Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from K-O

Lee, Canada (1907–1951)

play career country radio

LEE, CANADA (1907–1951). Actor, civil rights activist. Born in Manhattan, New York, as Leonard Corneliou Caneagata, he studied violin as a boy but always longed to be a jockey. He became a prizefighter instead, winning 90 out of 100 fights, which included the national amateur lightweight title. He turned professional in 1926, winning 175 out of 200 fights, until a detached retina brought his successful ring career to an end. Lee struggled along as a musician until he landed his first acting role in the Work Projects Administration stage play Brother Moses in 1934. A major career break came in 1941, when Orson Welles cast him to play Bigger Thomas in the stage version of Native Son , based on the Richard Wright novel. Lee’s voice narrated the landmark radio series New World A Comin’ in 1944, which addressed the question of race in America. That same year, he appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Lifeboat , 1944, the Broadway play Anna Lucasta , and worked as master of ceremonies for several war-related programs on NBC radio. Lee was blacklisted for speaking out against racism and discrimination in the industry after he was labeled as being a communist agent. He would later star in Cry, the Beloved Country , 1951, a British production, and the first film to address the deplorable conditions of apartheid in South Africa.

Filmography: Keep Punching , 1939; Lifeboat , 1944; Body and Soul , 1947; Lost Boundaries , 1949; Cry, the Beloved Country , 1951.

Lee, J. Kenneth(1923–) - Chronology, Integrates Law School [next] [back] Lederberg, Joshua

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or