• Joan Severance is a former top fashion model and actress best known for her work in the '80s and '90s.
• She was born in Houston, Texas and moved around with her family due to her father's job.
• She was discovered in a local beauty pageant and signed with Elite Model Management, becoming one of the top models in the US.
• She pursued an acting career in the '80s, and has since been in 30 films and 20 television series.
• Joan is a multi-talented person and an advocate for the holistic lifestyle and has a net worth of $8 million.

Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthDecember 23, 1958, July 24, 1926
DiedFebruary 7, 2008, Moscow Oblast, Russia
FactWas suppose to appear on Cheers as the sister of Kirstie Alley's character Rebecca but a disagreement with the producers led to her being replaced with Marcia Cross.

Joan Severance is a former top fashion model and actress, who became well known as a supermodel in the ‘80s, a Playboy model in the 90s, then a movie and TV actress with age-defying beauty, and lately, for her charities and business endeavors.

Early life and family

Joan Marie Severance was born on 23 December 1958, in Houston, Texas USA, to John C. Severance and Martha Severance. Her family moved a lot, and she lived in 12 places because of her father’s work as an IBM Systems Manager while her mother was a homemaker. They lived in Libya for a time, but had to leave in 1967 when war broke out between Israel and its neighboring countries, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, known as the Six-Day War or the Third Arab-Israeli War. They returned to the US and settled in Houston. Not much else is known about her family.

Education background

Joan was a straight-A student when she attended Westbury High School in Southwest Houston, and matriculated in 1977. She started working as a model at age 15 to save money for her college tuition, as she had plans of becoming a veterinarian. However, she took a different path and pursued a career in modeling instead.


First steps

Joan was discovered by a local photographer named Alan Martin when she entered the local Miss Houston beauty pageant. He introduced her to the American modeling agent and founder of the Elite Model Management, John Casablancas, who signed her up with the agency, and sent her to work in Paris.

Further success


She started her modeling career in Paris at age 18, and was certainly successful as she graced the covers of various fashion magazines such as Vogue Paris and Sportswear International. She also worked with top designers, including Chanel, Armani and Versace. Joan then moved to New York after eight months, and became one of the top models in the US, reputedly earning $7,500 a day. She was able to land over 40 commercials such as for international cosmetics companies such as L’Oreal, Maybelline, and Revlon, as well as for Breck Shampoo and Windsong Perfume.

Although Joan supposedly quit her modeling career in the late ‘80s, it seemed that she continued to an extent, as she appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine, being featured nude in January 1990 and November 1992 issues.

Joan Severance

Even at age 52, she was featured in a six-page editorial of the 2011 Spring/Summer issue of the Genlux Magazine. She landed the Celine Spring 2017 campaign, then in 2018, she was on the cover and editorial pages of the 2018 Fall/Winter issue of the Re-Edition Magazine at age 60. She is currently under Metro Models agency.

Movies and Television

However, Joan did pursue an acting career in the 1980s – she was encouraged to go to auditions by her friend, Robin Leach, who was an entertainment writer and reporter. Her debut film was “Lethal Weapon” (1987), which starred Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, although her role as the Girl in the Black Playsuit was uncredited. This comedy-action movie grossed over $120 million against the production budget of $15 million.

Her debut on television was in CBS’ crime drama series, “Wiseguy,” which aired from 16 September 1987 to 8 December 1990 for four seasons with 75 episodes. She was cast for the role of the female antagonist, Susan Profitt, and appeared in nine episodes in 1988. A year after that, she was again cast as a villainess, this time Eve in the comedy film, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil,’ with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder as the main leads. It received negative reviews from critics and had a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although the movie was a success at the box office with a gross of almost $47 million against a budget of $18 million. In 1990, she was part of the Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn-starring, “Bird on a Wire,” which made a killing at the box office with a worldwide gross of almost $139 million.

She landed the leading role in the action-comedy movie, “Black Scorpion,” in 1995, part of the movie producer “Roger Cogman Presents” series shown on the Showtime cable network. Her role was that of a police detective, Darcy Walker, who had a secret identity as the Black Scorpion. Its sequel, “Black Scorpion II: Aftershock” released in 1997, also had Severance for the title role.

