Rocky Parker is the late theater performer, actress, and acting coach who is more notable as the ex-wife of the Grey’s Anatomy actor, Patrick Dempsey.
Though she had considerably smaller film and TV credits than her former husband, Dempsey, Rocky proved to be quite a pivotal person in the primitive stages of the Emmy-nominated actor’s career. Something that also got a lot of attention from the people while they were together was the age difference of the former couple. On the one hand, Dempsey was just in his early twenties, on the other, Rocky was already approaching fifty.
Learn how they became husband and wife in the first place, how long they stayed married, why they broke up, Rocky Parker’s post-divorce life, her death, and beyond.
Rocky Parker was born in the 1940s
The enchanted The 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 such films as Mission Mars and The Minx† Patrick’s late 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 the former Mrs. Patrick completed her education or not, or whether she went to university.
Rocky Parker’s entire family was in the movie career; She was interested in acting from an early age
Parker apparently came from a family of actors. Reportedly, almost everyone in her family had connections to show business. This eventually led to Rocky taking an interest in acting. However, it was her Aunt Ida who solidified her passion for the performing arts.
Ida worked when Rocky was seven movie star slips and she would bring Parker clothes, pajamas, and things from the sets so she could try them on. Rocky’s aunt would also take her to Broadway shows in the city.
After attending all those shows, Parker eventually became fascinated with the entertainment industry. Later, Rochelle auditioned for High School Performing Arts in Manhattan and managed to get one of the parts.
However, Rocky’s mother initially denied her daughter’s decision, and the actor/racer’s ex-wife consequently had to let go of her desire to act. Rochelle would nonetheless resume at age 17.
Parker was also an advertising model
Known for her association with acting and stage works, Rocky Parker initially started out as a model. Apparently she had posed for magazines like True Romance in the 50s.
Rochelle was also part of the Virginia Slim campaign, You’ve Come A Long Way Baby. The New York native would nevertheless stop modeling, after which she stepped into theater in the 1960s.
Rocky Parker Career as a Theater Actress
As a theater performer, Rocky’s first play was with The Company. There she played 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.
In the meantime, she also acted in the director, Neil Simon’s show, Memoirs of Brighton Beach† On the big screen, Rocky’s acting credits include the movies as 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 a few actors and actresses. She co-directed and wrote the 1994 film, Ava’s Magical Adventure where her former partner, Patrick Dempsey, played the part of Jeffrey. 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 production
New York-born Rocky met the fly paper actor, Patrick Dempsey on the production of the play Memoirs of Brighton Beach† Patrick was still in his late teens at the time while Rocky, then 44r 47, interestingly played his aunt in the play.
Despite the age difference, Rocky and the actor/professional racer began dating and after a three-year relationship, they married in August 1987. However, some report that they actually ran away to Santa Monica.
They started their relationship by spending time together after rehearsals. Rochelle would give the winner of the People’s Choice Awards career advice and later became her manager as well.
They initially hid that they were dating due to age and since Rocky was also the mother of three children from her previous relationships. And almost all of them were older than Patrick. In fact, one of them was the Grey’s Anatomy friend of the actor too.
Still, they were content with their marriage; although they also kept it a 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 while explaining his marriage to Rocky said that he would like to be in a relationship with someone who has lived more than he had. He also said at the time that marrying someone his own age wouldn’t have worked anyway because of the inexperience on both sides.
The Bridget Jones’ baby actor said because Rocky was much older than him, she helped her a lot. Patrick also stated – his ex-wife also helped him a lot with reading the screens.
Rocky Parker and Patrick Dempsey’s Divorce
Their relationship reportedly began to crumble in 1992 after Patrick began an affair with another woman. The Loverboy actor, on the other hand, argued that there was cheating on both sides.
He has said the marriage to Rocky was ridiculous and a “Freudian nightmare that is publicly known.” Patrick and Rochelle’s union finally ended in 1994.
During the divorce, the officials ordered Dempsey to pay about $9000 a month in spousal support. The court also ordered Patrick to let Rochelle live in their home, and some say she was even allowed to keep the house. In addition, she also acquired ownership of a BMW convertible.
Parker claimed that Dempsey attacked her during their marriage
During the divorce, Rocky accused Patrick of domestic violence against her. She claimed that the Maine-born actor once hit her so hard on the sets of Can’t buy me love that she later developed lifelong arthritis.
The late brunette-haired performer also mentioned how Patrick once broke her finger in a car door. In 1994, Rocky claimed, on court documents, that because of Dempsey, she regularly went to see a psychiatrist and even started taking antidepressants.
However, the now father of three has denied all allegations and even the court found no evidence of Rochelle’s allegations. eventually Rocky retracted her allegations against the Run actor in 2006.
Taking back her allegations, she said that in the heat of a divorce, people sometimes said things they wouldn’t normally say. She also said that Dempsey’s physical assaults, alcoholism and drug use were all false.
Rocky Parker was married twice to Patrick Dempsey; had three children
Including Dempsey, Rocky was married three times, two of which ended in divorce. Rochelle married her first husband, Sheldon Leonard Stein, in August 1958. She too was in her late teens at the time and had her first child with Leonard on August 19, 1959.
The name of Rochelle’s first son is David Alan. Rocky parted ways with Leonard in 1964, after which she married John Hass. Not long after their marriage, they had a child, Corey Parker Hass. Rochelle and John’s marriage came to an end after his death. Between that and meeting Patrick, Rochelle was also in a relationship with a man named Nick Ferri with whom she also welcomed her third child, Noelle, in December 1979.
On the other hand, several years after Rocky’s divorce, Patrick married a Hollywood makeup artist, Jillian Fink. Fink and Rochelle’s ex married in August 1999, after which they welcomed three children, Talula, and twins, Sullivan and Darby.
Rocky Parker died at age 74; What caused her death?
Dempsey’s first wife, 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 living in LA.
Rochelle apparently lost her life due to complications from throat and lung cancer. She would have contracted the disease from a longevity of cigarette smokingreports IBTimes.
She had apparently started smoking when she was 18 years old, which resulted in cancer. The performer/mentor wished her ashes would 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?
Considering Rocky had a little more reverence than her ex-husband, Patrick when the… shout 3 actor had just started his career. However, as he began to blossom, Parker became something of an identity. When Dempsey started getting roles on the big screen, Rochelle’s streak in some way completely stopped acting in movies and TV.
And by the time Patrick became a household name on the ABC series, Rocky had completely sunk into obscurity and perhaps only a few people knew she was the first wife of the Brother Bear 2 actor.
That said, it seems less likely that Rochelle had it about as well as her ex-husband, Patrick Dempsey.
The musings seem even more realistic in light of Rocky’s former husband’s estimated net worth of over $80 million. Either way, Rocky could still have assets or resources close to hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, in the final years of her life.