Rocky Parker is a late theater performer, actress, and acting coach who is noteworthier as the ex-wife of the Grey’s Anatomy actor, Patrick Dempsey.
While she had substantially small films and TV credits than her former husband, Dempsey, turns out Rocky was quite a pivotal person in the primitive stages of the Emmy-nominated actor’s career. Something that also attained much advertency from the people during their togetherness was the former couple’s age difference. On one hand, Dempsey was just in his early 20s, while, on the other hand, Rocky was already heading into her ’50s.
Read up on how they came to be husband and wife in the first place, how long they remained married, why they separated, Rocky Parker’s life after the divorce, her death, and further.
Rocky Parker Was Born In The ’40s
The Enchanted actor’s ex-wife, Rocky Parker, originally, Rochelle “Rocky” Parker was born on February 26, 1940, in Brooklyn, New York.
Parker whose middle name is Natalie was the daughter of Bernard Parker and Shirley Parker. Rochelle’s mother, Shirley was an actress known for films like Mission Mars and The Minx. Patrick’s late ex-wife, Parker grew up on Hopkinson Avenue. Later her family moved to Bayside, Queens in 1949.
Rochelle studied at Martin High School in Queens. It, however, is unclear whether former Mrs. Patrick completed her education or not or if she attended college.
All Of Rocky Parker’s Family Were In The Movie Career; She Was Interested In Acting From A Young Age
Parker apparently came from a family of actors. Allegedly almost everyone in her family had some connections to show business. This eventually led Rocky to develop an interest in acting. It, however, was her aunt Ida, who solidified her passion for the performing arts.
Ida when Rocky was seven was working at Movie Star Slips and she would bring Parker clothes, pajamas, and things from the sets so that she could try them on. Rocky’s aunt would also take her to watch Broadway shows around the city.
After visiting all those stage shows, Parker ultimately became fascinated with the entertainment industry. Later, Rochelle auditioned for High School Performing Arts in Manhattan and managed to secure one of the parts.
Rocky’s mother, however, initially denied her daughter’s decision, and the actor/racer’s ex-wife consequently had to let go of her desire to act. Rochelle, nevertheless, would resume at 17.
Parker Was Also An Ads Model
Rocky Parker while, known for her association with acting and stage works initially began as a model. She apparently had posed for magazines like True Romance in the ’50s.
Rochelle additionally was also a part of the Virginia Slim Campaign, You’ve Come A Long Way Baby. The New York native, nevertheless, would quit modeling after which she stepped into the theater plays in the ’60s.
Rocky Parker’s Career as a Theater Actress
As a theater performer, Rocky’s first play was with the company, The Company. There she portrayed Imposters Imposter by Susan Barson.
Some of Rocky’s next dramas were 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 Ivanek.
She in the meantime also acted in director, Neil Simon‘s show, Brighton Beach Memoirs. On the big screen, Rocky’s acting credits include the films like Boxing 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-directed and wrote the 1994 film, Ava’s Magical Adventure where her former partner, Patrick Dempsey acted in the role of Jeffrey. Some of the actors whom 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 native, Rocky met the Flypaper actor, Patrick Dempsey on the production of the play Brighton Beach Memoirs. At the time, Patrick was still in his late teens while Rocky, then 44 r 47, interestingly, played his aunt in the play.
Despite the age difference, Rocky and the actor/professional racer started dating and after three years of relationship married each other in Aug 1987. Some though report they in actuality eloped to Santa Monica.
They started their relationship by spending time together after the rehearsals. Rochelle would give the People’s Choice Awards winner career advice and later also became her manager.
They initially hid they were dating because of the age thing and since Rocky was also already the mother of three children from her previous relationships. And almost every one of them was older than Patrick. In fact, one of them was the Grey’s Anatomy actor’s friend as well.
Even so, they were content with their marriage; though they also kept it secret for about two years. During their marriage, the former couple also attended NYU film school together.
Why Did Patrick Dempsey Marry Much Older, Rocky Parker?
