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|Born||Alverta La Pallo
February 14, 1938
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||May 25, 2014
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Daniel Edward Chamberlin (m. 1960; died 1999)|
Chamberlin was born in 1938 in New York City. She was the daughter of Ida Roberta (née Small) and Bernando LaPallo (1901- present)the centenarian author of Age Less/Live More. He is also the world's oldest blogger.
She attended elementary school at Convent of the Sacred Heart School in Harlem. Later she studied at NYU and the Sorbonne in Paris, France, receiving honors for her mastery of both written and oral French grammar. She went on to hone her acting skills at HB Studios in New York and studied with Uta Hagen.
Lee began her career on stage in Slave ship (which was written by LeRoi Jones, who would later be known as Amiri Baraka) in 1968, followed by Do Your Own Thing, a musical loosely based on Shakespeare and The Believers. She was cast as Cordelia to James Earl Jones's King Lear in 1974 at Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park Festival in New York City's Delacorte Theatre. The production also featured Raúl Julia, Ellen Holly, Rosalind Cash, and Paul Sorvino. Later, Chamberlin went to win six AUDELCO Awards for Excellence in Black Theater on November 21, 1988, for the direction of her own musical play Struttin’, which was performed under the aegis of Rosetta LeNoir AMAS Repertory Theater, located on West 104th Street. From February 10–14, 2010, the Kitchen Theater Company in Ithaca, New York, presented Chamberlin's on- woman reading Objects in the Mirror…(are closer than they seem), which was directed by Rachel Lampert. In 2011, Chamberlin founded a non-profit organization called Lee Chamberlin's Playwrights' Inn Project Inc., establishing it in France to nurture the work of African American playwrights. Theatre was her first love. “The reciprocity between the actor and the live audience, the immediacy of contact with them creates a living organism that breathes and pulses and makes one feel very alive.”
Chamberlin was a regular performer during the first two years of the esteemed series The Electric Company, and she made guest appearances in the television series What's Happening!!, Diff'rent Strokes, and NYPD Blue. In 1979, she played the wife of James Earl Jones's character on the short-lived police drama Paris. Most notably she played Odile Harris in ROOTS The Next Generations (1979) as Alex Haley's love interest played by James Earl Jones. Her first recurring role in a major television sitcom was as Lucy Daniels in "All's Fair" from 1976 to 1977, which starred Richard Crenna and Bernandette Peters. In the 1970s she appeared on shows like "Lou Grant" starring Ed Asner, and "James at 16". In the early 1980s, she appeared as Karen Weaver "The Secrets of Midland Heights" and on the TV show "The White Shadow" (1980). Other guest spots in the 1980s included Ryan's Four and Beat Street. In 1994; she played Commander Della Thorne Viper (TV Series) In 1998 C-16: FBI (TV Series) as Professor Robinson and as Dr Timmi in The Practice (TV Series), and as Judge Leslie Battles in "To Have and To Hold". In 1999, she made guest appearances on "Moesha", NewsRadio as Mrs Leveaux. In 2000 she appeared in "City of Angels" (TV Series) and "Any Day Now" (TV Series) as Mrs. Samuels. In 2002, she appeared on "Touched by An Angel" starring Della Reese, "Judging Amy" and "First Monday" in the role of Ms. Marks.
She had a prominent role in the film Uptown Saturday Night, in which she portrayed the memorable Madame Zenobia. She also starred in the film Let's Do it Again, the follow-up film to Uptown Saturday Night. Her very first role in film was a small part in "Up the Sandbox" starring Barbra Streisand. She also appeared in several made for television movies including Long Journey Back (1978), Brave New World (1980), Once Upon A Family (1980). Her final film role was in "Habeaus Corpus" (2013) where she played Nadine in this short film directed by Booker T. Mattison
From 1983 to 1995, Chamberlin portrayed Pat Baxter, the mother of the popular character Angela Baxter Hubbard on the ABC soap opera All My Children. In 1997, she appeared in Sparks (TV Series) as Abigail and in "Diagnosis Murder" (TV Series) as Judge Gwen Mosford.
- Slotnick, Daniel E. (1 June 2014). "Lee Chamberlin, ‘Electric Company’ Actress, Dies at 76". The New York Times.
- "Lee Chamberlin Biography". www.filmreference.com. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
- Staff (May 29, 2014). "Actress and Playwright Lee Chamberlin Passes Away at 76". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- http://www.lansingstar.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5770&Itemid=67&date=2010-07-01[dead link]
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