Jean Widmark, wife of film star Richard Widmark for more than 50 years, died March 2 following a struggle with Alzheimer’s disease in Montecito. She was 80.

A native of Evanston, Ill., the former Jean Hazelwood was 18 when she met her future husband at Lake Forest College in the early 1930s. They were married in 1942.

Jean Widmark, a member of the Writers Guild since the early 1960s, wrote the screenplay for “The Secret Ways” (1961), a film produced by Heath Prods. (the Widmarks’ production company) and starring her husband.

The Widmarks preferred to spend time on the family ranch in Hidden Valley. Widmark said of his wife, “She was the greatest girl I ever knew. What more can I say?”

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter and a sister

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