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Jean Kasem

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Jean Kasem
Casey and Jean Kasem 1993 - headshot.jpg
Jean with husband Casey Kasem on the red carpet at the 45th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in September 1993
Born Jean Thompson
c. 1955 (age 62–63)
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Alma mater University of Guam
Occupation Actress
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Casey Kasem (m. 1980; d. 2014)
Children 1 child
3 stepchildren including Kerri Kasem

Jean Thompson Kasem[1] (born c. 1955[2]) is an American actress. She is the widow of radio personality Casey Kasem.


Early life[edit]

Jean Thompson was one of five children born to Irene Celia Thompson (1919-2008) and Herbert Owens Thompson Sr. (deceased).[3] She is of Norwegian heritage on her mother's side.[4][5] She lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, before her civil-servant father moved the family to Guam in 1963.[2] She attended the University of Guam at age 16, but after marrying a U.S. Navy lieutenant when she was 17, she left to work as a waitress and saleswoman on U.S. military bases throughout the Pacific Ocean to which her husband was posted. The marriage lasted six years.[2] She moved to California and unsuccessfully attempted to find work in broadcast journalism. Frustrated, she joined an acting workshop and soon found roles on such TV series as Matt Houston, Fantasy Island and Alice.[2]


Kasem played the recurring role of Loretta Tortelli, the dimwitted wife of Nick Tortelli (Dan Hedaya) on Cheers and as a cast-member of the short-lived spinoff The Tortellis. She made a brief appearance in Ghostbusters as one of Louis Tulley's party guests. Kasem has also worked as voice actor for such animated television series as Darkwing Duck, 2 Stupid Dogs, Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, Johnny Bravo, and Mother Goose and Grimm.[6]

She made guest appearances in several movies and television shows, including Growing Pains, Cybill, Hunter, Family Feud,[7] Hollywood Squares, My Two Dads, Hope & Gloria and others. She holds twelve patents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, all pertaining to crib and canopy design,[8] developed for her crib business, Little Miss Liberty Round Crib Company.[9]

Personal life[edit]

She was married to radio personality Casey Kasem from 1980 until his death in 2014, and they had one child together, Liberty Jean Kasem.[10]

In 1989, Casey Kasem purchased a house built in 1954, previously owned by developer Abraham M. Lurie, as a birthday present for her.[11][12]

Stepchildren and conservatorship[edit]

Casey Kasem had three children from a previous marriage: Kerri, Julie, and Mike Kasem.[13][14] In October 2013, Kerri Kasem said that her father was suffering from Parkinson's disease;[15] a few months later, she said Casey Kasem had been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, which is often difficult to differentiate from Parkinson's.[16] Owing to his condition, he was no longer able to speak.[17]

On October 1, 2013, Kerri Kasem, her siblings and their uncle, Casey's brother, protested outside Casey and Jean Kasem's home, saying Jean Kasem had been preventing contact with Casey Kasem for three months.[15][18] Six days later, Julie Kasem and her husband, Dr. Jamil Aboulhosn, filed a conservatorship petition to place Casey Kasem under their care.[19] The court denied their petition.[20]

On May 12, 2014, Kerri Kasem was granted conservatorship over Jean Kasem's objection.[21] The court ordered an investigation into Casey Kasem's whereabouts, after Jean Kasem's attorney argued the court had no jurisdiction as he was "no longer in the United States", but did not give any information to the court about Kasem's whereabouts.[17] But after Casey was located in Washington State, Kerri Kasem was given custody.

Casey Kasem died on June 15, 2014, aged 82. His widow was given her husband's body for funeral arrangements.[22]


  1. ^ Dillon, Nancy (October 3, 2013). "Casey Kasem's kids give stepmom Jean Kasem ultimatum to let them visit ailing father". Daily News. New York City. Retrieved October 6, 2013. Jean, 59... 
  2. ^ a b c d Norbom, Mary Ann (March 16, 1987). "Playing Dumb, Jean Kasem Gives a Brassy Tint to The Tortellis". People. 27 (11). Retrieved October 1, 2013. Suffice it to say that Kasem, 32... 
  3. ^ "Irene Celia Thompson". Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Portsmouth Herald. January 18, 2009. Archived from the original on October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ Marcus Husby. "Derfor vil enken frakte radiokjendisens lik til Oslo (Therefore widow carrying radio renowned ice equal to Oslo)". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Jean (2014-08-07). "Letter to cemetery council in Oslo, Norway" (PDF). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  6. ^ Jean Kasem on IMDb
  7. ^ Family Feud (1989): Funny Men vs Funny Women on YouTube
  8. ^ "Kasem, Jean, Patents". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ Little Miss Liberty Round Crib Company official site. Archived from the original on April 16, 2013.
  10. ^ Fitzpatrick, Laura (July 7, 2009). "Radio Host Casey Kasem". Time. Retrieved October 1, 2013. Married his current wife, Jean ... in 1980. ...In 1990, after suffering eight miscarriages, the couple had a daughter, Liberty Jean Kasem. 
  11. ^ Ryon, Ruth (July 2, 1989). "Kasem Gives Wife Holmby Hills Gift". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ Willett, Megan (April 8, 2013). "House of the Day: Casey Kasem Is Selling His Crazy LA Mansion For $42 Million". 
  13. ^ Espen, Hal (February 14, 2014). "The Sad, Strange Family Battle Over Radio Legend Casey Kasem". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  14. ^ Hon Jing Yi (July 5, 2014). "Mike Kasem: My dad is still not buried". Today. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Pennacchio, George (October 1, 2013). "Casey Kasem's family feud: Wife won't let kids, friends see him?". Los Angeles, California: KABC-TV. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  16. ^ Kasem, Julie; Kasem, Kerri; Martin, Troy (2014-05-13). "[Interview]". CNN Tonight (Interview). Interview with Bill Weir. CNN.  Comments about disease aired around 9:41 p.m. EDT; comments about purpose at the end of the interview.
  17. ^ a b "Judge Orders Probe Into Casey Kasem's Whereabouts". ABC News. Associated Press. May 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  18. ^ "Casey Kasem Family Feud: Cops Called". October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  19. ^ Duke, Alan (October 8, 2013). "Casey Kasem's kids take stepmom to court". CNN. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Judge Rejects Children's Request For Conservatorship of Casey Kasem". KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV. November 19, 2013. Archived from the original on November 28, 2013. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  21. ^ Hetherman, Bill (May 12, 2014). "Casey Kasem's daughter named temporary conservator for father". Los Angeles Daily News. City News Service. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  22. ^ Casey Kasem funeral arrangements to be handled by wife,; June 16, 2014.

External links[edit]