Joan Benny Cause of Death: How the Actress and Author Lost Her Battle with Pancreatic Cancer

Joan Benny, the adopted daughter of legendary comedian Jack Benny and his wife Mary Livingstone, passed away on June 10, 2021, at the age of 86. She was an actress, author, and a devoted mother of four children. She died peacefully at her home in Beverly Hills, California, after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer, the same disease that claimed her father’s life in 1974.

A Life in the Spotlight

Joan Benny was born as Joan Naomi Kubelsky on June 17, 1934, in New York City. She was adopted by Jack and Mary Benny when she was two weeks old, and grew up surrounded by fame and glamour. She often appeared in movie magazines and feature stories about her family, and attended Hollywood parties with celebrities like Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, and George Burns.

She also had her own brushes with fame as she stood in for her mother on her father’s radio and television shows, playing various roles or herself. She was one of the most memorable contestants on Password in the early 1960s, where she competed against her father in a hilarious game of word association. She also had a guest role on The Joey Bishop Show in 1961, playing a secretary.

A Bestselling Author and a Loving Mother

Joan Benny published her memoir, Sundays at Seven, in 1978, following her father’s death in 1974. The book was a tribute to her parents and their legacy, and it included large parts of her father’s unpublished autobiography, as well as her own memories and thoughts about growing up with a famous father in the heyday of Hollywood. The book was a bestseller and received critical acclaim for its humor, warmth, and honesty.

Joan Benny was married three times and had four children: Michael Rudolph, Maria Rudolph, Robert Blumofe, and Joanna Meiseles. She was a devoted mother and grandmother, and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She also supported various charitable causes, such as the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the American Cancer Society.

A Tragic Loss to Pancreatic Cancer

Joan Benny was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2020, and underwent chemotherapy and surgery to treat the disease. However, the cancer was aggressive and incurable, and she eventually succumbed to it on June 10, 2021, just seven days before her 87th birthday. She died at her home, surrounded by her loved ones.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with a five-year survival rate of only 10%. It is often detected late, when it has already spread to other organs, and it is resistant to most treatments. Joan Benny’s father, Jack Benny, also died of pancreatic cancer in 1974, at the age of 80. He was one of the most popular and influential comedians of all time, and his radio and television shows entertained millions of people for over three decades.

Joan Benny’s death was a sad loss for her family, friends, and fans, who remembered her as a kind, generous, and talented woman. She was buried at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California, next to her parents. She left behind a legacy of love, laughter, and inspiration.

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