, Margie was rarely spotted in public and only came up when one of her kids decided to follow in their father’s footsteps. Barry started working in the show industry and started acting. Margie lived a life away from the spotlight and never remarried.
After receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2007, Margie passed away the following year.
Four of her children, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren remain.
Do You Know Dick Van Dyke?
On December 13, 1925, Richard Wayne Van Dyke was born in West Plains, Missouri, to stenographer Hazel Victoria McCord and salesman Loren Wayne Van Dyke. He and his younger brother Jerry Van Dyke were raised in Danville, Illinois, in a deeply religious home, and when he was younger, he even considered pursuing a career in their ministry. Dick, however, discovered his passion after acting in a high school play and was destined to be an entertainer.
Dick graduated from high school only after leaving in the last few months of his senior year to join the military. He was only given a diploma and a distinguished alumnus award when he returned to Danville High in 2004.
He attempted to enlist in the US Army Air Force to become a pilot during World War II, but he was turned down due to his weight. He eventually joined the Special Services, which entertained the troops all around the world and went on to become a radio announcer in the military.
After the war, he started working as a radio DJ in his hometown, but he began acting in 1947 and was a member of the pantomime comedy group “The Merry Mutes.” They performed in many cities until they could appear on broadcast television and gain more notoriety. When they were unable to transport their families between gigs any longer, the couple decided to stop playing.
Dick made his Broadway debut in “The Girls Against the Boys” in 1959, and a year later, he played the lead in “Bye Bye Birdie,” which lasted for more than a year.
He was a natural performer and never received any formal training in singing, acting, or dancing, yet he was excellent at all three. In a television interview, Dick revealed that although he had no prior dance expertise, the director decided to offer him the lead role in the musical after hearing him sing during his audition for a lesser part. In 1961, he was recognized for his work with the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical.
He was successful on stage, and he was doing well with television audiences as well. An old army friend who later worked as a TV director for CBS sent him to the city for an audition, which resulted in a seven-year contract. The Pat Boone Show, The Phil Silvers Show, and The Andy Williams Show are just a few of the popular series that Dick continued to make guest and occasional appearances in.
His Broadway success allowed him to launch his comedic TV series, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” with Mary Tyler Moore, the woman he had a crush on, in 1961. The show’s creator and producer Carl Renier canceled it after five successful years on the air, during which time he won three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. “The New Dick Van Dyke Show,” which Carl Reiner and Hope Lange produced and created in 1971, ran for three years and earned Dick a Golden Globe nomination. Dick himself decided to terminate it because it wasn’t as popular as his first series. Later on, he was a regular on “The Carol Burnett Show,” but due to his hectic schedule as a movie actor, he only made an appearance in a few episodes of the show’s last season.
Although he was dissatisfied with this rendition, the movie adaptation of the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” he played on Broadway in 1963 was a commercial triumph.
He appeared in the classic film “Mary Poppins” that same year and co-starred with Julie Andrews in two roles. As one of the most well-liked films of the 20th century, it was also a commercial and critical success. He and Julie received a Grammy for performing the original soundtrack of the movie, “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and the movie earned an Oscar for Best Original Song.
Even as he got older, he kept accepting movie roles. His most notable ones recently included “Mary Poppins Returns” in 2018, in which he played Mr. Dawes Jr. from the original version, and the Ben Stiller-starring franchise movie series “Night at the Museum,” in which he played the villain from 2006 to 2014.
Dick and Margie’s son Barry, acted with his father in the long-running medical crime TV series, “Diagnosis Murder,” which lasted from 1993 to 2001 and featured 178 episodes over eight seasons. In 2008, the father and son filmed four movies for television, murder thrillers under the same title, “Murder 101” which aired on the Hallmark Channel.
After his marriage with Margie dissolved, his contact with his mistress continued until she died from a terminal disease in 2009. He remarried again in 2012, to Arlene Silver, a make-up artist half his age.
Margie Willet was 5ft 5ins (1.67m) tall and weighed roughly 120lbs (55kg) (55kg). She was Caucasian with dark brown hair and brown eyes.
Sources placed her net worth at $15 million before her death. It came substantially from her divorce settlement. Her ex-husband’s net worth is estimated at over $50 million, as of mid-2020.