Jeri Caldwell – Meet Quincy Jones First Wife

Jeri Caldwell
Source - @quincyjones Instagram

Jeri Caldwell was a former American actress who earned recognition as the first wife of celebrated music and movie producer, Quincy Jones.

Jeri’s acting career started and ended with one movie but she later appeared in a documentary film centered on her ex-husband, Quincy. The duo got married sometime in 1957, however, their relationship came to an end nine years later in 1966. The couple shared a daughter named Jolie Jones who is an actress and Jazz vocalist.

Profile summary of Jeri Caldwell
  • Name: Jeri Caldwell
  • Place of birth: Washington in the United States
  • Nationality: American
  • Marital status: Divorced
  • Spouse: Quincy Jones (ex-husband)
  • Height: 6 feet 2 inches
  • Occupation: Former actress
  • Net worth: $500,000

How old is Jeri Caldwell?

Jeri Caldwell never revealed her date of birth in the public space but it is common knowledge that she was a child of the 1930s. Jeri was born in Washington state where she also spent a greater part of her growing up years. With that said, it goes without saying that she was an American by nationality but though Caldwell married a Black American, her ethnic background is White.

She also never mentioned anything about her early life and family background, thus, her parents are not known. However, her ex-husband Quincy Jones once mentioned that Jeri had a sister and they were all in high school together.

Jeri passed through the same high school as her ex-husband, Quincy Jones but no one knows whether she later went for higher academic qualifications.

Is Jeri an actress?

Jeri Caldwell always displayed a healthy dose of interest in the performing arts and went on to identify with the entertainment industry at a very young age. However, she only managed to record two onscreen appearances.

Jeri made her acting debut in 1994 when she joined the cast of Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. Her next onscreen appearance would come 24 years later when she was called to make an appearance in the documentary movie, Quincy in 2018. Jeri’s role in the docu-film was paramount as the plot revolves around the life of her ex-husband, Quincy Jones.

How did Jeri Caldwell meet Quincy Jones?

Perhaps because their relationship happened decades ago, there isn’t much to tell about it. However, Quincy was once in an interview session with Oprah Winfrey when the music icon revealed that they were high school sweethearts. The duo also grew up in Washington state together.

According to the music producer, Jeri Caldwell was the first to hit on him. She used to wait around just to have a look at Quincy and it was one of his friends that noticed it and let the musician know. The couple started talking the next day and Quincy admitted that Caldwell and her sister were the hotsy-totsies during their days in school.

Notably, their relationship raised many eyebrows and got disapproval from Jeri’s family because of the racial factor between them. However, against all odds, Jeri followed her heart and chose to be with Quincy even though dating a Black man at the time meant she will lose her status in her community.

They got married in 1957

From friendship, Jeri and Quincy started dating and eventually tied the nuptial knot in 1957. The couple was joined in a beautiful wedding ceremony that heralded their days together as man and wife. Jeri was 19 at the time of their wedding. Talking about their union, Quincy said Jeri was not his first love, rather, the musician described her as “the first love he married.

From Washington, the newlyweds moved to New York City and later to Paris where Quincy went to study under Nadia Boulanger.

Things went smoothly for the couple until 1966 when their marriage hit the rocks. They got separated and filed for a divorce the same year, though they neglected to mention exactly what led to their split.

The couple had one daughter, Jolie Jones who was born on October 4, 1954. Jolie grew up to become an actress and Jazz vocalist best known for her appearance in the film Panic in Echo Park (1977). She is the wife of Stewart Levine with whom she shares two sons, Sunny Levine, and Donover Levine. Both Donover and Sunny are grown-ups and have their own families.

Read Also: Ralph Pittman is Drew Sidora’s Ex-husband, What Does He Do For A Living?

Who is her husband Quincy Jones?

Born on March 14, 1933, Quincy Jones is a Chicago, Illinois native, and the son of Delight Jones, Sr. (a carpenter) and Sarah Frances (Wells) who earned a living in the financial sector as a bank executive. Quincy grew up alongside many siblings.

Jeri Caldwell’s ex-husband is among the greatest minds to ever grace the music and television industry. He is a multi-award-winning record label boss, movie producer, and musician. His childhood friend, Ray Charles takes the credit for convincing Quincy to explore music and he ended up playing in several successful bands around the 1950s. By the mid-1960s, Quincy was already composing for both film and television, eventually producing over 50 scores.

Quincy has worked with some of the A-listers in the music industry, including Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, and Celine Dion. Today, he is recognized as one of the most Grammy-nominated entertainers in history, with 79 nominations and 27 wins.

Jeri is not the only woman Quincy married. In fact, the musician is quite popular among the ladies. From 1967 to 1974, he was married to Ulla Andersson who gave him two children – Quincy (son) and a daughter named Martina. Actress, Peggy Lipton was his last wife and they share two daughters – Kidada and Rashida. Quincy has additional two daughters from his other girlfriend turned baby mama.

Is Jeri Caldwell still alive?

Recent reports revealed that Jeri Caldwell who was in her eighties had already passed on. The confirmation of her death comes from an Instagram post shared by Quincy Jones in 2022. He rendered a heart-warming tribute to her, calling her his rock for believing in him when nobody knew his name.

Through the IG post, he appreciated her sacrifice at the time they first met when the idea of a White girl dating a Black man was unheard of.

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