The “Love Boat: The Next Wave” was the revival of the ABC’s hit comedy-drama series, “Love Boat.” Joan played the role of Security Chief Camille Hunter and was part of the main cast, which also included Robert Urich and Phil Morris. It aired for two seasons from April 1998 to May 1999 with 25 episodes. She also appeared in various TV series such as “One Tree Hill” (2004), “Wicked Wicked Games” (2006-2007), “Masters of Sex” (2013), and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2016).

Severance was in more than 30 films and 20 television series.

Personal life

Joan met Eric Milan when she’d just started working as a model for Elite Model Management in Paris, and married him in 1977. They separated in 1984 after seven years because they said they grew apart. She then reportedly dated former Major League Baseball player Keith Hernandez (1985-1986), Italian actor Francesco Quinn (1987), and Australian billionaire James Packer (1995). In an interview, she said that she met someone whom she believed had all the qualities she wanted in a mate sometime after doing the “Love Boat” revival in 1999, and married him, but that ended in divorce too, without her revealing who that person was.

Joan Severance

Joan was in a relationship in 2002 with British TV personality Robin Leach, who was well known for hosting the show, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” (1984-1995). They appeared in season three of the “Celebrity Wife Swap” in 2014 and he referred to Joan as his “lifelong heartstring.” Not much information was revealed about their relationship. or when it ended. Robin died on 24 August 2018.

She is married to Rom Gemar, who mostly worked behind the scenes in the movie industry, in the camera and electrical department in movies such as “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont” in 2005 and “Jolene” in 2008. He was in the art department and was cast in a minor role in the movie, “Steal Me,” in 2005, and was a cinematographer in “Dream Slashers” in 2007. There is no information on when she met and married Rom.

Interesting facts and rumors

  • She’s fluent in French and speaks conversational Spanish.
  • She entered the Clairol Long and Silky contest at age 16 and won 2nd place, earning a scholarship to a local modeling school. Years later, she became one of the endorsers of Clairol.
  • Gene Wilder was her acting mentor.
  • Joan is an advocate for the holistic lifestyle.
  • She is said to have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Health from Clayton College of Natural Health (CCNH). However, the college ceased operations in July 2010 and a class action lawsuit was filed against them in November of that year because they apparently did not receive accreditation from agencies recognized by the US Department of Education. It’s not known if Joan was part of the class action suit.
  • Joan wrote the book, “Manifest Your Mate: A Journey for Attraction,” published in 2017. It was while she was shooting the series, “The Love Boat” in 1998 when she started making her wish list of what she wanted in a partner or mate, and it became the blueprint for her book. She stopped writing it after marrying someone whose name was not disclosed, then resumed writing it in 2016, a couple of years after the divorce.
  • She studied with the renowned French chef and restaurateur, Roger Verge, at his cooking school in Mougins in the South of France. She later became the owner and chef of a restaurant in New York, and also the part-owner of the Good Food catering company.
  • Severance created an interactive game, txTylz®, and is currently developing it for mobile application. It is a game in which you form words, phrases and sentences in a crossword manner in two minutes, using the handcrafted txTylz pieces. Each piece has a letter, number, symbol, or figure on it that can be used literally, phonetically, or symbolically.
  • In 2013, she was the host of the play-inspired fashion show, playCHIC, for the annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair of the Chicago Toy & Game Group. It featured high fashion meets game brands and toys on the catwalk. Joan participated and donned the txTylz game-inspired gown.
  • Joan gives commercial acting lessons. She also created and established the Severance Play workshop that aims to help people undergoing or has been through a divorce by acting.
  • She has a hair care line – Joan Severance Clean (Hair Wash), Smooth (Nourishment), and Why Not (No Tangles).
  • She also has a candle line – JS Designs Candle Collection in which she molds the candle herself or sources them; she makes custom-designed candles for her clients using metal studs, doe skin, leather, etc.
  • Joan is also an interior designer.
  • In April of 2017, she made a video for Vogue wherein she shared her beauty routine and secrets, and it has attracted more than 16 million views.


