Grandma Lee performing in 2009
May 29, 1934 |
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Years active||c. 1999–present|
|Spouse||Ben Strong (c. 1958–1995; his death)|
Lee was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Once married to a career Marine, named Ben Strong, she spent the next several years raising their four children and traveling around the world. As her kids grew up, Lee worked a series of jobs, including newspaper reporting and as a phone operator for directory assistance. In May 1995, Lee lost her husband to cancer. To help her manage, Lee began attending a local comedy workshop. Since then, she has been making people laugh all around the country.
America's Got Talent
In 2009, at age 75, Lee participated on the reality series America's Got Talent. Although she made it to the top 10, she was in the bottom 5 and was eliminated from the competition. She told People that “the material is based on the truth. I go up there and wing it… but I had to clean it up for the show. I won’t say a cuss word or anything to jeopardize [myself]. I can do clean or edgy.”
At her Houston audition, one of her jokes was: "I've decided when I die, I want to be cremated and have my ashes sprinkled over the Krispy Kreme. That way I know my fat daughter-in-laws will come down and visit me a couple times a week." With positive feedback from the judges and a cheering audience encore, she has gained 90 seconds of fame instantly. The judges said that they loved her timing, the material was great and that it was an honor to have her on the show. Her sassy and quick witted sense of humor has gained her notoriety. The material she used on the show included sexual innuendo, her family, and the judges.
- Bull, Roger. "Jacksonville's Grandma Lee shows she's 'Got Talent' — tonight on NBC". Jacksonville.com. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Katsilometes, John. "Closing in on 76, Grandma Lee is speaking the universal language". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- "Will comedian Grandma Lee win America's Got Talent?". Punchline Magazine. September 3, 2009.