Margie Willett: The Life and Legacy of Dick Van Dyke’s First Wife

Margie Willett may not be a household name, but her life story intertwines with the golden age of American television and one of its most beloved stars, Dick Van Dyke. Known primarily for her role as Van Dyke’s first wife, Margie’s life offers a glimpse into the challenges and experiences of being connected to a celebrity in an era that values privacy more than today’s media does.

Profile Summary

Full Name Margie Willett
Date of Birth 1927
Place of Birth Danville, Illinois, United States
Date of Death 2008
Age at Death 81 years
Nationality American
Ethnicity White
Religion Christianity
Sexuality Straight
Height 5’4″ (163 centimeters)
Weight 121 pounds (55 kilograms)
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Brown
Marital Status at Death Divorced
Ex-Husband Dick Van Dyke
Children Four (Barry, Christian, Stacy, and Carrie Beth)
Net Worth at Death Estimated $5 million

Margie Willett’s Early Life

Margie Willett was born in 1927 in Danville, Illinois, a small city that offered a quintessential Midwestern upbringing. Little is publicly known about her family or educational background, reflecting her private nature throughout her life. Her early years were marked by the simplicity of life in Illinois, which was far removed from the glitz of Hollywood where she would eventually find herself.

Margie’s Age at Death

Margie Willett was born in 1927 in Danville, Illinois. She lived until 2008 when she passed away at the age of 81. Her zodiac sign depended on her exact birthdate. Margie was an American national of white ethnicity who practised Christianity.

Margie Willett stood 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed around 121 pounds. She had brown hair and brown eyes, and her physical presence was characterized by a gentle demeanor that reflected her Midwestern roots.

Relationship with Dick Van Dyke

Margie Willett

The story of Margie Willett and Dick Van Dyke began in 1947 in their hometown of Danville. The young couple met amid post-war America’s optimism and quickly formed a bond. Their relationship led to a marriage proposal within a year. In a twist befitting a future television star, their wedding occurred on the “Bride and Groom” radio program on February 12, 1948. Financial difficulties prompted them to accept the offer from the show, which paid for their wedding rings and honeymoon in exchange for broadcasting their vows live to an audience of millions.

Margie and Dick’s marriage spanned 36 years, a period during which Dick Van Dyke rose from a comedic radio personality to a television icon. Their life together was shared with their four children: Barry, Christian, Stacy, and Carrie Beth. While Dick’s career brought him into the public eye, Margie remained a stabilizing presence at home, providing support as he navigated the pressures of fame.

Their long marriage was not without its challenges. The most significant strain came from Van Dyke’s self-admitted infidelity with Michelle Triola, which became public in the 1970s. Despite this, the couple stayed legally married for several years before divorcing in 1984. Margie also faced personal struggles, including the loss of twins in a miscarriage, an event that affected her deeply.

The divorce from Dick Van Dyke in May 1984 marked a new chapter for Margie, one about which little is publicly known. She chose to live out of the public eye, underscoring her character as a private individual who valued her life’s sanctity away from Hollywood’s glare.

Death and Legacy

Margie Willett passed away in 2008 at the age of 81 from pancreatic cancer. Her death was a profound loss for her family, including her ex-husband, who publicly expressed his sorrow, noting that a part of him died with her. Her legacy is carried on through her children and more than ten grandchildren, who continue to respect and honour her memory.

Margie Willett’s life story is a narrative of quiet strength and dignity. Although her role as the spouse of a famous entertainer often placed her in the background, she was a central figure in her family’s life. Her experiences reflect those of many women of her time, who managed households and supported their families amidst personal and public challenges.

Margie Willett’s Net Worth

At the time of her death, Margie Willett’s net worth was estimated at $5 million. In contrast, her ex-husband, Dick Van Dyke, has a net worth of $50 million as of 2024.

Final Thoughts

Though her husband’s stardom often overshadowed Margie Willett, her life was a testament to her resilience and commitment to her family. Remembered as a devoted mother and wife, her story offers insights into the complexities of life married to a public figure and the personal costs and sacrifices often hidden from public view. Her legacy, characterized by personal integrity and quiet strength, resonates with those who remember her.


Who was Margie Willett?

Margie Willett was best known as the first wife of American actor and comedian Dick Van Dyke.

How long were Margie Willett and Dick Van Dyke married?

Margie Willett and Dick Van Dyke were married for 36 years, from 1948 to 1984.

What was the cause of Margie Willett’s death?

Margie Willett died from pancreatic cancer in 2008.

Did Margie Willett remarry after her divorce from Dick Van Dyke?

No, Margie Willett did not remarry after her divorce from Dick Van Dyke and remained a private person until her death.

How many children did Margie Willett have?

Margie Willett and Dick Van Dyke had four children together: Barry, Christian, Stacy, and Carrie Beth.

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