Image of Mary Lee

Mary Lee

Mary Lee was born on October 24, 1924 in Centralia, Illinois, USA as Mary Lee Wooters. She was an actress, known for Ridin' on a Rainbow (1941), Nancy Drew... Reporter(1939) and Three Little Sisters (1944). She was married to Harry J. Banan. She died on June 6, 1996 in Sacramento, California, USA. Interred at Sierra Hills Memorial Park in Sacramento, California. Appeared in a few short features for Republic in 1941, including one entitled Meet the Stars #5: Hollywood Meets the Navy (1941). Frequent sagebrush co-star for Gene Autry in the 40s. A CD of her rare soundtrack performances was issued by Varese Sarabande and is available from the Gene Autry Museum. Mary Lee had two sisters, Vera and Norma Jean, who were also performers. Ted Weems saw them perform together and hired Mary Lee to sing with the Ted Weems Orchestra for two years in the late '30s. Later, Vera worked as a secretary in Gene Autry's office, and Norma Jean also became an actress in Westerns. Republic Studios promoted Mary as "America's Little Sweetheart". The middle of three daughters born to an Illinois barber. The three girls did a singing sister act for local events. Mary quickly went solo as a teenager and was later signed up for Ted Weems Orchestra. Appeared in nine Gene Autry westerns as a teenager in which she sang and provided mild comedy relief. The singing cowboy heard her on a Ted Weems radio broadcast and influenced Republic to sign her up. She later appeared on Autry's radio show "Melody Ranch" and when Autry went off to war duty, appeared in a couple of Roy Rogers westerns. One sister, Vera, later worked as a secretary for Autry's Flying "A" Productions. The other, Norma Jean, also acted in westerns. Had two children, Harry Philip and Laura L., with husband Harry J. Banan. She retired from films not long after they married. In later years she worked at Bank of America.

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Oct 24, 1924 In Centralia, Illinois
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Nancy Drew... Reporter 1939-02-18
Latest Project:
Movie Song of Nevada 1944-08-05
Known For
Poster of The Singing Hill
Poster of Melody Ranch
Poster of Gaucho Serenade
Poster of South of the Border
Movie Song of Nevada Kitty Hanley 1944-08-05
Movie Cowboy and the Senorita Chip Williams 1944-05-13
Movie Three Little Sisters Sue Scott 1944-07-31
Movie Shantytown Elizabeth 'Liz' Gorty 1943-04-20
Movie Nobody's Darling Janie Farnsworth 1943-08-27
Movie Back in the Saddle Patsy 1941-03-14
Movie Ridin' on a Rainbow Patsy Evans 1941-01-24
Movie The Singing Hill Patsy 1941-04-25
Movie Angels with Broken Wings Mary Wilson 1941-05-27
Movie Carolina Moon Patsy Stanhope 1940-07-14
Movie Rancho Grande Patsy Dodge 1940-03-22
Movie Gaucho Serenade Patsy Halloway 1940-05-09
Movie Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride Patsy Randolph 1940-09-05
Movie Melody Ranch Penny Curtis 1940-09-15
Movie Melody and Moonlight Ginger O'Brien 1940-10-10
Movie Barnyard Follies Bubbles Martin 1940-10-05
Movie Nancy Drew... Reporter Mary Nickerson 1939-02-18
Movie South of the Border Patsy 1939-12-15