Jackie Joseph-Lawrence

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Asperges Provencal

From DAVID: Jackie came back into my life long after she was divorced and a couple of years after my wife died. I called her from Paris after a long, lonely time of traveling by myself all over England and Europe. We met for dinner, kissed on our second date and married a few years after. I had known about her outstanding career as an actress who had appeared in dozens and dozens and dozens of major TV series like “Andy Griffith”, “Love American Style”, “Dick Van Dyke”, “That Girl”, “Barbara Mandrell”, “Designing Women”, “Bob Newhart” – name it; she did it. As well as co-starring on “The Doris Day Show”.

She appeared in movies with James Stewart and Henry Fonda (“The Cheyenne Social Club”) – starred as Audrey in the original “Little Shop of Horrors” – was in “Police Academy” and “Gremlins”.

Starring in “The Billy Barnes Review”, Jackie played Broadway and toured England. She appeared on stage with Donald O’Connor and also with in Las Vegas with Tim Conway. She did a score of musicals including “Heads I Win” with James Coburn, “Little Mary Sunshine”, “Follies” and the list goes on.

As I caught up with the long years between our original college courtship and our new life partnership, I learned about the Jackie Joseph (Lawrence) off screen and stage.

How she was a founding member of the organization “Actors and Others for Animals” (and is still actively involved). How she formed the group called L.A.D.I.E.S. (Life After Divorce Is Eventually Sane) which includes the former wives of Gene Hackman, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Leonard Nimoy and many other Hollywood greats. The group traveled the country, appearing on TV and before women’s groups spreading comfort, giving advice and leading ladies suddenly on their own toward self sufficiency and support groups. Jackie worked for the State of California as a champion of women’s opportunities in the Gender Equity program. She served on the boards of the Screen Actors’ Guild and AFTRA, always promoting causes for women. She worked in a similar way with Girls, Inc.

I am constantly amazed at the awesome number of genuine friends Jackie has maintained over the years, some from her days in grammar school. They include major novelists like Carolyn See and her daughter Lisa See, artist Joan Weber, performer Jo Ann Worley and composer Billy Barnes (from the BB Revue), singers and actors and writers and directors – and non show-biz folks who simply adore her. I witness that first hand when we attend an opening night and the paparazzi surround her or at a memorabilia event when fans gather for her picture and autograph.