Lee Purcell

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Not to be confused with Leah Purcell.
Lee Purcell
Lee Purcell in September 2012.jpg
Purcell in September 2012
Born Lee Jeune Williams
(1947-06-15) June 15, 1947 (age 67)
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1970–present
Website
http://www.leepurcell.com/

Lee Purcell (born Lee Jeune Williams; June 15, 1947) is an American actress who appeared in films of the 1970s and early 1980s including Mr. Majestyk, Big Wednesday, Stir Crazy, and Valley Girl.

Early life[edit]

Purcell was born at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina.[1] Her father, an aviator and Marine major, died when Purcell was a young child. She then lived with her grandparents[2] until her mother married Navy doctor Don Purcell. She has a sister, Paige.[3] Like many service personnel relatives, Purcell and her family moved multiple times to different states and military bases.[2] After the military service ended, they eventually settled in Paragould, Arkansas, where Purcell spent most of her youth. She graduated from their high school in 1965[3] and attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri as a dance and theatre student.[4][5][6] [7]

Career[edit]

Purcell in 1970

Purcell made her debut as a performer at five years of age, appearing on a Memphis, Tennessee TV show.[8] After being expelled from Stephens College, Purcell[4] arrived in California in 1967[9] and studied acting. Casting off her southern accent was another goal she successfully worked on.[10] Purcell supported herself by working in commercials[7] and selling clothes at a disco.[10] In 1969 Purcell was personally chosen for her first feature film by Steve McQueen in his company's production of Adam at Six A.M., co-starring Michael Douglas.[11] Asked to explain why he picked Purcell among nearly 500 other available actresses, McQueen said...

[12]

Purcell at the 1994 Emmy Awards

In the early 1970s Purcell temporarily moved to England, studying acting in London[13] under the private training of Professor Margot Lister.[14] During this time she frequently returned to the United States to act in American movies and TV shows.[15] Years later, she told a reporter..."I had a great time. I thought it was a permanent move. But I wasn't allowed to work there and it became difficult to go elsewhere to work."[10]

Her television work included roles as Billie Dove and Olivia de Havilland in two biopic TV movies: The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977)[16] and My Wicked, Wicked Ways...the Legend of Errol Flynn (1985).[17] Purcell was nominated for two Emmy Awards. 1991 in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress for Long Road Home starring opposite Mark Harmon[18] and 1994 as Outstanding Supporting Actress for Secret Sins of the Father starring opposite Beau Bridges and Lloyd Bridges, directed by Beau Bridges.[19] She was co-producer, and starred in the 1998 low-budget cable-TV movie Malaika (alternate title Tons of Trouble.)[20][21]

Personal life[edit]

She appeared together with her son Dylan Purcell in A Woman's Guide to Firearms, Malaika and The Unknown (alternate title Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch.)[22]

Purcell has performed narrations of poetry and fiction in front of live audiences.[23][24][25] She is a former NRA (National Rifle Association) director[26][27] and has been involved with Scientology.[28]

In December 2010 Purcell launched an interactive fashion and beauty website, BoomerBabes, that is geared towards women over 40 and Baby Boomer women born between 1946-1964.[29]

Charity work[edit]

Purcell is on the board of directors for Heart of a Horse, a non profit organization which seeks to rescue and rehabilitate abused and neglected horses. [30]

Filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Year Film Role Director
1970 Adam at Six A.M. Jerri Jo Hopper Robert Scheerer
1972 Dirty Little Billy Berle Stan Dragoti
Stand Up and Be Counted Karen Hammond Jackie Cooper
Necromancy Priscilla Bert I. Gordon
1973 Kid Blue Molly Ford James Frawley
1974 Mr. Majestyk Wiley Richard Fleischer
1978 Big Wednesday Peggy Gordon John Milius
Almost Summer Christine Alexander Martin Davidson
1980 Stir Crazy Susan Sidney Poitier
1982 Airplane II: The Sequel Mrs. Seluchi (Deleted Scene) Ken Finkleman
Homework Ms. Jackson James Beshears
1983 Eddie Macon's Run Jilly Buck Jeff Kanew
Valley Girl Beth Brent Martha Coolidge
1985 Space Rage Maggie Conrad E. Palmisano
1996 Movies, Money, Murder Lilah Stephen Eckelberry, Arthur Webb
1998 Dizzyland Dennis Hackin
2005 The Unknown aka Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch Doris Winslow Karl Kozak

