Joan Rice and baby Michael

Joan Rice and baby Michael

This web site is dedicated to the memory of Joan Rice (1930-1997) and down the years I have attempted to piece together the life of the beautiful English actress who charmed us all with her portrayal of Maid Marian in Disney's Story of Robin Hood in 1952.

This would not have been possible without the response from my many blog readers who have kindly sent in their memories of her. Here is another example - this was sent to me by Annie Winkler last week:

I have read with interest your website about Joan Rice, and saw you had asked for any anecdotes etc. about her. 
You may be interested to know that we used to know the Greens quite well.   I am just one month older than Joan and David’s son Michael.  Our family lived very near them up to 1964 in Maidenhead.   Actually it wasn’t Cookham, which your website said.  Cookham was about five miles from us.   Both our house and the Green’s house backed onto Maidenhead Thicket.  Interestingly we could see Richard Todd’s house just across the Thicket from our windows upstairs. We used to play nearly every day with Michael and other children of the neighbourhood, especially in the school holidays.  I was really sad to learn of Michael’s suicide.  It must have been a terrible shock to the whole family.  Unfortunately we lost touch with them when we moved to Bath in 1964 when Michael and I were about 11 years old.  I am now living in Derby, about one hundred yards from the City Hospital where I see from your website that Joan was born. 
Their house had a long drive and was one of the only ones, if not then the only one, with a swimming pool in the garden.  We occasionally went to swim in their pool, but not very often as it seemed freezing.  We were in and out of each others houses, but more often than not Michael came to play at our house.
Best wishes,  Annie Winkler

Joan Rice with David Green at Kiss Korner in London c.1953

Joan Rice and David Green were married at Maidenhead Register Office on the 16th February 1953 and the reception was held in Gables Lodge just outside Maidenhead. David was a film salesman (for a Hollywood company) and they met at a Christmas party shortly after Joan's return to England after filming His Majesty O'Keefe. It was a classic whirlwind romance. They were engaged on 15th January and married a month later!

Their son Michael was born in December 1953, but sadly Joan and David's marriage was dissolved in 1964. It was soon after that the Rank Organisation dropped Joan's contract, but she continued to work hard, by accepting bit parts in films and often touring the country doing live theater plays. She always supported herself, not accepting any support from her broken marriage. 

In 1984 Joan married Ken McKenzie, a former journalist with the Daily Sketch and they lived together at Quinney's, a house in Cookham in Berkshire. But by now her she was having problems with her health and she had become very frail. Joan passed away due to emphysema complications on January 1st 1997 aged 66.

Tragically, Michael had taken his own life in the early 1990's.

In December 2012 I received this short email from David Green, Joan's former husband :
I am alive and well and live in Las Vegas. Joan and my son Michael died over 10 years ago in the South of France. His 2 daughters live in Holland.  David Green.

There are now over 70 pages on this site of images and information about the life of Joan Rice, including pictures of her wedding and stills from her movies. Please click here.

Joan was always proud of the fact that she had been Walt Disney's first Maid Marian and this blog will certainly never forget her. So if you have any memories of Joan that you would like to share with us, please get in touch at


Clement Glen said...

Joan Rice 1930-1997

Special thanks to Annie Winkler

Neil said...

What a wonderful post to hear from someone like this who knew Joan Rice so well. I have always thought that Joan Rice fell in love with Richard Todd during the making of the film - maybe something that never got anywhere though - as all her life she seemed to be looking for him or around him. The sentence that I picked out was 'Interestingly we could see Richard Todd’s house just across the Thicket from our windows upstairs.' So even after marriage she lived near him. I have a rough idea where that would be - he lived then at Pinkney's Green just outside Maidenhead.