Known for movies

Short Info

DiedMay 9, 1952, New York City, New York, United States
SpouseFrances Pollack Lee, Juanita Waller Lee
FactCompiled a professional boxing record of 33-31-7 with 13 knockouts.

Canada Lee (March 3, 1907 – May 9, 1952) was an American actor, singer, and dancer. He was one of the first African American actors to gain mainstream success in Hollywood.

Born Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata in New York City, Lee was the son of Jamaican immigrants. His father was a musician and his mother was a domestic worker. Lee began his career as a vaudeville performer and later transitioned to acting.

Lee’s breakout role came in the 1941 film The Jungle Book, in which he played the lead character, Mowgli. He also appeared in the 1943 film adaptation of the musical Carmen Jones. Lee’s other film credits include Life with Father (1947), Lost Boundaries (1949), and The Crimson Kimono (1959).

Lee was married twice and had four children. His first marriage was to actress Louise Beavers, with whom he had two daughters. His second marriage was to dancer Freda Washington, with whom he had two sons.

Lee died of a heart attack in 1952 at the age of 45.

General Info

Full NameCanada Lee
DiedMay 9, 1952, New York City, New York, United States
ProfessionDisc jockey, Actor, Musician, Jockey, Professional Boxer


SpouseFrances Pollack Lee, Juanita Waller Lee


MoviesCry, the Beloved Country, Body and Soul, Lifeboat, Keep Punching

Social profile links


1Boxed a 10 round draw with Middleweight champion Vince Dundee in 1928.
2Lost to world champions Jack Britton, Tommy Freeman, and Lou Brouillard.
3Compiled a professional boxing record of 33-31-7 with 13 knockouts.
4Fought as a professional boxer from 1926-1933.
5Victim of the blacklisting era of the 1950s.
6Father of Carl Lee.




Cry, the Beloved Country1951Reverend Stephen Kumalo
The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre1950TV SeriesPolice Officer
Lost Boundaries1949Lt. 'Dixie' Thompson
Body and Soul1947Ben Chaplin
Lifeboat1944Joe Spencer
Keep Punching1939Speedy Joe Williams (Henry's Trainer)


Lifeboat1944performer: "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" 1942, "Du, Du, Liegst Mir im Herzen" - uncredited


The Roosevelt Story1947DocumentaryNarrator - Voice of the Depression (voice)
Ask the OPA1945Documentary short
Henry Browne, Farmer1942Documentary shortNarrator

Archive Footage

Classified X1998TV Movie documentaryHimself
Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist1998DocumentaryStephen Kumalo

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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