Dennis Weaver and Gerry Stowell's long-term marriage was a model for other Hollywood couples to follow. With the death of Dennis on February 24, 2006, their marriage may have ended, but the love story of Dennis and Gerry will live on in the hearts of their three sons and grandchildren.
William "Billy" Dennis Weaver was born on June 4, 1924 in Joplin, Missouri. He died on February 24, 2006 in Ridgway, Colorado from complications from cancer.
Gerry Stowell was born in Missouri in c.1926 according to the 1930s Census.
How Dennis and Gerry Met:According to Dennis, he met Gerry at a Joplin Junior College sock-hop in 1942. A figure roller skater, she was wearing one of her skating outfits at the dance.
"When she was right smack dab in front of me, Bobby gave Gerry a powerful whirl and her skirt twirled up, exposing the neatest pair of legs I'd ever seen. I got a glimpse of those red tights, and it was all over! ...she was the only one I danced with the rest of the night. That was the beginning of a grand partnership that has lasted over fifty years. She has truly blessed and enriched my life."
Source: All the World's a Stage, page 71.
Three years later during a Friday night Joplin High School football game, in the middle of the second quarter, Dennis proposed by saying, "I'd like to know if you'd marry me." She said yes right away. He told her she should hesitate a bit, so he again proposed. Once again, she said yes right away.
Wedding Date:The same night as the proposal, October 20, 1945, they drove to Columbus, Kansas, and were married by a justice of peace. Their friends Morris and Louise Cole were their witnesses.
Having no rings, they used his navy ring. The next day Gerry paid for real wedding rings.
Dennis and Gerry had three sons and several grandchildren.
- Rick Weaver was born in 1949. He is actor, producer, and director. He married Judy and they have two sons, Jess and Travis.
- Robert "Robby" Malcolm Weaver was born on 4/8/1953 in Los Angeles, California. Robby is an actor who resides with his daughter, Jennifer. His wife, Lynne Ann, died on 7/16/2003 in the Santa Monica Farmers' Market traffic tragedy.
- Rusty Weaver was born in 1959. He is an actor, songwriter, and lead guitar and vocals for The Rockodiles.
Occupations and Interests:Dennis served in the US Navy. Then as a beginning actor, he delivered flowers, sold tricycles, women's hosiery, and vacuum cleaners, and worked in toy shop. Dennis was an actor, producer, songwriter, director, on-air host of the Encore Western Channel, and cinematographer.
Dennis was a vegetarian. He liked to ski. He was also a spokesperson/activist for fighting hunger in the world and environmental concerns.
Residences:In summer, 2005, they sold their 2,500-square-foot beachfront home in Malibu for $5 million. The four-bedroom spanish-style post-and-beam home had a guesthouse, private spa, and tropical landscaping.
The home that they built on 20 acres in Ridgway, Colorado in 1989 has 3-foot-thick walls built out of compacted earth, recycled tires, and cans.
Dennis called the home "Earthship." Located along a river with a pond, the 10,000 square foot home has six bedrooms, library, workshop, hot tub, guest house, den, six bathrooms, and more. The house has solar-heated water and supplemental radiant heating in floors. The listing says they would not charge for the llamas on the property. They listed the home for $3,750,000.
Autobiography:All The World's a Stage
by Dennis Weaver and Thom Hartmann
Quotes About the Marriage of Dennis and Gerry Stowell:
In their Junior college yearbook: "Below a picture of Gerry and me dancing, they (staff) wrote, "The couple that always Weaved across the floor and Stowell the show."
Source: All the World's a Stage, page 71.
Dennis, about sex: "Isn't it sad that the most intimate of physical relationships, the most wonderfully loving physical exchange between two individuals, has been pronounced "dirty" in the eyes of much of society?"
Source: All the World's a Stage, page 3.
Dennis, about eloping: "...I wouldn't recommend it for everybody. But it's been over a half century and we're still hanging out together, and over the years, our love, like fine wine, has grown sweeter with time. These are really the most love-filled days of our lives, and we are truly blessed, for that love continues to deepen." Source: All the World's a Stage, page 73.
Dennis, in the dedication of his autobiography: "And I especially dedicate and offer this book to you, Gerry, with my sweetest love, for without you it would never have been done. Ours has been an incredible journey together, and it excites my soul to know that it has just begun. Yes, we've know the highs and the lows, the victories and defeats, and there were times I stumbled along the way, searching for my own growth; but you were always there with your unshakable love and support, for which I am eternally grateful. There's a line in a song I wrote for you once that I'd like to remind you of, for it's just as true today, if not more so, than it was when it originally sprang from my heart:
"Like slippers and wine,You're simply the best. You are precious to me, and I love you always.
and this feeling of mine,
you get better with time."
Rupe, 4/14/00 (Gerry's nickname for Dennis is Rupe.)
Source: All the World's a Stage, front matter.