Part of the profit from her interactive phraseology game goes to people with Vitiligo, a skin condition in which white or discolored patches appear on the skin because the skin loses pigment cells. Joan has had this condition since she was young. She is also one of the celebrity endorsers and supporters of the I Am Waters Foundation, that aims to help those without access to clean water, especially the homeless. Other charities she supports include Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity.


Joan is 5ft 9ins (1.79m) tall, weighs 120lbs (55kg), and her vital statistics are 36-28-39. She has gray hair and blue eyes. She wants to age gracefully, and not undergo surgery to look young. Her shoe size is 9 and she wears a size 4 dress.

Net worth

She is a multi-talented person, who ventured not just into modeling and acting, but also into the restaurant and catering business, game invention, providing acting lessons and workshops. It does not come as a surprise then that sources estimated her net worth to be around $8 million as of April 2020.

General Info

Full NameJoan Severance
Date Of BirthDecember 23, 1958, July 24, 1926
DiedFebruary 7, 2008, Moscow Oblast, Russia
Place Of BirthChudovo, Chudovsky District, Novgorod Oblast, Russia
ProfessionChef, Actor, Restaurateur, Fashion Model
EducationWestbury High School, Moscow Aviation Institute
NationalityAmerican, Soviet


ChildrenVladimir Severin
ParentsMartha Severance, John Severance


MoviesSee No Evil, Hear No Evil, Sex & Consequences, Black Scorpion, No Holds Barred, Criminal Passion, The Runestone, Payback, In Dark Places, Bird on a Wire, Dangerous Indiscretion, The Last Seduction II, Criminal Intent, Almost Pregnant, Black Scorpion II, Frequent Flyer, Another Pair of Aces, Matter o...
TV ShowsWicked Wicked Games, The Love Boat: The Next Wave

Social profile links


1Wearing this kind of costume is not something I fantasize about. It's not natural, it's not comfortable. I don't see myself as this. But it gives you dramatic license to do almost anything when you're dressed as a bug.
2I was watching something the other day which started out with five guys walking towards you and one woman, and there you go-it's still being dominated by the male society.
3Every part I've done has been for one reason or another-money, or the part, or the director, or the location. I'd like to get one thing that's all of those combined.
4I don't think I'd want to sit down and listen to people's stories all day long.
5I did commercials since I was 16, and that's kind of acting, depending on what you're selling.
6I want good and different parts, different from what I've done.
7I hope they make a show like M*A*S*H, which dealt with a lot of difficult subject matter but was very funny.
8I really think the mind of someone who hasn't been welded into place by their work or studios or actors or this whole society is a wonderful mind to work with, so I'd like to do a big picture with an unknown director.
9When you're dead weight, in the right position, you win. And in reality, you wouldn't see someone my size kicking seven martial arts experts and winning.
10I now have a plan - I haven't had a plan up until this year.
11You can take charge, kick ass, do whatever you have to do and it's okay. You can blow people up. These are things that are okay for cartoon characters to do.
12I definitely feel, when I'm wearing the costume, that I could scare people and hurt them.


1Her acting mentor is the late Gene Wilder.
2Had praised her mentor Gene Wilder for her humble beginnings as a young actress.
3Credits Gene Wilder as her favorite acting mentor/best friend.
4Was suppose to appear on Cheers as the sister of Kirstie Alley's character Rebecca but a disagreement with the producers led to her being replaced with Marcia Cross.
5Her Chinese Astrological sign is the Dog.
6Was a straight A student in high school.
7Became a DNA ThetaHealing healer in 2013.
8Speaks fluent French and conversational Spanish.
9Has been an interior designer with B-Specific, Inc. since 1985.
10Created the educational game Txtylz.
11Supports the I am Waters Foundation, non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas dedicated to providing fresh, clean water to the homeless.
12Is passionate about lending support and information on Non-USA based treatments for Vitiligo as well as financial assistance to qualifying applicants for these treatments and/or assistance in obtaining the proper cover make-up.
13At the age of 16 entered the Clairol Long and Silky contest in hopes of winning a stereo. Lost first prize to Rene Russo, but received a scholarship to a local modeling school as the second place prize.
14Supermodel Linda Evangelista has often cited Joan as her modeling influence.
15In addition to her modeling and acting credits, she has also been the owner/ chef of a restaurant in upstate New York and a catering company in New York City. She is also studying to be a doctor of natural medicine.
16Graduated from Westbury High School in Houston, Texas with the class of 1977.
17Also known to Virtual World patrons as Samantha "Sam" Dooley, the Martian Belle.




