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Pinky Lee


Comic who became the host of the favorite NBC children’s tv program, Vaudeville until his collapse throughout a live broadcast. He was a slapstick comic within the vaudeville stage, favoring the type off-color jokes that remaining many questioning about his changeover to children’s humor. Frequently operating 100-hour weeks, any risk of strain on his body finally swept up with him when he collapsed using a serious sinus strike in 1955; the systems, afraid he could collapse while watching kids again, had been reluctant to allow him back again on surroundings. He was created to his parents in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 1932 he wedded Bebe Dancis Lee plus they had two kids. Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman, structured his zany children’s present character almost specifically on his.

Quick Facts

Full Name Pinky Lee
Date Of Birth May 2, 1907
Died April 3, 1993, Mission Viejo, California, United States
Place Of Birth Saint Paul, MN
Profession TV Actor
Nationality American
Movies Ocean's 11, In Old Amarillo, South of Caliente, That's My Gal, One Exciting Week, Lady of Burlesque, Blonde Ransom
TV Shows The Pinky Lee Show
Star Sign Taurus

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

1Always maintained that his lisp was not an affectation, but was inherited, as there were several lispers on both sides of his family.
2Children: Patty and Morgan. His daughter, Patty, has one child, a daughter.
3Wild burlesque comic whose silly, childish routines worked perfectly as the manic host of a children's show. His program, The Pinky Lee Show (1950) proved a solid lead-in to the long-running Howdy Doody (1954) in the 50s.
4Plagued by parental complaints that his frenetic kiddie show caused their children to misbehave, NBC tone down Pinky's show by limiting the destruction of property, bad grammar, squirting seltzer water, throwing things, name-calling and other antisocial behavior.
5Pee Wee Herman (aka Paul Reubens) and his show, Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986) was lifted almost 100% from Pinky Lee -- right down to the little slanted window on the set, the ill-fitting checked suit, the laugh, the hat, the behavior, even the eyebrows. The resemblance was eerie.
6One of the hardest-working men in TV, Pinky collapsed live on the air in 1955 in what appeared to be a heart attack, but was later discovered as a severe sinus attack. When he regained his health and attempted to return, the TV networks were not receptive and his career went downhill fast. They were afraid he might once again collapse in front of thousands of children on THEIR station.
7Often the punchline of other comedian's jokes, one Broadway critic called him "the comedian that comedians hate" because of his brash, over-the-top persona.
8Later years were spent on the The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) (aka "Ed Sullivan Show"), Bob Hope specials, game shows, and the burlesque and dinner theatre circuit.



Here It Is, Burlesque!1979TV MovieSkits
The ABC Comedy Hour1972TV Series
Ocean's 111960Pinky Lee (scenes deleted)
The Pinky Lee Show1957TV SeriesPinky Lee
The Gumby Show1956TV SeriesHost (1957)
Hawaiian Nights1954ShortPinky - the Valet
Those Two1951TV SeriesRegular
Pals of the Golden West1951Photographer Pinky
South of Caliente1951Pinky
In Old Amarillo1951Pinky Lee
That's My Gal1947Harry Coleman
One Exciting Week1946Itchy
Blonde Ransom1945Pinky Lee
Earl Carroll Vanities1945Pinky Price
Lady of Burlesque1943Mandy
Dental Follies1937ShortDentist



Hawaiian Nights1954Short performer: "Kumu in the Muumuu"
Earl Carroll Vanities1945performer: "Rockabye Boogie", "The Last Man in Town"



The Mike Douglas Show1965-1980TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
The Merv Griffin Show1965-1966TV SeriesHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1951-1960TV SeriesHimself / Comedian
Musical Chairs1955TV SeriesHimself
Stump the Stars1953TV Series
The Pinky Lee Show1950TV SeriesHimself - Host
The Pinky Lee Show1950TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Host
Cavalcade of Stars1949TV SeriesHimself - Guest Comedian

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameTelevisionOn 8 February 1960. At 6201 Hollywood Blvd.

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1I was the cleanest comedian in burlesque. I don't sing any love songs. I'm never in love. No Jane Russell type jokes. No violence. There are no gestures alluring to the derrière or other parts of the anatomy. Words like 'lousy' or 'stinker' are absolutely verboten. It's a happy, wholesome show.
2If I've done nothing else, I've at least left some love with children who have grown up. I've reached a very great height to say I've touched people's hearts and I've stayed there.

1Garish plaid suit, checkered baggy pants and hat, and a huge lisp

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