Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jane Belson, Douglas Adams' widow, passed away

Polly Adams and Jane Belson (oil on Canvas, 2010, Philip Morgan)

Jane Belson just passed away, peacefully during her sleep,  this morning 7th september 2011, about ten years after her husband Douglas Adams. She was 59 years old and suffered from cancer for many years.

Jane Belson met Douglas after the break up with his previous love affair. He was then looking for a flat mate and they were introduced by a common friend Mary Allen. Jane moved in the spare bedroom in spring 1982. He was then trying to finish "Life, the universe and everything" : "There would be bursts of typing punctuated by long bits of guitar playing (acoustic - the electric guitar came later and annoyed the hell out of our neighboors). I'd come home from chambers to find Douglas waiting to read me what he had written, scrutinizing my reactions minutely and checking carefully to see that I was laughing in the right way at the right joke. It was my first encounter with a writer (well anybody really) who needed that level of reassurance" she told years later to Nick Webb, Douglas Adams first publisher and biographer ("Wish you were here", 2003).

"Jane and Douglas became friends, then lovers and eventually soulmates" explained Nick Webb. After almost getting married in 1985, they lived apart for a while but Jane Belson and Douglas Adams finally got married on November 25 1991, the day Pan Books threw a party for Douglas in the Groucho Club in London's Soho to celebrate the recent Pan publication of Last chance to See and the presentation of Douglas' third golden Pan award. It was a surprise for the guests of the said party as they got married this very afternoon.

Douglas and Jane had a daughter Polly born on 22 June 1994.

Polly wrote on her twitter account : "I wouldn't change the last 17 year for the world. I could never have asked for a better role model or friend. Rest in peace, mummy."

More informations about Douglas Adams' life on my online DNA biography page on


  1. Really sorry to hear about this. Poor Polly, she's only 17 and all. :(

  2. What a sad news! My deepest sympathy to Polly!

  3. That's awful - I knew Jane many years ago and she was a wonderful person.

  4. That's so tremendously sad. Condolences to Polly

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  6. With Douglas like timing I find this page and write this comment when an appropriate deadline has whooshed past many moons ago. I knew Douglas in his days at Digital Village and met Jane once. My then wife also worked with Douglas on Starship Titanic - I think she was a Desk Bot.
    The last time I met Douglas was at a hotel in France where we were both doing some kind of presentation. Later we stood on the balcony of his hotel room and with my camera crew recorded two hours of chat about all kinds of 'stuff' which came to our minds. At the time Polly was about six - the same age as my eldest child - and Douglas spoke at great length about his hopes and fears for her future. I returned to Sky TV that night and logged the tapes in the library for a small documentary I was planning. A short while later Douglas was gone forever. The tapes also vanished. A small tragedy compared to his loss and that of Jane but a tragedy none the less. I hope one day those tapes will be found - having slipped through some wormhole in space and time... here's hoping.
    Simon Green

  7. Did they not meet in 1991 not 99? Wiki says 1991

  8. They married November 25 1991. It was a typo sorry. I've added some informations about Douglas and Jane that i found in Nick Webb's excellent biography "Wish You Were Here" (Headline, 2003)