WIFE PLANS TO CLONE RODNEY

Published on: February 25, 2005

Beloved comedian Rodney Dangerfield passed away October 5, but he still may achieve immortality -- thanks to cloning.

Rodney's beautiful wife Joan is planning to clone the funnyman -- with the same technology used by British scientists who cloned Dolly the sheep.

"Rodney and Joan met with a woman who was experimenting with human cloning and questioned her about the technology," a friend of the couple told The ENQUIRER.

THE PROCEDURE "She went to their house to explain the procedure during Rodney's recovery from his brain surgery (in 2003).

"Rodney was very, very interested in the cloning process, but they both felt that the technology hadn't yet arrived for an optimal outcome.

"But after Rodney died, Joan saved some of his DNA on his trademark handkerchief which he used to wipe his brow, and she put it in her freezer -- just in case that time comes around in her lifetime!"

Although he died at 82, Rodney lives on in the heart of his wife -- and in the memory of millions of fans.

And there's wonderful news for those fans -- Rodney's widow just released a new DVD collection of his favorite jokes and wisecracks, called "Rodney Dangerfield: No Respect."

And as a special tribute to the man who kept her laughing for 20 years, Joan's also released a CD of his love songs, entitled "Romeo Rodney."

"Even though he's no longer here, Joan is determined to carry on with the plans he made," said the friend.

Before Rodney's tragic death, Joan looked ahead to many more happy years with her beloved.

"Their plan was to leave this world together," divulged the friend.

LOVE SONGS
"Even though Rodney was older -- and it was reasonable that he would die first -- they thought they would go together, in a car accident maybe, like Princess Diana.

"The night before Rodney's heart surgery they stayed up the entire night -- and he sang love songs to Joan. The last one was, 'Be Careful, It's My Heart.' "

After Rodney's August 25 surgery to repair the aortic valve in his heart, complications set in and he lapsed into a 40-day coma, unable to feed himself, open his eyes or even speak.

"Joan moved into the hospital so she could be with him round the clock," the friend told The ENQUIRER. "If he regained consciousness, she wanted her face to be the first one Rodney saw."

SECRET CODE
Before the surgery, Joan and Rodney set up a secret code. If he was in pain but couldn't speak, he would signal Joan by blinking his eyes and she would alert his doctors.

"The plan went horribly wrong when Rodney was left paralyzed and his eyes kept blinking uncontrollably.

Finally, the doctors had to tape them shut," said the friend.

"Rodney's last words came as he lay on the operating table while being given the anesthesia. He asked his wife, 'Am I going to sleep now?'

"She squeezed his hand and told him 'yes.' "

He never woke up.

-- PATRICIA TOWLE THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER