Meet Kari Wigton, the maiden name of Kari Clark, the beautiful blond woman and final incarnation of Dick Clark’s wife. The famous television personality passed away today and is survived by her. Our hearts go out to his grieving family, and especially to her and their surviving children.

Photo: Kari Wigton (Clark)

He of course is the founder of Dick Clark Productions, which produced the long-running television music program American Bandstand. Later in life, he went into semi-retirement but not entirely as his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show became a fan favorite.

Biography: Kari Wigton was his third wife, but rather than a late life whim, she was also his longest lasting. The couple married in 1977 and stayed together for the last 35 years of his life. Still, they had no children between him. His three children were born to wives number one and two. Their marriage date was July 7, a date that was picked because of the interesting 7/7/77 date.

Kari Clark was born in January 1943, so she just turned 69 years old this year. She has long been his executive assistant, helping produce the TV shows that he has made famous. She was ever a steadying influence in his life. When they say that behind every great man is a great woman, they were talking about Kari.

In a People Magazine interview in 1986, she said this about how their sets were run:

“He behaves differently there than he does on, say, the Bandstand set. On Pyramid, which he hosts but doesn’t produce, Dick is totally cool—he just enjoys himself when that red light goes on and lets everybody else do the worrying. But when it’s his show, watch out! If the crew takes five, Dick makes sure it’s five minutes and not 10 or 20. In that case, time is money—his money—and Dick won’t put up with seeing it wasted. He doesn’t tolerate mistakes very well either.”
Kari Clark (Wigton)

The internet is buzzing with talk of his passing today. Our thoughts are with her, just as they were for Gloria Estefan who just tweeted: “Our sincerest condolences to Dick Clark’s wife, Kari [Wigton], his family & all who loved & admired him which includes the whole Estefan clan!”

Now tell us what you think in the comments but answer this question: What famous Hollywood personality would you marry if you could?