Post by Sharon-Admin on Jun 19, 2015 8:44:38 GMT -5
Patrick Wilson's character in "The Founder" is named Rollie Smith. A google search shows that he was the first husband of Ray Kroc's wife, Joan.
"Her father was a railroad telegraph operator, her mother an accomplished violinist who made sure her daughter got piano lessons. At 17 Joan married a young Navy veteran, Rollie Smith, and the following year they had a daughter, Linda.
She kept up her piano playing. One night in 1957, when she was in her late twenties and working in a restaurant piano bar, Ray Kroc walked in to talk business. Kroc had been building his burger chain for just a few years, and Joan’s boss was interested in a franchise. Kroc, a piano player himself, noticed the woman at the keyboard.
“I was stunned by her blond beauty,” he recalled in his 1977 autobiography. “Yes, she was married. Since I was married, too, the spark that ignited when our eyes met had to be ignored, but I would never forget it.”
He was about 25 years older than Joan, but the spark was mutual. “When Ray and I met, we both knew that someday we wanted to get married. It was unspoken, but it was there,” Joan Kroc told author John F. Love for his 1986 book, “McDonald’s: Behind the Arches.”
She agonized about getting a divorce, but her mother was against it and her teenage daughter said, according to Love, “If you marry him, forget that you have a daughter.” Ray divorced his wife anyway, and instead married John Wayne’s script assistant.
Coincidentally, Joan’s husband saw a future in McDonald’s. He and Joan moved to Rapid City to open a restaurant. At a McDonald’s convention 11 years after Ray and Joan met, they reconnected. They played songs on a hotel piano and talked all night. They each got divorces and within six months were married. (Joan Kroc remained on good terms with her ex-husband, who remarried and died a few weeks before she did.)"