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|Also Known As:||Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata||Died:||May 8, 1952|
|Born:||March 3, 1907||Cause of Death:||heart attack|
|Birth Place:||New York City, New York, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor boxer orchestra leader jockey violinist|
One of the premier black stage actors of the late 1930s and 40s. A former jockey, violinist, orchestra leader and boxer before settling down to acting in 1936, Lee made his debut with the WPA's Federal Theater Project in Harlem, winning acclaim for his performance as Banquo in Orson Welles' all-black "Macbeth" in 1936. He took Broadway by storm with his explosive performance as Bigger Thomas in the legendary stage adaptation of Richard Wright's "Native Son" in 1944. In his Hollywood debut, Alfred Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" (1944), Lee won notice for the quiet authority and intelligence of his heroic ship's steward.
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