Who Was Dick Van Dyke’s first wife Margie Willett, and why did she die?

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Margie Willett

As Dick Van Dyke’s former wife, Margie Willett was a well-known American ex-celebrity spouse. American actor, producer, writer, and comedian Dick has won numerous awards. Over the course of his more than seven decades in the entertainment business, he has been in a number of movies and TV shows, including Diagnosed Murder: Town Without Pity and Mary Poppins Returns.


Following her marriage to Dick Van Dyke, Margie Willett gained fame. Before divorcing in 1984, Margie and Dick were married for over 30 years. She passed away at the age of 81.

Profile summary

Margie Willett’s biography

American city of Danville, Illinois, is where Margie was born. She was a white citizen of the United States.

How old was Margie Willett?

Margie Willett’s age at death was 81 years old.


Why was Margie Willett famous?

Margie into the spotlight following her marriage to American actor Dick Van Dyke.

What was Margie Willett’s net worth?

Who Was Dick Van Dyke's first wife Margie Willett, and why did she die?
American actor D. Van Dyke pictured with his first wife in London in 1964. Photo: Popperfoto
Source: Getty Images

According to Celebrity Net Worth, her ex-husband has a net worth of $50 million.

How did Margie Willett meet Dick Van Dyke?

In 1947, Margie and Dick Van Dyke crossed paths in Danville, Illinois, in the United States. Due to financial issues, they wed on February 12, 1948, on a radio live broadcast program called Bride and Groom, after courting for a year. Their honeymoon was funded by the show’s producer.

In an interview with The Guardian, Dick Van Dyke mentioned:

We exchanged our vows in front of a minister and two radio microphones while 15 million people listened!

Due to their infidelity, they got divorced. The actor had an affair with Michelle Triola, who was by that time his agent’s assistant. After secretly dating Michelle since 1974, he admitted it to his wife. They lived apart for eight years before divorcing on May 4, 1984.

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Following her divorce from the actor, Willett never engaged in another romance. Prior to her passing away in 2009, Dick began dating former actress Michelle Triola Marvin. They were together for 35 years. Dick married Arlene Silver in 2012; she is a makeup artist and 46 years his junior.

In an interview with The Guardian, the actor made the following remarks regarding their union:

We don’t feel the age gap. I’m emotionally immature and Arlene is very wise for her age, so we meet in the middle.

Margie Willett’s children

Who Was Dick Van Dyke's first wife Margie Willett, and why did she die?
American actor and singer D. Van Dyke with his first wife at the 39th Academy Awards show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in 1967. Photo: Rolls Press/Popperfoto
Source: Getty Images

Two girls, Stacy and Carrie Beth, and two sons, Barry and Christian, make up the ex-couple’s four children. Willett lost twins and experienced a miscarriage as well.

Barry became an actor to follow in his father’s footsteps. He is well recognized for his parts in movies and TV shows including Heavenly Deposit, Remington Steele, and Diagnosis Murder. Since 1974, Barry and Mary Carey have been wed. Carey, Taryn, Wes, and Shane are their four joint children.

Former actress Stacy is best remembered for her roles in The New Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis Murder: Town Without Pity. Ryan is one of her two children; she is married to Mike Breen.

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Christian was created on May 13th, 1950. Caroline A. Heller, his wife, is his spouse. In 1974, Jessica Lee, their daughter, was born. In 1987, Jessica passed away. Son and daughter are their other two children.

On August 27, 1962, Carrie Beth was born. She has two kids and is married to Kevin McNally.

What happened to Margie Willett?

At the age of 81, Dick Van Dyke’s first wife passed away in 2008. Margie Willett passed away as a result of pancreatic cancer. Despite having long since divorced Margie, Dick was crushed by her passing. He said, according to Country Living:

Even though we were long divorced, with her death, I lost a part of myself.

Why did Dick Van Dyke leave his first wife?

He cheated on his first wife with Michelle Triola, his then-agent’s secretary.

Who are Margie Willett’s grandchildren?

Willet has more than ten grandkids, the known ones being Shane, Wes, Carey, Ryan and Jessica.

Fast facts about Margie Willett and Dick Van Dyke

  • They first met in 1947.
  • She was married to Dick for 36 years.
  • They divorced in May 1984.
  • Margie was a very private person.

Margie Willett was famous for being the first wife of the renowned actor Dick Van Dyke. The pair divorced in 1984, marking the end of their 36 years of marriage. She died at the age of 81.


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