Patrick in an interview whilst explaining his marriage to Rocky said he liked being in a relationship with someone who’s lived more than he had. He at the time also said how marrying someone his own age wouldn’t have worked anyway because of the inexperience from both sides.
The Bridget Jones’s Baby actor said because Rocky was much older than him, she helped her tremendously. Patrick also stated – his ex-wife also helped him a lot with reading out the screens.
Rocky Parker And Patrick Dempsey’s Divorce
Their relationship allegedly started to crumble in 1992 after Patrick began an affair with another woman. The Loverboy actor, on the other hand, argued there was cheating from both sides.
He has said the marriage with Rocky was ridiculous and a “Freudian nightmare that’s publicly known.” Patrick and Rochelle’s union eventually ended in 1994.
During the divorce, the officials ordered Dempsey to pay around $9000 a month in spousal support. The court also ordered Patrick to let Rochelle stay in their house and as per some, she even got to keep the house. She in addition also acquired the ownership of a BMW convertible.
Parker Claimed Dempsey Assaulted Her During Their Marriage
Amidst the divorce, Rocky accused Patrick of committing domestic violence against her. She alleged the Maine-born actor once hit her so bad on the sets of Can’t Buy Me Love that she later experienced lifelong arthritis.
The late brunette-haired performer also said how at one time, Patrick broke her finger in a car door. In 1994, Rocky, on court papers, claimed because of Dempsey, she began seeing a psychiatrist regularly and even started to take anti-depressants.
The now father of three, however, denied all the accusations and even the court didn’t find any proof of Rochelle’s allegations. Rocky ultimately retracted her accusations against the Run actor in 2006.
Whilst taking back her allegations, she said how in the heat of a divorce, people sometimes would go on to say things they normally wouldn’t. She likewise said Dempsey committing physical violence, alcoholism, and drug use were all false.
Rocky Parker Was Married Twice Before Patrick Dempsey; Had Three Children
Including Dempsey, Rocky was married thrice two of which ended up in divorce. Rochelle married her first husband, Sheldon Leonard Stein in Aug 1958. She, too, at the time was in her late teens and had her first child with Leonard at 19 in Aug 1959.
Rochelle’s first son’s name is David Alan. Rocky parted ways with Leonard in 1964 after which she married John Hass. Not long after their wedding, they had a child, Corey Parker Hass. Rochelle and John’s marriage came to an end after the latter’s death. Between that and meeting Patrick, Rochelle was also in a relationship with a guy named Nick Ferri with whom she also welcomed her third child, Noelle in Dec 1979.
On the other hand, some years after divorcing Rocky, Patrick married a Hollywood makeup artist, Jillian Fink. Fink and Rochelle’s ex married in Aug 1999 after which they welcomed three children, Talula, and twin boys, Sullivan, and Darby.
Rocky Parker Died At Age 74; What Caused Her Death?
The first spouse of Dempsey, Rochelle Parker died in April 2014 after battling throat and lung cancer. The Miss Julie actress at the time of her death was 74 and residing in LA.
Rochelle apparently lost her life due to complications of throat and lung cancer. She allegedly contracted the disease owing to a lifetime of cigarette smoking, reports IBTimes.
She apparently had begun smoking when she was 18 years old which resulted in cancer. The performer/mentor wished her ashes to be 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?
Given Rocky had some more reverence than her ex-husband, Patrick when the Scream 3 actor was just starting his career. However, as he started prospering, Parker went on to become a sort of a has-been identity. As Dempsey began getting big-screen roles Rochelle’s string of acting in films and TV in a way halted wholly.
And by the time, Patrick became a household name in the ABC series, Rocky had completely dived into oblivion and perhaps only a few people knew she was the first wife of the Brother Bear 2 actor.
That said, it appears less likely that Rochelle was anywhere approximately as well off as her ex-husband, Patrick Dempsey.
The contemplation looks even more true to life in light of Rocky’s former spouse’s estimated net worth of over $80 million. Regardless, Rocky could still have assets or means in the closeness of hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions during the latter years of her life.