Though Martin Short prides himself on being one of the funniest actors in Hollywood, he suffered a devastating loss in his personal life. His wife of 30 years, Nancy Dolman, died at age 58 in 2010 after battling ovarian cancer. Keep scrolling to learn more about the comedian’s late spouse.
Who Was Martin Short’s Wife, Nancy Dolman?
Martin met Nancy while they were both performing in 1972’s Canadian production of Godspell. Prior to beginning her romance with the Saturday Night Live alum, Nancy toured with the Canadian Rock Theatre. She performed in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar that traveled across the U.S. and Canada in the early ‘70s.
The University of Western Ontario graduate was smitten with Martin when they met. The pair got married in 1980. Nancy earned acting credits in 1977’s Custard Pie and 1980’s Landon Landon & Landon before joining the cast of Soap. She portrayed the character Annie Selig Tate in multiple episodes of the ABC sitcom from 1980 to 1981.
After her recurring arc on the series ended, she went on to appear in 1981’s It’s a Living and 1982’s Family in Blue. The Canadian star took a step back from Hollywood in 1985 after deciding to focus on her family.
Did Martin Short and Nancy Dolman Have Any Children Together?
Martin and Nancy adopted three children together during their marriage. Their eldest child, daughter Katherine, was born in 1983. Their eldest son, Oliver, arrived in 1986. Their youngest son, Henry, was born in 1989.
The entire family supported Nancy after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. She died three years later, leaving the Tony winner heartbroken. Still, he was grateful for the 30 years of marriage they shared and the wonderful family they started.
“Before my wife, Nancy, died two years ago, we were together for 36 years, but I would have been divorced five times if I hadn’t found the right person,” Martin candidly shared with The Guardian in October 2012. “I wouldn’t have faked it and played a game just because I didn’t want to be divorced. It’s been a tough two years for my children. This is the thing of life that we live in denial about, that it will ever happen to us or our loved ones and when it does you gain a little and you suffer a little. There’s no big surprise.”
Years later, the Only Murders in the Building star told AARP that he still communicates with his late wife.
“She died in 2010, but I still communicate with her all the time. It’s ‘Hey, Nan,’ you know? How would she react to this decision or that, especially regarding our three kids,” he explained in the January 2019 interview. “I believe that when people die, they zoom into the people that love them.”
In his 2014 memoir, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend, the comedian opened up about their incredible connection.
“I’m still very much married to Nancy. In our 36 years together, we became so intimately familiar with the workings of each other’s minds that I can convincingly play out the conversations we would be having today, about things that postdate Nancy’s death,” he wrote.