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Jane and Katherine Lee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Katherine (left) and Jane Lee c. 1924
Katherine (left) and Jane Lee c. 1924

Jane Lee (1912–1957) and Katherine Lee (1909–1968), sisters, were child stars in silent motion pictures and vaudeville theatre.[1] They were also known as the "Baby Grands," "Lee Kids," or the "Fox Kiddies" for their appearances in Fox Film productions.[2]

The Lee sisters were the children of American juggler Tommy Banahan and Irene Lee, an Irish dancer and occasional actor.[3][4][5] During Tommy and Irene's European tour, Katherine was born in Berlin, Germany on February 14, 1909, and Jane born February 15, 1912, in either Dublin, Ireland,[3] or Glasgow, Scotland.[6] The sisters appeared in the original Neptune's Daughter, filmed in 1914. In 1915, Jane appeared with Valeska Suratt in The Soul of Broadway at Fox Studios. They both appeared in A Daughter of the Gods (1916), with Katherine's dramatic performance earning praise as a "child prodigy" and a "three-foot Fiske."[7] In 1917, Jane and Katherine starred in two of Fox's "kiddie films", Troublemakers and Two Little Imps.[8] In 1919, the Lee sisters made the list in the Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll.[9]

The Lee sisters continued to act in silent films through 1919. They appeared in Swat the Spy (1918), Tell It to the Marines (1918), and Smiles (1919). Jane and Katherine continued performing in vaudeville throughout the 1920s and into early 1930s. Jane later had uncredited roles in the sound motion pictures Knock on Any Door (1949), Cheaper By the Dozen (1950), and Comin' Round The Mountain (1951).[2]

Jane married actor James E. Grant in New York on April 5, 1933,[10] and they divorced in 1937.[11] She died in New York's St. Clare's Hospital on March 7, 1957; her married name at the time was St. John.[1] Katherine married Ray Miller of New York,[12] and died in 1968.[6]

Partial filmography

Jane and Katherine starred in Trouble Makers (1917)
Jane and Katherine starred in Trouble Makers (1917)
Jane and Katherine in Tell It to the Marines (1918)
Jane and Katherine in Tell It to the Marines (1918)
Year Title Appearance Notes
1913 The Return of Tony Katherine
1914 The Scales of Justice Katherine
1914 The Old Rag Doll Jane and Katherine
1914 When the Heart Calls Jane and Katherine Short
1914 Neptune's Daughter Jane and Katherine
1914 His Prior Claim Jane Short
1915 A Life in the Balance Jane and Katherine
1915 The Studio of Life Jane and Katherine
1915 The Clemenceau Case Jane
1915 Tony Jane
1915 The Devil's Daughter Jane
1915 The Magic Toy Maker Jane and Katherine
1915 Silver Threads Among the Gold Jane and Katherine
1915 The Soul of Broadway Jane
1915 The Galley Slave Jane
1916 A Daughter of the Gods Jane and Katherine
1916 Daredevil Kate Jane and Katherine
1916 A Wife's Sacrifice Jane
1916 The Ragged Princess Jane and Katherine
1916 Romeo and Juliet Jane and Katherine
1916 Her Double Life Jane and Katherine
1916 Love and Hate Jane and Katherine
1917 Trouble Makers Jane and Katherine
1917 The Small Town Girl Jane
1917 Patsy Jane
1917 A Child of the Wild Jane and Katherine
1917 Two Little Imps Jane and Katherine
1917 Sister Against Sister Jane
1918 American Buds Jane and Katherine
1918 Dixie Madcaps Jane and Katherine
1918 Swat the Spy Jane and Katherine
1918 Tell It to the Marines Jane and Katherine
1919 Smiles Jane and Katherine
1919 Love Us, Love Our Dog Jane and Katherine
1922 A Pair of Aces Jane and Katherine Short
1924 The Side Show of Life Katherine
1949 Knock on Any Door Jane Uncredited
1950 Cheaper by the Dozen Jane Uncredited
1951 Comin' Round the Mountain Jane Uncredited

See also


  1. ^ a b "Jane Lee Is Dead at 45". The New York Times. March 20, 1957. p. 37. Mrs. St. John Was Child Film Star Forty Years Ago
  2. ^ a b Massa, Steve (2017). Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy. BearManor Media. pp. 1836–1842.
  3. ^ a b Fitzpatrick, Kevin C. (March 19, 2015). "Thomas Banahan, The Forgotten Stage Dad".
  4. ^ Lysaght, Dan J. (June 15, 1924). "Misses novelty acts". The Standard Union. p. 25.
  5. ^ "The Fearless "Lee Kids"". Motography. Vol. 15 no. 21. May 20, 1916. p. 1158.
  6. ^ a b Liebman, Roy (2015). Vitaphone Films: A Catalogue of the Features and Shorts. McFarland. pp. 368–369. ISBN 9781476609362.
  7. ^ "Baby Actress a Prodigy". The Washington Times. December 31, 1916. p. 6 – via Library of Congress.
  8. ^ Solomon, Aubrey (2014). The Fox Film Corporation, 1915-1935: A History and Filmography. McFarland. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-786-48610-6.
  9. ^ Weaver, William R. (September 28, 1940). "The money-making stars of a quarter of a century". Motion Picture Herald. pp. 123–124.
  10. ^ "Marriages". Variety. April 11, 1933. p. 51.
  11. ^ "News from the Dailies: Coast". Variety. Vol. 127 no. 10. August 18, 1937. p. 78. James Grant, screen player, won a divorce from Jane Lee, actress, in L.A.
  12. ^ Vazzana, Eugene Michael (1995). Silent Film Necrology: Births and Deaths of Over 9000 Performers, Directors, Producers, and Other Filmmakers of the Silent Era, Through 1993. McFarland. p. 193. ISBN 9780786401321.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 August 2021, at 00:35
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