Carl Lee Movies and Career Information

Carl Lee profile image
Nov 22, 1926
New York City
Actor and Writer
Carl Lee, born Carl Vincent Canegata, was an American actor. He was also the son of actor/professional boxer Canada Lee. In a 2000 interview, filmmaker James Toback stated, "In the sort of hip world of New York, Carl Lee was the hip-black-actor icon. He was for hip people what Sidney Poitier was for mainstream people." Lee played a heroin dealer, the title role in the Obie Award-winning play The Connection. He later appeared in the film version. Lee, who made his first film appearance in the 1954 film Human Desire, went on to appear in such films as A Man Called Adam opposite Sammy Davis, Jr. and Cicely Tyson, and the now classic blaxploitation film Superfly in 1972. He also appeared in various television roles in such shows as The Defenders, Mannix, and Good Times in a memorable performance in which he portrayed Willona Woods's conniving ex-husband Ray, who makes sexual advances towards Thelma. Lee suffered a heroin overdose which led to his death.

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