Sammy Lee

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b. 26 May 1890, New York City, New York, USA, d. 30 March 1968, Woodland Hills, New York, USA. After a brief period as an actor, Lee became a leading choreographer and musical director on Broadway. He…
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b. 26 May 1890, New York City, New York, USA, d. 30 March 1968, Woodland Hills, New York, USA. After a brief period as an actor, Lee became a leading choreographer and musical director on Broadway. He appeared on stage as Pietro in Rudolph Friml and Otto Harbach’s The Firefly (1912), singing ‘The Latest Thing From Paris’ with Ruby Norton as well as singing some ensemble numbers. During the early 20s he choreographed and also was responsible for the musical staging of several shows, among them The Gingham Girl (1922), Earl Carroll Vanities (1923, 1924), Sweet Little Devil and Lady, Be Good! (both 1924), and Tell Me More (1925). Also in 1925, a busy and successful year for Lee, he staged No, No, Nanette (which starred Louise Groody in the title role), The Cocoanuts (featuring the Marx Brothers), and Tip-Toes (starring Queenie Smith and Allen Kearns, and which also had Jeanette MacDonald in cast).

In the late 20s, Lee handled the musical staging of Queen High, Oh, Kay!, and choreographed Betsy, with Belle Baker in the title role (all 1926) and Rio Rita (1927). He directed Ziegfeld Follies Of 1927, choreographed Yes, Yes, Yvette and Show Boat (both 1927), and produced Cross My Heart (1928). In the early 30s he choreographed Singin’ The Blues (1931, a play with music), and was musical director of a 1932 revival of Show Boat. Among Lee’s work in Hollywood, he choreographed, in collaboration with Eddie Prinz, Fred Astaire’s film debut, Dancing Lady (1933).