Jack Benny of 'Jack Benny Show' Fame Was Married for 47 Years to Mary Livingstone until He Died of Pancreatic Cancer at 80
Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone lived a love story that is worthy of gracing the TV, and it only ended when there was no more breath to give it life.
For 47 years, comedian, radio and TV personality, Jack Benny was married to the love of his life, Mary Livingstone.
The two met for the first time when the latter was 12, but at the time, the former was dating her older sister.
They reunited at Los Angeles years later when Livingstone was older, but after going on regular dates for two weeks, they parted ways, only to get reunited two years later, in 1927.
The reunion led to a walk down the aisle, which got followed immediately with the adoption of a daughter, Joan, and an opportunity to work together.
In 1932, when NBC gave Benny a spot on their network, Livingstone became a regular cast member of the "Jack Benny Show," and remained with the show until she left the show business in 1960.
"I learned Jack actually had a provision for the flower in his will; one red rose to be delivered to me every day for the rest of my life"
Leaving the show did not affect the King George High School graduate's marriage to the comedian, and they stayed blissfully married until he died from pancreatic cancer in '74.
Livingstone wrote remembrances for the TV personality every year after he died. But the depth of the love they shared was revealed in the biography, "One Long-Stemmed Rose," which she co-wrote with Hilliard Marks and Marcia Bonnie.
In it, the Seattle-born radio personality wrote,
"Every day since Jack has gone, the florist has delivered one long-stemmed rose to my home."
"If laughter is the music of the soul, Jack and his violin, and his good sense of humor, have made life better for all men"
"I learned Jack actually had a provision for the flower in his will; one red rose to be delivered to me every day for the rest of my life."
The gesture inspired the '98 poem, "Roses for Rose," by James A. Kisner. An excerpt from the poem, which reads,
"The roses will come every year, and will only stop when your door's not answered when the florist stops to knock."
Those words were Livingstone's reality, and the flowers stopped when she passed away in '83 at the age of 77, after a brief illness.
The radio personality and Benny entertained the world with their wisecracking characters, and at the latter's death, President Jack wrote in a telegram,
"If laughter is the music of the soul, Jack and his violin, and his good sense of humor, have made life better for all men."
The couple got buried next to each other at Hillside Memorial Cemetery, Culver City, California, Their only child, Joan survived them, and at Livingstone's death, five grandchildren also survived her.