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, Hawaii, family friend Jeff Abraham said from his Santa Monica office on Friday. Born Harriett Jolliff in Manila, Arkansas, 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 daughter Kitty, AP reports.