Dana Carvey and His Wife Are Mourning the Death of Their 32-Year-Old Son

Comedian Dana Carvey and his wife Paula Zwagerman have been married for 40 years, and the couple had two children together in the 1990s.


Nov. 17 2023, Published 10:38 a.m. ET

Dana Carvey and Paul Zwagerman at the Oscars.
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Dana Carvey has been married to his wife Paula Zwagerman for 40 years.
  • The two have two children together: Dex and Thomas.
  • Dex's death from an accidental drug overdose was first announced on Nov. 16, 2023, via a statement on Dana's Instagram.
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In a post on her Instagram page from Nov. 16, 2023, Dana Carvey and his wife Paula Zwagerman, announced that their son, Dex Carvey, had died. Following the news of his death, many had questions about Dex and how he had died at just 32 years. Some also wanted to learn more about the comedian's entire family in the aftermath of the tragedy.

In particular, some wondered who Dana's wife is and how long the two of them have been together. Dana and Paula have a 40 year-marriage, and by all accounts, it has been a remarkably stable one.

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Dana Carvey and Paula Zwagerman at the 1991 Comedy Awards in Los Angeles.
Source: Getty Images

Who is Dana Carvey's wife?

Dana first married his childhood sweetheart, Leah, in 1979. During their marriage, Dana was performing comedy at a venue called The Other Cafe in San Francisco, which is where he met Paula. The two quickly became romantically involved, and Dana and Leah divorced in 1980. Dana and Paula got engaged in 1981, and they were married two years later, in 1983. Since then, she has stayed largely out of the public eye, and appeared only in one of her husband's projects.

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Who are Dana Carvey's children?

Dana and Paula had two children together. Dex was born in 1991, and Thomas was born in 1994. After rising to stardom on Saturday Night Live through the early part of the 1990s, Dana took the later years of the decade off from work in part so that he could be present for his kids' childhoods. He also underwent heart bypass surgery in 1997 and may have stepped away in part for his own recovery.

What was Dex Carvey's cause of death?

Dana's family is in the news in November 2023 following the tragic announcement of his son's death. In a post on Instagram, Dana explained that Dex's death was caused by an "accidental drug overdose." They didn't specify what drug he had taken, but instead paid legacy to the life their son had led over the course of his 32 years.

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“Dex packed a lot into those 32 years. He was extremely talented at so many things — music, art, filmmaking, comedy — and pursued all of them passionately,” the statement said. “It's not an exaggeration to say that Dex loved life. And when you were with him, you loved life too. He made everything fun. But most of all, he loved his family, his friends and his girlfriend, Kaylee. Dex was a beautiful person. His handmade birthday cards are a treasure. We will miss him forever.”

Dana and Paula also paid tribute to anyone who may be struggling with what Dex went through. “To anyone struggling with addiction or who loves someone struggling with addiction, you are in our hearts and prayers. Dana and Paula," the statement ended.

If you or someone you know needs help, use SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find support for mental health and substance use disorders in your area or call 1-800-662-4357 for 24-hour assistance.

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