Lee Grant, British-born New Zealand actress, Died at 84

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Leonara Elizabeth Grant was born on August 3, 1931, in Carshalton, Surrey, England and died on July 22, 2016.

She was known professionally as Lee Grant or Miss Lee Grant.

She was an English-born New Zealand actress and singer.

She relocated to New Zealand in the 1960s and became a naturalized New Zealand citizen in December 1980.

Lee was best known as a stage actress in Auckland from the 1960s onwards, being particularly associated with the Mercury Theatre but also appeared with Chic Littlewood in cabaret performances, and in New Zealand’s first television sitcom, Buck House, in 1974.

Grant film appearances included Trial Run (1984) starring Annie Whittle, and Arriving Tuesday (1986).

Lee was also a singer, although she suffered a recurrent throat problem and underwent a minor throat operation in 1969.

Grant appeared in musicals at the Mercury including the 1975 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and as Velma Kelly in Chicago.

Other than singing and acting, Grant pursued a career as a choreographer, and was awarded a grant of $4000 by the Arts Council for a study trip to Canada.

During the 1991 Queen’s Birthday Honours Grant was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the theatre.

Lee moved to Perth, Western Australia, in 1994, but returned to New Zealand on a number of occasions to appear on stage or in television productions, including Three Tall Women with the Auckland Theatre Company in 1996, and the television drama, Coalface, in 1997, during which she was injured and subsequently required a hip replacement.

Lee Grant passed away at 84 years old.

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