Rocky Parker is a late theatre artist, actress, and acting coach, notable as the ex-wife of Grey’s Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey.
Although she had far fewer film and TV credits than her ex-husband Dempsey, it turns out that Rocky was quite an important figure in the early years of the Emmy-nominated actor’s career. Something that also got a lot of attention during their time together was the age difference between the former couple. On the one hand, Dempsey was only in his early 20s, while on the other, Rocky was already approaching 50.
Read about how they became husband and wife in the first place, how long they stayed married, why they split up, Rocky Parker’s life after the divorce, her death, and more.
Rocky Parker Was Born In The ’40s
Rocky Parker, the former wife of “Enchanted” actor Rocky Parker, originally Rochelle “Rocky” Parker, was born on 26 February 1940 in Brooklyn, New York.
Parker, the daughter of Bernard and Shirley Parker, whose middle name is Natalie. Rochelle’s mother, Shirley, was an actress known for such films as ‘Mission Mars’ and ‘Minx’. Patrick’s ex-wife Parker grew up on Hopkinson Avenue. Her family later moved to Bayside, Queens in 1949.
Rochelle attended Martin High School in Queens. However, it is unclear whether or not the former Mrs. Patrick completed her education or whether she attended college.
All Of Rocky Parker’s Family Were In The Movie Career; She Was Interested In Acting From A Young Age
Parker obviously came from a family of actors. Almost all of her family members were involved in show business. This eventually led Rocky to show an interest in acting. However, it was her aunt Ida who strengthened her passion for the performing arts.
When Rocky was seven, Ida was working at Movie Star Slips and she would bring Parker clothes, pajamas, and things from the sets for her to try on. Rocky’s aunt also took her to see Broadway shows all over town.
After seeing all these shows, Parker eventually got into the entertainment industry. Later, Roque auditioned at the Manhattan High School Performing Arts Studio and managed to land one of the roles.
However, Roky’s mother initially denied her daughter’s decision and the actor/actress’s ex-wife had to thus dismiss her desire to act. However, Rochelle continued acting at the age of 17.
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Parker Was Also An Ads Model
Rocky Parker, while known for her association with acting and stage work, initially started out as a model. Apparently, she had posed for magazines such as True Romance in the 1950s.
In addition, Rochelle was featured in Virginia Slim’s You’ve Come to A Long Way Baby campaign. However, the New York-born actress gave up modeling and then started acting in theatre productions in the 1960s.
Rocky Parker’s Career As A Theater Actress
As a theatre actress, Rocky first starred in The Company. There she played Susan Barson’s play Imposter.
Some of Rocky’s subsequent performances included What’s So Beautiful About A Sunset Over Prairie Avenue, Miss Julie, The Last Chord, and others. Parker’s first Broadway show was The Survivor with David Marshall Grant and Zeljko Ivanka.
In the meantime, she also starred in Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs. On the big screen, Rocky’s acting credits include Boxer Helena, Can’t Buy Me Love (1987), Happy Together (1989), and In the Mood (1987).
In addition to acting, Rocky has also directed, written, and coached some actors and actresses. She co-wrote and directed the 1994 film Ava’s Magical Adventure, which starred her former partner Patrick Dempsey as Geoffrey. Some of the actors she has mentored include Joan Chen, Little Richard, Kelly Preston, Heather Thomas, Brad Garett, and others.
Rocky Parker And Husband Patrick Dempsey Met During A Theater Play Production
New York-born Rocky met Flypaper actor Patrick Dempsey during the production of Brighton Beach Memoirs. At the time, Patrick was still a teenager, while Rocky, who was 44 and 47 at the time, interestingly played his aunt in the play.
Despite the age difference, Rocky and the actor/professional racing driver began dating and, after a three-year relationship, married in August 1987. Some reports, however, say that they actually eloped to Santa Monica.
They began their relationship by spending time together after rehearsals. Rochelle gave the People’s Choice Award winner career advice and later became her manager.
Initially, they hid the fact that they were dating because of their age and because Rocky was already the mother of three children from a previous relationship. And most of them were older than Patrick. In fact, one of them was also a friend of the “Grey’s Anatomy” actor.
However, they were happy with their marriage, although they kept it a secret for about two years. During their marriage, the former couple also attended New York University film school together.
Why Did Patrick Dempsey Marry Much Older, Rocky Parker?
In an interview, Patrick explained his marriage to Rocky by saying that he liked being in a relationship with someone who had lived longer than he had. He also said at the time that marriage to someone his own age would not have worked anyway because of the inexperience of both parties.
