Lee Patrick Biography

Place of Birth: New York City, New York
Height: 5' 3½" (1.61 m)
Wiki Biography: Lee Patrick could play a tough, scrapping, hard-bitten dame as she did in the gritty women's prison drama Caged (1950), or the meek and twittery socialite wife as exemplified as Doris Upson in the freewheeling farce Auntie Mame (1958). The versatile character actress had plenty of places to go in films and TV and she did, for over five decades. Born in New York City in 1901, Lee's father was an editor of a trade paper who prompted her interest in theater. She started off on the stock stage as a teen and debuted on Broadway in The Green Beetle (1924), becoming a long and popular NY stage presence during the 20s and early 30s with such scene-stealing roles in June Moon, Little Women, Blessed Event and Stage Door. Good notices in the last play led to an RKO contract and steady secondary film work starting in 1937. By the 40s she had became an invaluable Warner Bros. stock player enhancing such movies as The Sisters (1938), Saturday's Children (1940), Dangerously They Live (1941), Now, Voyager (1942), Mrs. Parkington (1944), and Mildred Pierce (1945). However, probably her best known role of that period was that of Effie, the wry, altruistic Girl Friday to 'Humphrey Bogart (I)' 's Sam Spade in the classic The Maltese Falcon (1941). Lee also found time to do radio with a running part on The O'Neils. During her potboiler run at Warners, she seemed to play everything with a biting, cynical edge, from nurses to floozies, but in the mid-50s the now matronly actress suddenly seemed to blossom before our very eyes into a dithery and obtuse Billie Burke-like delight as she geared herself toward comedy eccentrics. TV got a heads up on this angle when she played society doyenne Henrietta Topper, the flighty, quivery-voiced wife of Leo G. Carroll on the popular ghostly sitcom "Topper" (1953) which ran from 1953 to 1955. And there would be other fun and fluttery turns in Pillow Talk (1959) and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964), to name a couple. In the mid-1960s Lee retired to travel and paint, but was coaxed back one more time to revive her role of Effie in the Maltese Falcon spoof The Black Bird (1975). The only one joining her from the original cast was Elisha Cook Jr.. Long and happily married to newsman-writer Tom Wood of "The Lighter Side of Billy Wilder," Lee was plagued by health problems in later years and died of a heart seizure in 1982. They had no children.

Lee PatrickPhotos & Pictures

Filmography

TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Caged Elvira Powell 1950 Crime
Boss Lady 1952 Comedy
Jedwards Big Adventure Mrs. Maggie Biederhof 2011 Comedy
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Crashing Hollywood 1938 Comedy, Crime
Invisible Stripes 1939 Crime, Drama
City for Conquest 1940 Crime, Drama, Music
The Maltese Falcon Effie Perine 1941 Crime, Mystery
In This Our Life 1942 Drama
Now, Voyager 1942 Drama, Romance
Jitterbugs 1943 Comedy
Gambler's Choice Fay Lawrence 1944
Mrs. Parkington 1944
Mother Wore Tights 1947
The Snake Pit 1948 Drama
Caged 1950 Crime, Drama
The Fuller Brush Girl 1950 Comedy
Vertigo Car Owner Mistaken for Madeleine 1958 Crime, Mystery, Romance
Auntie Mame Doris Upson 1958 Comedy, Drama
Pillow Talk 1959 Comedy, Romance
Summer and Smoke 1961
7 Faces of Dr. Lao 1964 Fantasy, Mystery