Virginia Lee

Active - 1919 - 1928  |   Born - Jul 14, 1901   |   Died - Jan 14, 1996   |   Genres - Romance, Western, Action, Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

A former model for famed illustrator Howard Chandler Christy, blonde Virginia Lee enjoyed a hectic ten-year screen career supporting prominent stars like Norma Talmadge, Grace Darmond (in the Technicolor experiment The Gulf Between, 1918), and Marguerite Clark while starring opposite lesser names such as Louis Bennison (twice) and Franklyn Farnum. In 1918 real-life outlaw Emmett Dalton chose Lee to be his leading lady in the self-produced Beyond the Law, a romantic whitewashing of the Dalton gang's crimes; and she was Franklyn Farnum's girl in a dozen or so low-budget Westerns filmed in and around Tulsa, OK, in 1920. Lee later claimed to have been the first Miss America in the 1921 contest known as the Atlantic City Beauty Pageant but she lost the title because one of the promoters "had a girl that he had put in -- he promised her she would win it." In reality, Lee was more likely stripped of the title when it became known that she had married entrepreneur Bill Boyer. Retiring in 1923, Lee was persuaded back for one more, The Adorable Cheat (1928), a low-budget effort from Chesterfield starring Lila Lee (no relation). A different Virginia Lee danced in films and on television in the late '40s and 1950s.