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Meredith Salenger Married Michelle McNamara's Widower Patton Oswalt — Get to Know Both Women

Edduin Carvajal
May 12, 2021
09:10 A.M.

“The King of Queens” actor Patton Oswalt married his second wife, Meredith Salenger, 18 months after his first wife, Michelle McNamara, passed away. He had good reasons.


True crime author Michelle McNamara began attracting people’s attention in 2006 when she established her website True Crime Diary. Through it, she tracked cold cases and tried to find new angles to investigate.

McNamara is best known for “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” her book about hunting the serial rapist and murderer who terrorized California from 1974 to 1986.

Patton Oswalt on March 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

Patton Oswalt on March 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images


The Golden State Killer – the name McNamara coined in 2013 – is Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer linked to over 60 crimes involving rape and murder.

McNamara’s book was so popular that HBO later adapted it into a six-part documentary focusing on the author’s obsession with the case and the psychological toll it caused on her.


Her husband, Patton Oswalt, helped complete the book. The former couple met in May 2003 after one of his stand-up comedy shows at a Los Angeles club.


During his routine, Oswalt admitted Irish women were his “Kryptonite.” When the show ended, she told him, “Irish girls, nice!” but he was so stunned by McNamara’s striking looks that he let her walk away.

The “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actor only talked to her again after a friend encouraged him. He admitted it was love “pretty much immediately” for him, but it took a few months for McNamara to fall in love with him.


By September 2003, they were already living together. On September 24, 2005, they tied the knot, and in 2009, their daughter, Alice Rigney Oswalt, was born.



Tragedy struck the family in April 2016 when Patton Oswalt’s wife passed away in her sleep from an accidental drug overdose. The comedian explained she also had an undiagnosed heart condition that caused blockages in her arteries.

It is important to point out that DeAngelo was arrested in April 2018, two years after Michelle McNamara’s death, so she couldn’t see the man she spent years chasing face justice.

Marrying Meredith Salenger felt like an evolution.

Oswalt once explained how he and his daughter dealt with McNamara’s death. He said he didn’t want his daughter to see him go through his “darkness and sadness” because she had already suffered enough. He added:

"I don't think that's a good foundation to grow up on, so I went out of my way to deal with myself and just be there as a symbol of strength and happiness for her.”


On the first anniversary of McNamara’s passing, Patton Oswalt shared a tribute to his late wife on social media and removed his wedding ring as an emotional step forward.


He explained that the ring was the last symbol of denial of who he is and his responsibilities now that McNamara is no longer with him and his daughter.



In July 2017, just over a year after McNamara’s death, Patton Oswalt made headlines after announcing his engagement to Meredith Salenger. They married on November 4, 2017 – 18 months after his first wife passed away.

Salenger, a mediator at the Agency for Dispute Resolution and actress known for “Lake Placid” and “Race to Witch Mountain,” got in touch with Oswalt over Facebook in February 2017.


The couple chatted for three months and “really got to know each other” before meeting in person in May and eventually tying the knot. Oswalt pointed out that Salenger is an “amazing” stepmother to Alice.

He also explained marrying Meredith Salenger felt like an evolution as he had to strengthen himself to recognize joy again after all the darkness he went through. Fortunately, Alice seems to love her stepmom, too.

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