Biography

Barely 20-years old, singer/actress Michele Lee first captivated Broadway in 1962 when she replaced Bonnie Scott as Rosemary Pilkington in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Michele remained with the show until 1964, then repeated her role in the 1967 film version. After playing innocuous leading ladies in Disney's The Love Bug (1968) and Carl Reiner's The Comic (1969), she returned to the stage, winning an Outer Circle Critics Award and a Tony nomination for her performance in the 1973 musical Seesaw. She went on to play Mrs. Lou Costello in the 1978 TV biopic Bud and Lou, then in 1979 landed her signature role: Karen Fairgate McKenzie on the nighttime soap opera Knot's Landing. During her 14-year run on this series, she was honored with dozens of industry and fan-magazine awards, including the coveted Emmy. In 1995, she scored a personal triumph (and revealed a whole new facet of her singing skills) in the title role of the made-for-TV biopic Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story (1995). From 1966 to 1983, Michele Lee was married to actor James Farentino. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi