Posted on Fri, Sep. 16, 2005
Honey Bruce Friedman, ex-wife of Lenny Bruce, dies at 78
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Honey Bruce Friedman, the former wife of
comedian Lenny Bruce who successfully lobbied to clear her husband's
40-year-old obscenity conviction, has died. She was 78.
Friedman died Monday after a long illness at a hospital near her home
in Honolulu, family friend Jeff Abraham said from his Santa Monica
office on Friday.
Born Harriett Jolliff in Manila, Ark., Friedman later changed her name
to Honey Harlow. She married Bruce - a pioneering stand-up comedian -
in June 1951 and they had a daughter, Kitty, who was born four years
later. The couple split in 1957.
During a 1964 performance in New York City's Greenwich Village attended
by undercover police detectives, Bruce used more than 100 obscene
words. Bruce was charged with giving an obscene performance and was
later convicted following a six-month trial. Hr died of a drug overdose
in 1966 at age 37.
In 2003, New York Gov. George Pataki granted Bruce a posthumous pardon
after Friedman, Kitty Bruce and more than two dozen First Amendment
lawyers and entertainers signed a petition to win a pardon.
Bruce's controversial life was chronicled in the 1974 movie "Lenny"
starring Dustin Hoffman. Friedman was played by actress Valerie
Perrine. In 1976, Friedman penned her autobiography "Honey: The Life &
Loves of Lenny's Shady Lady."
Friedman is survived by her current husband Jeffrey Friedman and