UPDATED: Joan Lee, wife of Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee, died on Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 93.
Joan Lee had reportedly been hospitalized after suffering a stroke earlier this week.
“I can confirm the sad news that Joan Lee passed away this morning quietly and surrounded by her family,” a spokesperson for the family said in a statement to Variety. “The family ask that you please give them time to grieve and respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
Joan, a former British hat model, married Stan on Dec. 5, 1947. The two, who were married for 69 years, met when Stan was supposed to take her friend on a blind date. Together, they had two children: Joan Celia (J.C.) and Jan, who died three days after her birth.
Before meeting Stan, Joan impulsively married an American soldier during World War II, in what turned out to be an unhappy relationship. After a six-week stay in Reno, Nevada, a judge granted her divorce, and he married her and Stan in a room next door.
The newlyweds returned to New York, where Stan Lee worked for Timely/Atlas Comics, now known as Marvel Comics. Stan cited Joan as inspiration for the burgeoning Fantastic Four project he co-created with Jack Kirby in 1961.
They moved to California in 1981 so Stan could develop Marvel TV and film works. Joan did voice work on “Fantastic Four” as Miss Forbes and “Spider-Man” as Madame Web in the 1990’s animated Marvel shows. She also had a role in 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
Joan Lee authored a novel, “The Pleasure Palace,” in 1987 about a man’s mission to create the world’s most luxurious ocean liner while simultaneously balancing three romances.
On Friday, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment posted an update on his Twitter account. “On behalf of Stan, thanks for the heartfelt condolences,” read the message, accompanied by a comic book drawing of the couple. “He is well and truly appreciates the outpouring of love for Joan.”