Born as Lee Ann Remick in Quincy, Massachusetts on Decenber 14, 1935. She was the daughter of Francis Edwin Remick, a department store owner, and Margaret Patricia Waldo. She also had a brother named Bruce Waldo Remick.
Education and training
Lee Remick attended the Hewitt School, following which she attended Barnard College, where she studied acting. She also studied at the Actor's Studio, as well as training at the Swaboda Ballet School. Her first love was dance, but that was shadowed and finally overtaken by her acting career. She was also a capable singer, making her a very well rounded performer.
Making her way
Lee Remick first appeared on stage while still in school. Lee Remick was to make her Broadway debut in the 1953 production of Be Your Age.
Lee Remick started her film career in Elia Kazan's A Face In The Crowd in 1957. She played a baton-twirling southern teenager who won the heart of Lonesome Rhodes, played by a young Andy Griffith.
Her next film in 1958 was A Long Hot Summer in which she once again portrayed a southerner.
In 1959, when director Otto Preminger was casting his project Anatomy of a Murder, he demanded and got an interview with young Lee. She was still in her first steps as an actress, only 23 years old, and pregnant. Despite misgivings, he gave her a script to read and consider. Before she had finished, Preminger called her to tell her that he had hired Lana Turner, but offered her the second lead. She refused the stunned Preminger. She had her baby on January 28, and started to question her refusal. She was stunned to get a call from Gus Schirmer informing her that Preminger had fired Turner and that the part was hers. She hung up on Schermer, thinking it was a joke. He called back and pleaded with her to not hang up. The offer was real, and she went to California for filming.
Preminger had the reputation as a dictator who regularly ate actors and actresses for dinner. His towering rages and diatribes were legend, but he only had one encounter with Lee. She had trouble with her lines at one point and Preminger started to rant. He was shocked to find he got as good as he gave and never went to war with Remick again.
Anatomy of a Murder was to become one of the most popular films of 1959, and was the American entry into the Venice Film Festival. Lee Remick was nominated for a Golden Globe Best Actress Award and later recounts how that role was the one which 'made' her, establishing her career.
In 1962 Lee Remick starred with Jack Lemmon in Days of Wine and Roses. Her role as the alcoholic wife of Lemmon earned her an Academy Award nomination.
Lee Remick starred in the Broadway production of Wait Until Dark, which earned her a Tony Award nomination as Best Actress in 1966.
Part of Lee Remick's legacy was her refusal to do nude work. At a time when it seemed almost required for an actress to bare all, Lee bucked the trend. She was quoted as having said "Breasts and bottoms look boringly alike. Faces though, can be quite different and a damn sight more interesting!" She was strong enough in herself to take a stand for a vslue in which she believed.
In 1988 Lee Remick formed a production company along with Peter K. Duchow and James Garner.
Lee Remick married producer William Colleran in 1957. They had two children, first a daughter Katherine then a son Matthew. Lee Remick and Colleran divorced in 1968. She remarried in 1970 to British producer William Rory 'Kip' Gowans. She moved with him to England and remained wed to him until her death.
Lee Remick, in an eerie echo of her successful role as the alcoholic wife in Days of Wine and Roses, battled alcoholism. She also smoked, like many of her peers, and was later to contract lung cancer. Lee Remick discovered she had cancer in her kidneys and lungs in 1989 while filming in France. She underwent chemotherapy and had a brief remission before the disease returned in 1991. One of her last public appearances was on April 29, 1991 for the ceremony inducting her star into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her features were swollen from her medical treatments and she was very weak. Her co-star on Days of Wine and Roses Jack Lemmon attended to give his affection and support to his longtime friend.
Lee Remick died two months later on July 2, 1991. She was cremated at Westwood Memorial Park. Later, at her memorial service, Jack Lemmon was one of the speakers. Also eulogizing her was Gregory Peck. She was only 55 years old at her death.
Around the World in 80 Days
The Medusa Touch
A Girl Named Sooner
A Delicate Balance
Sometimes a Great Notion
No Way to Treat a Lady
The Hallelujah Trail
Baby the Rain Must Fall
The Wheeler Dealers
The Running Man
Days of Wine and Roses
Experiment in Terror
Anatomy of a Murder
The Long, Hot Summer
A Face in the Crowd
1959 – Nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress for 'Anatomy of a Murder.'
1963 – Nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress for 'Days of Wine and Roses.'
1963 – Won the Golden Globe as Best Actress for 'Days of Wine and Roses.'
1963 – Won the Prize San Sebastián as Best Actress for 'Days of Wine and Roses.'
1964 – Nominated for BAFTA Film Award as Best Foreign Actress for 'Days of Wine and Roses.'
1965 – Honored with the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award.
1966 - Nominated for an Antoinette Perry Award as Best Actress in a Drama for 'Wait Until Dark.'
1974 – Nominated for an Emmy as Best Actress for 'The Blue Knight.'
1974 – Won the Golden Globe for Best TV Actress for 'The Blue Knight.'
1974 – Nominated for an Emmy as Best Supporting Actress for 'QBVII.'
1974 – Won the BAFTA Film Award as Best Actress for 'Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill.'
1975 – Presented with an Honorary Degree by Emerson College in Massachusetts.
1976 - Nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in Limited Series for 'Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill.'
1976 – Won the Golden Globe for Best TV Actress for 'Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill.'
1979 – Nominated for an Emmy as Best Actress for 'Wheels.'
1980 – Nominated for Cannes Award as best actress for 'The Europeans.'
1981 – Nominated for an Emmy as Best Actress for 'Haywire.'
1981 – Won the Prix Genie Award as Best Performance by a Foreign Actress for 'Tribute.'
1981 – Won the Boston Theater District Award.
1982 – Presented the D. W. Griffith Award for Exemplifying the Highest Standards of Excellence on Television.
1983 – Nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for 'The Letter.'
1985 – Won the Cable Ace Award as Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical Role for 'I Do! I Do!'
1987 – Nominated for an Emmy as Best Actress for 'Eleanor: In Her Own Words.'
1988 – Nominated for an Emmy as Best Actress for Nutcracker: 'Money, Madness, Murder.'
1990 – Won the Women in Film Crystal Award.
1990 – Won the Women’s International Center Living Legacy Award.
1990 – Presented the Cancervive Victory Award for educating and inspiring others who are similarly afflicted.
1990 – Won the Jack Lemmon Award for outstanding contributions to the performing arts.
1991 – Awarded a Hollywood Walk of Fame star.
1991 – Won the International Winston Churchill Society Award for 'Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill.'