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1970 Marcus Welby, M.D. Cathy Cullen Made a second appearance in 1972, as 'Carol Lockett'
Bonanza Angie
The Young Rebels Maggie Todd
1972 Medical Center Liza
1973 Cannon Marian Luke Made two additional appearances in 1975, various characters
Hijack Eileen Noonan TV movie
1974 Wide World Mystery Donna
The Rockford Files Susan Parsons
1975 The Waltons Bobby Strom
Insight Tracy
Barnaby Jones Kathy Cooper Made a second appearance in 1977, as 'Peggy Giroux'
1976 Hawaii Five-O Molly Taggert Made a second appearance in 1977, same character
Jigsaw John Virginia Sand
1977 The Amazing Howard Hughes Billie Dove TV movie
The Streets of San Francisco Carol Revson
1978 Stranger in Our House aka Summer of Fear Julia Trent TV movie
1979 Murder in Music City aka The Country Western Murders Samantha Hunt TV movie
A Man Called Sloane Michele Blake
1980 Kenny Rogers as the Gambler Jennie Reed TV movie
My Wife Next Door Lisa Pallick Pilot for proposed TV series
The Secret War of Jackie’s Girls Casey McCann TV movie
1981 The Girl, the Gold Watch and Dynamite Bonnie Lee Beaumont TV movie and pilot for proposed TV series
Killing at Hell’s Gate Jane Pasco TV movie
1982 The Phoenix Cindy Houghton
1985 Magnum, P.I. Goldie Morris
Murder, She Wrote Joanna Benson Made four additional appearances in 1986, 1989 and 1994, various characters
My Wicked, Wicked Ways...the Legend of Errol Flynn Olivia de Havilland TV movie
Hollywood Beat Maggie
1986 Betrayed by Innocence Sharon DeLeon TV movie
1987 Matlock Andrea Colter
MacGyver Shadow
1988 To Heal a Nation Sandie TV movie
The Incredible Hulk Returns Maggie Shaw TV movie
Jake and the Fatman Pamela Parker
1989 Simon & Simon Colleen Huntley/Missy Taylor
1990 Shades of LA Alex Taylor
1991 Long Road Home Bessie Robertson TV movie
1994 Secret Sins of the Father Ann Thielman TV movie
1995 Due South Louise St. Laurent Made five additional appearances in 1995 and 1996, same character
Dazzle Red TV movie
The Magic of Christmas Herself Holiday special
1998 Promised Land Beth Hixon
Malaika aka Tons of Trouble Molly DeMornay TV movie
2010 Persons Unknown Eleanor Sullivan Mini-series. Five appearances

Special projects[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Road to Freedom: L. Ron Hubbard and Friends Herself (singer) Video short and record album
1987 A Woman's Guide to Firearms Herself Instructional video
Your First Gun- A Family Guide To Shooting The mother Instructional video
1988 The Married Couple Video short
1992 The Joke Jane 35mm short
1997 This World, Then the Fireworks ADR work (additional dialogue recording)
2006 White Picket Fence Bonnie Durley Super 16mm short

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Willis' Screen World, Volume 32
  2. ^ a b About Lee Purcell
  3. ^ a b Usgennet.org "Paragould Took Hats Off For Lee Purcell"
  4. ^ a b http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1917&dat=19690926&id=qeNKAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rOkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=742,5827006
  5. ^ Columbia Missourian January 15, 1967 “Picnic in 2nd Week at Stephens”
  6. ^ Columbia Missourian September 21, 1969 “Adam Travels to Excelsior Springs”
  7. ^ a b Columbia Missourian November 26, 1972 “Success for Lee Purcell”
  8. ^ Filmreference.com--Lee Purcell Biography
  9. ^ The Sumter Daily Item-Dec 26, 1969
  10. ^ a b c Daily News, Bowling Green, KY May 8, 1981
  11. ^ 30 Years Ago Today: Actress Lee Purcell Remembers Her Mentor, Steve McQueen (2010 Internet interview)
  12. ^ Beaver County Times, September 25, 1969
  13. ^ Sun Sentinel-Fort Lauderdale February 26, 1985
  14. ^ Spotlight: Lee Purcell
  15. ^ Class Actress: An Interview with Lee Purcell (2009 Internet interview)
  16. ^ Times Daily April 11, 1977
  17. ^ Lakeland Ledger January 20, 1985
  18. ^ SunSentinel July 19, 1991
  19. ^ Los Angeles Times-Emmy Award Nominations July 22, 1994
  20. ^ inbaseline-Lee Purcell Credits
  21. ^ New York Times, production credits--Tons of Trouble
  22. ^ The Unknown-IMDb page
  23. ^ Saint Hill International Arts Festival
  24. ^ Poetic Preservation A group of actors will perform traditional and contemporary cowboy writings at the Gene Autry museum
  25. ^ The Golden Age Theater
  26. ^ Crossfire: The War Behind the Closed Doors of the NRA
  27. ^ The Gun Zone
  28. ^ Richardson, John (September 11, 1993). "The Scientology church of Hollywood". The Globe and Mail (Thomas Canada Limited): p. D5.
  29. ^ BoomerBabes.com
  30. ^ About Heart of a Horse

External links[edit]

Media related to Lee Purcell at Wikimedia Commons