The “Bridget Jones’s Baby” actor said that because Rocky was much older than her, she helped her a lot. Patrick also stated that his ex-wife helped him a lot with reading the screen.
Rocky Parker And Patrick Dempsey’s Divorce
Their relationship is said to have broken down in 1992 after Patrick began an affair with another woman. The Loverboy actor, on the other hand, claimed that deception had taken place on both sides.
He has said that his marriage to Rocky was ridiculous and a “Freudian nightmare that is public knowledge”. Patrick and Rochelle’s marriage eventually ended in 1994.
During the divorce, officials ordered Dempsey to pay about $9,000 a month in spousal support. The court also ordered Patrick to allow Rochelle to stay in their house, and some believe she was even given a house. In addition, she was awarded a BMW convertible.
Parker Claimed Dempsey Assaulted Her During Their Marriage
At the time of the divorce, Rocky accused Patrick of domestic violence against her. She claimed that the Maine-born actor once beat her so badly on the set of “Can’t Buy Me Love” that she later developed lifelong arthritis.
The brown-haired performer also said that Patrick once broke her finger in a car door. In 1994, Rocky claimed in court documents that, because of Dempsey, she began seeing a psychiatrist regularly and even started taking antidepressants.
However, the now father of three denied all the allegations and even the court found no evidence for Rochelle’s claims. Rocky eventually withdrew her accusations against the Run actor in 2006.
In withdrawing her accusations, she said that in the heat of divorce, people sometimes say things they would not normally say. She also claimed that Dempsey’s allegations of physical abuse, alcoholism, and drug abuse were false.
Rocky Parker Was Married Twice Before Patrick Dempsey; Had Three Children
Including Dempsey, Rocky has been married three times, two of which ended in divorce. She married her first husband, Sheldon Leonard Stein, in August 1958. She was also in her late teens at the time and had her first child with Leonard in August 1959 at the age of 19.
Rochelle’s first son’s name was David Alan. Rocky divorced Leonard in 1964, after which she married John Hass. Shortly after the wedding, they had a child, Corey Parker Hass. Rochelle and John’s marriage ended after his death. Between then and meeting Patrick, Rochelle also had a relationship with a man named Nick Ferri, with whom she welcomed her third child, Noel, in December 1979.
On the other hand, a few years after his divorce from Rocky, Patrick married the Hollywood make-up artist Jillian Fink. Fink and Rochelle’s ex married in August 1999, after which they had three children, Talula and twins Sullivan and Darby.
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Rocky Parker Died At Age 74; What Caused Her Death?
Dempsey’s first wife, Rochelle Parker, died in April 2014 after a battle with throat and lung cancer. Actress Miss Julie was 74 years old at the time of her death and living in Los Angeles.
Apparently, Rochelle lost her life due to complications from throat and lung cancer. According to IBTimes, she allegedly contracted the disease because she smoked cigarettes all her life.
Apparently, she had started smoking at the age of 18, which caused cancer. The singer/mentor wanted her ashes scattered over the Pacific Ocean near her home in Santa Monica.
Was Rocky As Rich As Her Ex-Husband, Patrick; What Was Her Net Worth?
Considering that Rocky was slightly more respectable than her ex-husband Patrick when the Scream 3 actor was just starting out. However, when he began to flourish, Parker became something of a has-been identity. When Dempsey started getting roles on the big screen, Rochelle’s string of acting jobs in film and television kind of came to a complete halt.
And by the time Patrick became a household name on the ABC series, Rochelle had completely faded into obscurity, and probably few people knew that she was the first wife of the Brother Bear 2 actor.
However, it seems less likely that Rochelle was anywhere near as well off as her ex-husband Patrick Dempsey.
The allegation looks even truer in light of Rocky’s ex-spouse’s net worth, which is estimated at more than $80 million dollars. Nevertheless, in the last years of Rocky’s life, She could still have assets or assets in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not in the millions.
Quick Facts About Rocky Parker
|Full Name:||Rockey Parker|
|Born Date:||26 Feb, 1940|
|Lucky Color:||Sea Green|
|Best Match for Marriage:||Cancer, Scorpio|
|Death Date:||April 19, 2014|
|Break Up||Nick Ferri|
|Divorce||Three (Patrick Dempsey, Sheldon Leonard, and John Hass)|
|Net Worth||$1 million|
|Salary||$150,000 – $300,000|
|Education||Martin Buren High School|
|Kids||Three (David Alan, Corey Parker Hass, and Noelle Parker)|
|IMDB||Rockey Parker IMDB|