1. People & Relationships

The Three Marriages of Dick Clark

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Dick Clark's First Wife -- Barbara Mallery (1952-1961)
Dick Clark and Barbara Mallery

American television show host Dick Clark eats breakfast with his wife Barbara and their son Richard A. Clark, circa 1958.

Photo: Archive Photos / Getty Images
People were surprised when Dick and Barbara Clark announced their divorce in 1961. Here is information on how they met, their marriage, and more.

Born:

Barbara "Bobbie" Mallery: Abt. 1930.

How Dick and Barbara Met:

Some sources report that Barbara and Dick met at a Halloween party when she was 14 years old. Yet, on the This Is Your Life television show, Dick mentions meeting Barbara on a double date. Sources agree that they were high school sweethearts.
John Jackson: "Barbara and Dick actually broke up for a time, but after dating others they came to realize how much they truly cared for one another. In 1946 -- Dick's senior year in high school -- the couple began to go steady again, and this time, recalled Clark, 'we were sure of ourselves' ... After two years of this long-distance liaison Barbara transferred to Oswego State Teachers' College ... the couple saw each other every weekend."
Source: John Jackson. American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Empire. 1999. pg. 9.

Occupations:

Barbara: Teacher, stay-at-home mom.

Wedding Date and Information:

Dick and Barbara were married at 8 pm on June 28, 1952.
Dick: "I married my high school sweetheart. I think we married because we had been going together for a long time -- or at least it seemed a long time ..."
Source: Dick Clark. Looking Great, Staying Young." 1981. pg. 15.

Divorce Info:

Dick announced their divorce on May 6, 1961 and the divorce was final on November 21, 1961.
John Jackson: "Not only was his marital break-up painful for Clark on a personal level, it was also a blow to his professional image, following as it did his adept comeback from the payola scandal. A vital part of the image Clark projected to America included having as a conjugal partner a faithful and devoted homemaker who was content to subjugate her needs and desires to the lifestyle of the family breadwinner ... aside from those publicity pictures, Barbara and Dick did not share much of a life together ... rumors of disharmony in the Clark household -- including an affair on Barbara's part -- actually began to circulate prior to the Washington payola hearings."
Source: John Jackson. American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Empire. 1999. pg. 219.
Dick: "After much soul-searching, Bobbie and I decided to get a divorce. But we agreed not to tell anyone -- not her mother, not my parents -- for a few months. Christmas was approaching and we didn't want to upset them."
Source: Dick Clark, Richard Robinson. Rock, Roll & Remember. 1978. pg. 295.
"The Clarks said in their joint statement that they had 'tried very hard to resolve our differences but have decided that it is best that we take this action. Neither would describe the 'differences.' Friends emphasized no third party was involved.'"
Source: "Dick Clarks Seek Divorce." The Press-Courier. May 18, 1961. pg.2.

Children:

Barbara and Dick had one child.
  • Richard Augustus Clark II aka "R.A" or "Rac": Born in 1957.

Quotes About the Marriage of Barbara and Dick Clark:

John Jackson: "Barbara informed him that she was uncertain she loved him when they got married, that they probably never should have done so in the first place ..."
Source: John Jackson. American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Empire. 1999. pg. 220.
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