Joan Severance is a former top model and actress, who rose to fame as a supermodel in the ’80s, a Playboy model in the ’90s, then a film and TV actress of age-defying beauty, and lately, for her charitable and business endeavors.
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Early life and family
Joan Marie Severance was born on December 23, 1958 in Houston, Texas, USA to John C. Severance and Martha Severance. Her family moved a lot, and she lived in 12 places because of her father’s work as an IBM systems manager while her mother was a housewife. They lived in Libya for a while but had to leave in 1967 when war broke out between Israel and its neighbors Jordan, Syria and Egypt, known as the Six Day War or the Third Arab-Israeli War. They returned to the US and settled in Houston. Not much else is known about her family.
Joan was a real student when she attended Westbury High School in southwest Houston, graduating in 1977. She started modeling at age 15 to save money for her college tuition, as she had plans to become a veterinarian. to become. However, she took a different path and pursued a career in modeling instead.
Joan was discovers by a local photographer named Alan Martin when she entered the local Miss Houston beauty pageant. He introduced her to American modeling agent and founder of Elite Model Management, John Casablancas, who registered her with the agency and sent her to Paris.
She started her modeling career in Paris at the age of 18 and was certainly successful as she graced the covers of several fashion magazines such as Vogue Paris and Sportswear International. She also worked with top designers, including Chanel, Armani and Versace. Joan then moved to New York after eight months and became one of the top models in the US, reportedly earning $7,500 a day. She was able to land more than 40 commercials, such as for international cosmetics companies such as L’Oreal, Maybelline and Revlon, as well as for Breck Shampoo and Windsong Perfume.
Although Joan supposedly retired from her modeling career in the late ’80s, it seems she continued to some extent as she appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine, nude in the January 1990 and November 1992 issues.
Even at the age of 52, she was featured in a six-page feature of the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Genlux Magazine. She landed the Celine Spring 2017 campaign, and in 2018, at age 60, she was featured on the cover and editorial pages of the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Re-Edition Magazine. She currently works under the Metro Models agency.
Movies and television
However, Joan pursued an acting career in the 1980s – she was encouraged to audition by her boyfriend, Robin Leach, who was an entertainment writer and reporter. Her debut film was “Lethal Weapon” (1987), starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, although her role as Girl in the Black Playsuit was not credited. This comedy action movie grossed over $120 million while its production budget was $15 million.
Her television debut was on CBS’ crime drama series “Wiseguy,” which aired from September 16, 1987 to December 8, 1990 for four seasons with 75 episodes. She was cast as the female antagonist, Susan Profitt, and appeared in nine episodes in 1988. A year later, she was cast again as a villain, this time as Eve in the comedy film, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil.” , starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, received negative reviews from critics and had a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although the film was a box office success grossing nearly $47 million on a budget of $18 million.In 1990, she was part of the Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn starring, “Bird on a Wire,” which made a killing at the box office with a worldwide gross of nearly $139 million.
She landed the lead role in the action comedy film ‘Black Scorpion’ in 1995, part of the film producer ‘Roger Cogman Presents’ which was shown on the Showtime cable network. Her role was that of a police detective, Darcy Walker, who had a secret identity as the Black Scorpion. The sequel, “Black Scorpion II: Aftershock”, released in 1997, also featured Severance for the title role.
The ‘Love Boat: The Next Wave’ was the revival of ABC’s hit comedy-drama series ‘Love Boat’. Joan played the role of security chief Camille Hunter and was part of the main cast, which also included Robert Urich and Phil Morris. It aired for two seasons from April 1998 to May 1999 with 25 episodes. She also appeared in several TV series such as “One Tree Hill” (2004), “Wicked Wicked Games” (2006-2007), “Masters of Sex” (2013) and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2016).
Severance has appeared in more than 30 films and 20 television series.
