Joan Steiger – Actor and tap dancer! Yes, she still dances!!
Meeting wonderful Joan Steiger at local Malibu Tra Di Noi, her favorite restaurant was about going down a memory lane with her. She remembered eating there with her husband Rod and lover Jeremy. She is a vibrant, funny, and a beautiful woman who lives a full and active life in Malibu. She is an unstoppable woman!
She wants to celebrate and commemorate Rod Steiger, her husband’s life. This year July marked the 10 anniversary of his death. He won the academy award for “Heat of the Night” and was nominated twice for the awards for his roles from his several 100 films. She did two films with him. She met Rod when she was a teenager and then met and married him later in life.
She started tap dancing, acrobatics and ballet when she was 7 years old. She thinks the dancers now are so fabulous because they combine acrobatics and ballet. Her mother sent her to Rome when she was 9. There she was the member of Royal Opera Ballet School. Her love was and is Tap Dancing. She is in a tap dancing group class with her teacher, Joe Giamalva every Monday and Wednesday in Malibu and she takes another class in the valley every week.
She started acting at 17 in New York. She wanted to be a dancer. By the time she was 20 she was already on the popular Steve Alan show. She started out doing live commercials as a host on his Sunday night show. She laughs as she say, “it was live, so you could make no mistakes”. She was the spokeswoman for hazel bishop commercials. Hazel Bishop is like todays L’Oreal. Later on she started doing sketches, short funny plays. She also worked on drama shows and craft theatres. On one of them, she met her future husband Rod Steiger.
He invited her to dinner,and then they started dating. She was just a kid and in awe of him. Rod used to write wonderful poems for her. His mentor was E.E. Cummings. Rod had to return to Hollywood so she started dating John.
John Myhers was her first husband. He was a singer/comedian and another very handsome man. She remembers him fondly, “He was a man of all seasons. He was the funniest man, and had the greatest singing voice”. He asked her to marry him when she was at the height of her carrier; she was working a lot including being on the original candid camera and she was being offered a huge contract for another new role. She chose to accept John’s proposal for marriage instead. They were together for 30 years. 8 years of those 30 years were lost to John’s struggle with the cancer of the throat, which took away his singing.
Joan kept working through all that. About 5 years after John’s passing she got a call from Rod Steiger. They started dating again and very soon they started living together and travelled all over the world. They made two movies together. They were married about 3-4 years later.
On a regular doctor’s visit before one of their trips, Rod was diagnosed with the cancer of the Pancreas. He survived the surgery but a couple days later, he was in pain. He did not do well with the pain medication that was given to him and he died from internal bleeding. She sadly said, “He died unnecessarily”.
Three years later as she was watching a Jeremy Slate (great actor and swimmer) movie on the television, she wondered what ever happened to him. So, she found his contact info. She called his home and his son answered the phone. He said, dad will be so glad you called. He put his dad on the line, who said, “Ruby Lips!” that is what he called her. He said he will come to see her for a week. That week ended up being three years!
She has loved and lost three most wonderful men in her life.
She was with her men every single day. It was a compliment because they had so much fun together and they wanted her to be with them all the time.
All her men were artists, writers and actors. She believes she had such wonderful relationships with her men because they had so much in common with her. She says she had the best loves and lovers in her life but still as good as the sex was the common interest was very important for good and long lasting relationship. She had the best time with each one of them!
She is a positive thinker and a spiritual person. She is funny and laughs a lot. She is beautiful and still attracts beautiful men.
Joan say, “Sad thing about age is that it is a number”. To apply a number to all persons is not fair. You stand 5 people of the same age in a line, and you know they all don’t look the same. She says she starts her every day like she is fifteen and she feels young because she takes care of herself. The age has to do with genetics and how you take care of yourself. She wants to look good and she likes fashion so she does not want to gain weight. She weighs her herself every day. She is able to to do that because she is a dedicated person.
She is still acting. She has just been set to star in the internet comedy series “Rita, Moby and Tippy” for Charles River Films. She will do ten episodes starting later this month. She does a lot of comedy and strong woman roles. She won the Los Angeles women’s theatre award. She lives a very healthy life style. She Tap dances 3 times a week, eats healthy and takes care of herself! As wonderful a life as she has here in Malibu, when she goes on a vacation, she likes to be spoiled!