Joy Vogelsang, Dancer and Nicolas Cage's Mother, Dead at 85
By Jennifer Drysdale
Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images
Rest in peace, Joy Vogelsang. Nicolas Cage's mother died last month, the actor's brother, Christopher Coppola, confirmed on Facebook. Vogelsang was 85.
Christopher, who said Vogelsang died on May 26, honored her in a lengthy post, detailing the life lessons the former dancer had taught him despite her "very hard life with mental health issues." He was with her hours before she died.
"In all of that painful emotional chaos she still managed to teach me something super important," he wrote. "My mama lioness told me, her middle son cub, that I was affectionate. I was very embarrassed by the term affection. I thought it was a bad thing, a something to laugh at thing."
"Mama lioness looked at me deeply and said affection was a good thing and don't let others embarrass me for being naturally affectionate," Christopher continued. "My fellow classmates told me, laughed at me, told me affection was a stupid thing, a make fun of thing. I was angry at my mama for putting me in that situation, a situation that made me feel more weird than I already did."
As Christopher explained, his mother "held me and told me softly that affection was a good thing and one day I may understand or not but I should always remember I was her affectionate cub. "Life has nulled my innocence like it does for a lot of us but my mama died at 10:33pm 5/26 tonight," he said.
In addition to Nicolas and Christopher, Vogelsang also shared son Marc, with August Coppola, the brother of Francis Ford Coppola. The pair wed in 1960 before splitting in 1976 when Cage was 12.
In a1996 interview with David Sheff, published in Playboy, Nicolas said that his mother was "plagued with mental illness for most of my childhood" but credited her as "the driving force in my creativity."