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HomeGeneralWhat Happened to Patrick Dempsey's First Wife, Rochelle 'Rocky' Parker?

What Happened to Patrick Dempsey’s First Wife, Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Parker?

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Although not many people know this, Patrick Dempsey’s first wife, Rochelle Rocky Parker, was 26 years older than the actor.

Although many people know American star actor Patrick Dempsey as the handsome Dereck Shepherd in the series “Grey’s Anatomy,” only a few know he has been married twice. While the actor and his current wife, Jillian, have been married for over a decade, Patrick was once married to a woman known as Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Parker. 

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Patrick Dempsey's first wife

During their relationship, Patrick was still relatively unknown in the industry. However, the most shocking aspect of the romance was their age gap. The lovebirds had a startling age difference of 26 years. Patrick was 21 years old, while his beau was 47. As a result, their relationship is one of the most bizarre in the entertainment industry’s history. 

How Patrick and Rochelle Met

Rochelle, a native of New York, first met “Flypaper” actor Patrick Dempsey while they were working on the “Brighton Beach Memoirs” play. While Rochelle was approaching her fifties, Patrick was still in his late teens. She also played his aunt in the drama. However, the two sparked surprising romantic rumors when they started spending time together after rehearsals.

Initially, they concealed their relationship from the public due to their age gap. However, after three years of dating, Rochelle and the actor eventually married in August 1987. She became Patrick Dempsey’s first wife despite concerns from people about their age difference. Still, the two were content with supporting and caring for each other throughout their relationship.

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They also studied at NYU’s film school, and Parker’s career flourished due to Rochelle’s counsel and support. She eventually took over as his manager, and both were content and happy with the marriage for a while until their relationship began to deteriorate.

Their Marriage Lasted Only Seven Years

While many people questioned their marriage for a long time, it wasn’t surprising when their union started crumbling during the early 90s. Patrick allegedly started an affair with another woman, which affected his marriage to Rochelle. Meanwhile, the “Grey’s Anatomy” star also claimed there was cheating on both sides. 

Patrick Dempsey's first wife
Image: Pinterest

Patrick claimed that his marriage to Rochelle was silly and what he tagged a “publicly recognized Freudian nightmare.” However, during the divorce proceedings, Rochelle accused Patrick of abusing her. She claimed that Patrick beat her so severely while filming “Can’t Buy Me Love” that she had permanent arthritis. She further alleged that Dempsey once broke her finger in a car door.

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The actress also stated in court documents that Patrick was the reason she started seeing a psychiatrist and using antidepressants. However, Patrick staunchly refuted all of the allegations, and the court also found no evidence to support Rochelle’s claims. However, Patrick was ordered to pay around $9000 a month in spousal support, and Rochelle also kept their house. Patrick and Rochelle’s union eventually ended in 1994.

Rocky Parker Died At Age 74

The “Miss Julie” actress was 74 years old and living in Los Angeles when she passed away in April 2014 following a lung and throat cancer battle. According to an IBTimes report, Rochelle started smoking when she was 18, leading to her developing the condition. Before her death, the talented performer requested that her ashes be sprinkled over the Pacific Ocean close to her Santa Monica home.

During Her Lifetime, Rochelle Was a Recognized Actress

According to reports, Rochelle came from a family of actors. Everyone in her family reportedly had some connections to the entertainment industry. She subsequently became interested in acting as a result of this. Also, her aunt Ida was the one who inspired her love of the performing arts.

Patrick Dempsey's first wife Rocky
Image: Pinterest

Rochelle’s first-ever performance in a play was with the group ‘The Company.” There, she played Susan Barson’s imposter. The actress also performed in the play “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” directed by Neil Simon. Also, Rochelle has starred in other movies like “Boxing Helena,” “Can’t Buy Me, Love,” “Happy Together,” “In the Mood,” and “What’s So Beautiful About A Sunset Over Prairie Avenue?” “The Last Chord,” among others.

In addition to her work in acting and modeling, she collaborated with Patrick Dempsey to co-write and co-direct the film “Ava’s Magical Adventure.” The movie was also released in 1994.

Where Are Rochelle’s Kids Now? 

Before their marriage, Patrick Dempsey’s first wife was already the mother of three kids from her previous relationships. All three of her children initially followed performing careers in movies and television, but they gradually diversified to succeed in different industries.

David Parker, Rochelle’s oldest son, has roughly 40 acting credits. The second son, Corey Parker, is the most recognizable of the siblings. He has performed in numerous roles in multiple movies. Corey has also worked as an instructor at BGB Studios and is an acting coach.

Like Corey Noelle Parker, the youngest child also began acting very young. She has made numerous film and television appearances. Noelle is also an acting coach, and she lives a tranquil lifestyle.

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