Honey Bruce Friedman, a former nightclub entertainer who in 2003 helped win a posthumous pardon for her ex-husband, the comedian Lenny Bruce, on a 39-year-old obscenity conviction, died on Sept. 12 at a hospital in Honolulu. She was 78 and a Honolulu resident.
The cause was complications of colitis, her daughter, Kitty Bruce, said.
At various times a singer, dancer, stripper, carnival performer, film actress, clothing designer and memoirist, Ms. Friedman was married to Bruce from 1951 until their divorce in 1957. Bruce died of a drug overdose in 1966, at 40.
In 2003, Gov. George E. Pataki of New York pardoned Bruce, who was convicted in 1964 of giving obscene performances at the Cafe au Go Go in Greenwich Village. With her daughter, Ms. Friedman lent her support to the campaign to win the pardon.
Ms. Friedman was born Harriett Jolliff in Manila, Ark., on Aug. 15, 1927, and raised in Detroit. As a teenager, she ran away from home to dance with a carnival. While still in her teens, she was convicted, along with several friends, of attempting to rob a candy machine, and spent more than a year in jail.
Shortly after her release, she began working as a stripper under the name Hot Honey Harlowe. After an early marriage that ended in divorce, she wed Bruce, breaking off a relationship with a woman she loved to be with him.
The couple's six-year marriage was Ozzie and Harriet as reimagined by William S. Burroughs. Ms. Friedman sewed outfits for Bruce. They shopped for wallpaper. They injected heroin. She served jail time for marijuana possession.
In later years, Ms. Friedman, who overcame addictions to drugs and alcohol, designed clothing, with a shop in Honolulu. She was the author of a memoir, "Honey: The Life and Loves of Lenny's Shady Lady" (Playboy Press, 1976, with Dana Benenson).
Ms. Friedman appeared in two films, "Dance Hall Racket" (1953), which also starred Bruce and his mother, Sally Marr; and "Princess of the Nile" (1954). She was featured in the 1998 documentary "Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth," and was portrayed by Valerie Perrine in Bob Fosse's film "Lenny" (1974).
Besides her daughter, who lives in Pennsylvania, Ms. Friedman is survived by her husband, Jeffrey Friedman, whom she married in 1984.