Joan met Eric Milan when she first started working as a model for Elite Model Management in Paris, and married him in 1977. They broke up in 1984 after seven years because they said they had grown apart. She was then reportedly dating former Major League Baseball player Keith Hernandez (1985-1986), Italian actor Francesco Quinn (1987), and Australian billionaire James Packer (1995). In an interview, she said she met someone she believed had all the qualities she wanted in a partner sometime after she did the “Love Boat” revival in 1999, and married him, but that ended. also in a divorce, without revealing who that was. person.
Joan was in a relationship with British TV personality Robin Leach in 2002, who was known as the host of the show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” (1984-1995). They appeared in season three of the ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ in 2014 and he called Joan his ‘lifelong passion’. Not much has been released about their relationship. or when it ended. Robin passed away on August 24, 2018.
She is married to Rom Gemar, who worked mostly behind the scenes in the film industry, in the camera and electrical department in films such as “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont” in 2005 and “Jolene” in 2008. He was in the art department and played a junior role in the movie “Steal Me”, in 2005, and was a cinematographer in “Dream Slashers” in 2007. There is no information about when she met and married Rom.
Interesting facts and rumors
- She is fluent in French and conversational Spanish.
- She entered the Clairol Long and Silky contest at the age of 16 and won 2nd instead, earning a scholarship to a local modeling school. Years later, she became one of Clairol’s supporters.
- Gene Wilder was her acting mentor.
- Joan is an advocate for the holistic lifestyle.
- She is said to have earned a bachelor’s degree in natural health from Clayton College of Natural Health (CCNH). However, the college ceased operations in July 2010 and a class action lawsuit was filed against them in November of that year for apparently failing to receive accreditation from agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education. It is unknown if Joan was part of the class action charges.
- Joan wrote the book, Manifest Your Mate: A Journey for Attraction, published in 2017. It was while she was shooting the series “The Love Boat” in 1998 when she started making her wish list of what she wanted in a partner or partner, and it became the blueprint for her book. She stopped writing after marrying someone whose name was not disclosed, and resumed writing in 2016, a few years after the divorce.
- She studied with the famous French chef and restaurateur Roger Verge at his cooking school in Mougins in the south of France. She later became the owner and chef of a New York restaurant, as well as the co-owner of the catering company Good Food.
- Severance has created an interactive game, txTylz®, and is currently developing it for mobile applications. It is a game where you form crosswords words, phrases and sentences in two minutes using the handcrafted txTylz pieces. Each piece has a letter, number, symbol or figure that can be used literally, phonetically or symbolically.
- In 2013, she hosted the play-inspired fashion show, playCHIC, for the Chicago Toy & Game Group’s annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair. It featured high fashion meets game brands and toys on the catwalk. Joan joined in and donned the game-inspired txTylz dress.
- Joan teaches commercial acting. She also created and founded the Severance Play workshop that aims to help people who are going through or have experienced divorce through acting.
- She has a hair care line – Joan Severance Clean (Hair Wash), Smooth (Nourishment), and Why Not (No Tangles).
- She also has a candle line – JS Designs Candle Collection in which she molds or makes the candle herself; she makes custom designed candles for her clients using metal studs, DIY skin, leather, etc.
- Joan is also an interior decorator.
- In April 2017, she made a video for Vogue sharing her beauty routine and secrets, and it has garnered over 16 million views.
A portion of the profits from her interactive phraseology game will go to people with vitiligo, a skin condition in which white or discolored patches appear on the skin as the skin loses pigment cells. Joan has had this condition since she was young. She is also one of the celebrities and supporters of the I Am Waters Foundation, which aims to help those without access to clean water, especially the homeless. Other charities she supports are Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity.
Joan is 1.79 m tall, weighs 55 kg and her vital stats are 36-28-39. She has gray hair and blue eyes. She wants to age gracefully and not have surgery to look young. Her shoe size is 9 and she wears a dress in size 4.
She is a multi-talented person, who not only ventured into modeling and acting, but also the hospitality industry, inventing games, teaching acting classes and workshops. It therefore comes as no surprise that sources estimate her net value amount to approximately $8 million as of April 2020.