Stephen Joyce, 85, of Wickenburg, AZ, passed away peacefully on January 26, 2017 in Surprise, Arizona.
He was born March 7, 1931 in New York City, to Stephen James Joyce and Ruth Rita Reilly. The family resided in Brooklyn, New York where he attended Parochial schools, Xavier High, a Jesuit Military school and Fordham University where he majored in theater. At the beginning of the Korean War he joined the Air Force where he spent two years in the Far East. After his return to the United States, he would be stationed at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona. There he soon met the love of his life, Billie Jean. After his discharge from the Air Force, he commenced pursuit of the career he majored at Fordham University, theater, and a few weeks after his discharge of he was cast as the juvenile lead In a George Montgomery movie Street of Sinners. Stephen proved to be an accomplished thespian, and he would go on to have a very successful career, with many credits to his name in legitimate theater. He would be nominated for several awards, including the Theater World Award for his portrayal of the title role in Stephen D in New York, the Joseph Jefferson Award for his portrayal of the title role Da in Chicago, and the Drama Desk award for his role as Captain Blakely in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial at the Circle in the Square in New York. In addition to his successful career in the legitimate theater, he would go on and be cast in many television shows, including such iconic shows as Rawhide, Bonanza, Law and Order, Kojak, Miami Vice, Combat, Outer Limits, Ben Casey, and others too numerous to list. He would also be cast in in numerous movies, including The Greatest Story Ever Told; the Irish Whiskey Rebellion; The Dark Secrets of Harvest Home; One Police Plaza; A Stranger is Watching; The Red Spider; Stranger on my Land; Billy Bathgate; and Invasion. Stephen and the love of his life, Billie Jean, retired to Wickenburg Arizona over twenty years ago, where he was able to live out his dream of being a Western cowboy, horses and all. Sadly, he was preceded in death by his wife, Billie Jean Joyce, and daughter, Tony Magdon. One of Stephen's great joys was being a parent, and he was a dedicated and caring father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He is survived by his daughter, Carol Foy, his son, Michael Joyce, grandchildren Hans Olesen, Jenny Roehner, Siobhan O'Connor, Melissa Magdon, Christine Watts, J.J. Magdon; and great-grandchildren Ashley Magdon; Alexandra, Jocelyn, and Michaela Olesen; Nika and CiCi Roehner; and Zachary and Addie O'Connor. He will be missed by all. A Visitation will be held 10:00am, Thursday, February 2, 2017 in the Chapel at Greenwood Memory Lawn Mortuary, 719 N. 27th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona followed by a Graveside Service at 11:00am.
JOYCE, Stephen (John Stephen Joyce)
Born: 3/7/1931, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 1/26/2017, Surprise, Arizona, U.S.A.
Stephen Joyce’s westerns – actor:
Rawhide (TV) – 1959, 1960, 1961 (Vic, Hanson Buck, Wilbur, Sidney Porter)
Pony Express (TV) – 1960 (Tommy Brand)
U.S. Marshal (TV) – 1960 (Mike Tully)
Bronco (TV) – 1960, 1961 (Billy the Kid, Phil Welty)
Bonanza (TV) – 1961 (Jerome Bell)
Outlaws (TV) – 1961 (Tim Wace)
The Rebel (TV) – 1961 (Sham Hardy, Frank Daggett)
The Dakotas (TV) – 1963 (Billy Daneer)
Stranger on My Land (TV) - 1988