Joan Kenlay was the ex-wife of American stuntman, actor and singer Robert Conrad. Her ex-husband was known for portraying Pappy Boyington in Baa Baa Black Sheep and for his role as secret service agent James T. West in The Wild Wild West. Joan was in the spotlight thanks to her 25-year marriage to Robert Conrad.
Joan Kenlay was born on April 16, 1936, in Cook County, Illinois, to Majorie Beth Kenlay and Floyd Marion Kenlay Sr. Her early childhood details have remained a mystery. Still, there is a probability she had a good childhood with loving and supportive parents.
Education and Career
Joan Kenlay has always been secretive, coming into the limelight due to her ex-husband Robert Conrad. She has not revealed much about her educational details, but she studied up to high school, given that she was already married by age 18.
Regarding her professional life, Joan Kenlay has not mentioned what she did to earn a living. However, various sources have indicated that she ran a business through which she could finance her daily needs. On the other hand, some sources suggest that she has always been a housewife and never had to work.
Joan Kenlay met Robert Conrad in the early 1950s; it is unclear how they met, but it is possible they were high school sweethearts. Joan and Robert married in 1952 at an early age; Joan was 16, while Robert was 17. It is unclear if they had their parents’ blessings, but the couple has been together for over 20 years.
In their 25-year-long marriage, Joan and her husband were blessed with five children: Nancy, Joan Conrad, Shane, Christian and another child who died in childhood. Joan and her husband were intensely in love, but they decided to end things between them in 1977. The couple never mentioned the reasons for their divorce, but it was finalized without misunderstandings.
Given how the couple ended things, they continued being friends and helped each other raise their children.
Life After Divorce
Upon their divorce, Joan and Robert moved on with their lives. Joan lived a more private and quieter life; little about her was known. It is unclear if she married or focused on herself and the children. On the other hand, Robert met LaVelda Fann, a beauty queen with whom he had three children.
Joan’s ex-husband began his career in the entertainment industry in 1953, a year after his marriage to Joan Kenlay. He worked in various theatres as he was learning the art of acting. In the late 1950s, after meeting various superstars, he started landing multiple roles. In 1958, Joan’s ex-husband had a minor role in the movies Juvenile Jungle and Thundering Jets.
After signing a contract with Warner Bros, Joan’s ex-husband started making music with some of his songs like Bye Bye Baby, making it to Billboard Charts. In the 1960s, Robert appeared in The Wild Wild West, which enabled him to acquire nationwide recognition. Joan’s ex-husband had a great career up to his death in February 2020 following a heart failure.