Becker's FarmdelayedMrs. Schmidt
NCIS: Los Angeles2016TV SeriesMary Reynolds
The Wandering Day2016VideoElisabeth Achelis
Accidentally Engaged2016Sandy Byers
Masters of Sex2013TV SeriesLeona
American Horror Story2013TV SeriesMarion
Sharkproof2012Connie Krebs
Born2007/IDr. Sammael
Wicked Wicked Games2006-2007TV SeriesAnna Whitman
Last Sunset2006Lisa Wayne
CSI: Miami2005TV SeriesSophie Townsend
One Tree Hill2004TV SeriesCynthia Price
She Spies2003TV SeriesLauren Drake
Mystery Woman2003TV MovieMary Stenning
Cause of Death2001Angela Carter
The Last Seduction II1999Bridget Gregory
Love Boat: The Next Wave1998-1999TV SeriesSecurity Chief Camille Hunter / Camille Hunter
Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story1998TV MoviePaley
Matter of Trust1998Theresa Marsh
In Dark Places1997Chapelle
Profiler1997TV SeriesChristine Logan
Black Scorpion II: Aftershock1996Darcy Walker (Black Scorpion)
Profile for Murder1996Dr. Hanna Carras
Frequent Flyer1996TV MovieAlison Rawlings
Black Scorpion1995Darcy
Hard Evidence1995Madelyn Turner
Dangerous Indiscretion1995Caroline Everett
Payback1995Rose Gullerman
Criminal Passion1994Melanie Hudson
L.A. Law1993TV SeriesLauren Chase
Johnny Bago1993TV SeriesReno Hubbertston
Red Shoe Diaries 2: Double Dare1993VideoThe Woman ("Safe Sex")
Lake Consequence1993TV MovieIrene
Just Deserts1992TV MovieLibby Sinclair
Tales from the Crypt1992TV SeriesRona
Red Shoe Diaries1992TV SeriesThe Woman
Almost Pregnant1992VideoMaureen Mallory
Illicit Behavior1992Melissa Yarnell
Write to Kill1991VideoBelle Washburn
The Runestone1991Marla Stewart
Good Sports1991TV SeriesRandi
Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind1991TV MovieSusan Davis
Midnight Caller1991TV SeriesNorma Cheever
Bird on a Wire1990Rachel Varney
The Hitchhiker1989TV SeriesJane Ambergris / Holly
Worth Winning1989Lizbette
No Holds Barred1989Samantha
See No Evil, Hear No Evil1989Eve
Murphy's Law1989TV SeriesAlex Kovac
Max Headroom1988TV SeriesZik-Zak Hallucination Girl
Wiseguy1988TV SeriesSusan Profitt
The New Mike Hammer1987TV SeriesPauline
Lethal Weapon1987Girl in Black Playsuit (uncredited)
ABC Afterschool Specials1979TV SeriesActress exiting limo


Matter of Trust1998co-producer
In Dark Places1997co-producer
Black Scorpion II: Aftershock1996co-producer


Celebrity Wife Swap2014TV SeriesHerself
Ask Rita2003TV SeriesHerself
E! True Hollywood Story1999TV Series documentaryHerself
Contestants Tell All... Secrets of Beauty Pageants Exposed!1998TV Special documentaryHerself - Host
Vicki!1993TV SeriesHerself
Late Night with David Letterman1989TV SeriesHerself
Hulkamania 41989VideoHerself
The Pat Sajak Show1989TV SeriesHerself

Archive Footage

Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater1994TV SeriesMaureen Mallory

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

Write A Comment

Pin It