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); 4 children|
She was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1934. After graduating from Otterbein College in Ohio, she a married a career Marine, Ben Strong. The couple moved around the world as he fulfilled his military duties, raising four children along the way. They were living in Homestead, Florida in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew destroyed their home. They moved to Jacksonville, where, in 1995, her husband died of cancer. They had been married for 37 years. Lee later a buyout from her job as a phone operator for Bell South.
America's Got Talent
In 2009, she 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 in the finale on September 16, 2009. 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 daughters-in-law will come down and visit me a couple times a week."
- 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.