Willy de Ville - Personal Life

Personal Life

Willy DeVille was married in the late 1970s to Susan Berle (February 19, 1950–August 12, 2004), who was known as Toots DeVille. Toots and Willy had known each other in high school and had a son, Sean, in 1970. Alex Halberstadt, Doc Pomus's biographer, wrote about Toots, "Half French and half Pima Indian, Toots favored a pair of nose rings, snow-white kabuki make-up and a Ronettes-style beehive the color of tar. She'd once put out a lit Marlboro in a woman's eye just for staring at Willy."

In 1984, DeVille married his second wife, Lisa Leggett, whom he met in California. She became his business manager. They lived near New Orleans and on a horse farm in Picayune, Mississippi. After her suicide in 2001, he married Nina Lagerwall (daughter of Sture Lagerwall), his third wife, and returned to New York City, where he spent the rest of his life. In February 2009, DeVille was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and in May of that year doctors discovered pancreatic cancer in DeVille in the course of his Hepatitis C treatment. He died in New York City in the late hours of August 6, 2009, three weeks shy of his 59th birthday.

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