Lee Patrick was born November 22, 1901. You will see history of her that state the year of her birth as 1911. When she went into acting, it was decided that she would hide 10 years of age. This fact was discovered after her death.
Lee was born and raised in New York city. Lee's father was an editor of a trade paper. It is felt that this is what prompted her interest in theater. Her acting debut came in 1924 when she was cast for a role in the Broadway play "The Green Beetle". She continued enjoyed a successful stage career.
Her film debut came in 1929 when she was casted as Diana Foster in "Strange Cargo". She had a contract with Warner Brothers in the 1940's. She appeared in over 65 films portraying a range of roles from brash, sassy, touch, cynical females roles to ditsy, funny light roles. She was casted for roles in musicals, dramas, and comedies. However, her best known role of that period remains that of Effie, the wry, altruistic 'girl Friday' to Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade, in the classic The Maltese Falcon (1941).
In addition, Lee found time to do radio. She had a running part on "The O'Neils." Now as she was becoming a middle aged actress, she blossomed. She turned toward comedy and eccentric roles. She was casted in Topper (1953), Pillow Talk (1959), and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964) to name a few.
Finally, Lee decided to retire in the 1960's. She travelled and painted. But was coaxed more time to revive her Effie role in the "Maltese Falcon" spoof The Black Bird (1975).
She was happily married to writer Tom Wood from 1937 until her death in 1982. She died November 21, in Laguna, California from a heart seizure. The couple never had children.