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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameWilliam Lee

Mini Bio (1)

Will Lee was born on August 6, 1908 in New York City, New York, USA as William Lee. He was an actor, known for They Live by Night (1948), Melody Lane (1941) and Little Fugitive (1953). He died on December 7, 1982 in New York City.

Trivia (4)

After his death in late 1982, the producers of Sesame Street (1969) decided to kill off Mr. Hooper instead of hiring another actor to take over the part of the Street's amiable storekeeper. In a special "Sesame Street" episode that aired in November 1983 (nearly a year after Lee's death), Big Bird learned to cope with and grieve the death of his dear friend.
He was blacklisted in the early 1950s, primarily for his involvement with the Federal Theatre Project, the West Coast Actor's Lab and other theatrical groups alleged by various right-wing organizations to be Communist "fronts" during the McCarthy-era witch-hunts of that time. He worked through the 1950s and 1960s as an acting teacher, with James Earl Jones being one of his students.
He was never married, nor ever had children, and, according to his obituary, he was survived by his sister Sophia Lee-Lubov, who lived in Florida.
The New York Shakespeare Festival Theater officiated Lee's memorial service ten days after his passing.

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