The love story of Jo Wilder and Joel Grey: Where is the famous actress today?

The love story of Jo Wilder and Joel Grey: Where is the famous actress today?

Jo Wilder had her taste of fame in the 1950s and 1960s and was famously recognised as a singing actress. One of her notable roles was her role as Polly in Threepenny Opera. Her other acting credits include Gypsy and Peter Pan in regional theatre, She Loves Me on Broadway. Wilder also played Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice.

Jo Wilder's profiles
The love story of Jo Wilder and Joel Grey: Where is the famous actress today? Photo: Michael Ochs Archives
Source: Getty Images

Despite her success as an actress, Jo Wilder's marriage to Joel Grey also put her in the spotlight. What happened to her after Joel identified as gay in 2014?

Jo Wilder's profile summary and bio

Full name Joan Carrie Brower
Nickname Jo Wilder
GenderFemale
Date of birth 12th August 1938
Age 84 years (as of June 2023)
Birthday 12th August
Zodiac signLeo
Place of birthNew York, USA
Nationality American
Eye colour Brown
Hair colourDark brown
Famous as Joel Grey's ex-wife
Marital status Divorced
Ex-spouse Joel Grey
Children 2 (Jennifer Grey and James Katz)
ParentsIsrael Brower and Clara Rockoff

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How old is Jo Wilder?

Jo Wilder (aged 84 as of June 2023) was born on August 1938 as Joan Carrie Brower. Her mother, Clara Rockoff, passed in childbirth in Ukraine in 1969. Jo grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She received her education at the Neighbourhood Playhouse and prepared under Sanford Meisner. She is also an alumnus of The Dalton School.

Jo Wilder's Wikipedia
Today, Joel is a best-selling author. Photo by Lynn Karlin
Source: Getty Images

Jo Wilder's career

Joan debuted her career in 1956 by featuring in a TV series called Washington Square. She later landed another notable acting role in the Tv series, The Defenders. Jo Wilder'smovies and TV show credits include:

  • Stanley in 1956
  • How To Marry a Millionaire in 1958
  • The Court of Last Resort in 1958
  • The Detectives in 1961
  • The Doctors and the Nurses in 1965

Wilder also acted in Aurthur Laurents' musical, Gypsy, at the Paper Mill Playhouse. She shared a set with Alfred Sandos and Julie Wilson. Besides acting, Wilder also ran a business in the broadcast business for close to a decade. She quit her career to focus on her family.

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Jo Wilder's spouse

After months of dating, Jo Wilder and Joel Grey tied the knot in 1958. Even though information about their dating timeline is not publicly available, they presumably met in their line of work since they were both cast in The Court of Last Resort in 1958.

Joel Grey is an acclaimed American actor, dancer, photographer, singer and theatre director. He has numerous film and TV credits to his name. He is also a recipient of notable awards such as:

  • BAFTA Award
  • Golden Globe Award
  • Tony Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Tony Award

Jo Wilder's children

Jo Wilder lost her first baby boy after he was born prematurely. She later had her daughter and only biological child, Jennifer Grey, in March 1960. Jo and Joel later adopted James Katz when he was four.

Jennifer Grey
Joel has never publicly disclosed his partner. Photo: Bruce Glikas
Source: Getty Images

Jennifer Grey

Jennifer took after her parents and carved a career as an illustrious actress. Some of her film credits include:

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  • Reckless (1984)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  • Dirty Dancing (1987)
  • Red Dawn (1984)
  • The Cotton Club (1984)
  • Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989)
  • Bounce (2000)
  • Redbelt (2008)
  • The Wind Rises (2013)
  • In Your Eyes (2014)
  • Duck Duck Goose (2018)
  • Bittersweet Symphony (2019)

Jennifer was married to Clark Gregg between 2001 and 2021, and they share one child. She was previously romantically involved with Johnny Depp and Michael J Fox, to mention a few.

Joel Grey
Jennifer and her dad share an impeccable bond. Photo: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan
Source: Getty Images

James Katz

Unlike his sister, James prefers living away from the spotlight. He is a chef.

Jo Wilder and Joel Grey

Joel Wilder and Joel Grey were married for 24 years before the union hit a dead end. The divorce was instigated by Joel Grey coming out to his wife as gay and confessing to cheating. Jo filed for divorce shortly after the revelation, which was finalised in 1982. In an interview, when asked whether his ex-wife knew he was gay, Joel responded,

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I was totally in love with her. We were living a totally heterosexual life. I made a decision about what I wanted in life: a family and a career.

Coming out

Even though his close family and friends knew of his sexuality, Joel came out publicly in 2014 at 82. He admitted how liberating it was to say he was gay after the play, The Normal Heart. Despite the divorce, Joel shares a special bond with his daughter, Jennifer. They often show up for red-carpet events in each other's company.

Is Jo Wilder still alive?

Yes, she is. On Mother's Day 2022, Jennifer paid a special tribute to her mother, saying how awe-inspiring it was to be raised by Jo Wilder. Despite her celebrity status in the 50s and 60s, Jo Wilder prefers living away from the limelight.

Jo Wilder's net worth

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Information regarding Jo Wilder's finances is not publicly available. Joel Grey, her ex-husband, is worth approximately $11 million, and their daughter, Jennifer Grey, is worth $10 million.

Jo Wilder and Joel Grey's love story was beautiful until its unprecedented end. Wilder chose a life away from the limelight since she had ended her acting career more than a decade before. On the other hand, her ex-husband still honours his celebrity status and is often spotted at public events.

READ ALSO: Is Beckett Lansbury transgender or an ally? Everything you need to know

Briefly.co.za explored Beckett Lansbury's life. Lansbury is better known as the first child of actor David Lansbury and actress Ally Sheedy. Beckett was born female but later transitioned into a man.

Beckett's mother recently opened up about her son coming out as transgender. She also expressed how the family had supported him throughout the transitioning process.

Source: Briefly News

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