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Will Lee (Actor)
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Actor
    (August 6, 1908-December 7, 1982)
    Born in Brooklyn, New York
    Portrayed Mr. Hooper on Sesame Street (1969-82)
    Appeared in the movies 'Whistling in the Dark' (1941), 'Ball of Fire' (1941), 'They Live By Night' (1949) and 'Daniel' (1983)
    Appeared on Broadway in 'The Young Go First' (1935), 'Golden Boy' (1937), 'The Time of Your Life' (1939), 'Strange Bedfellows' (1948), 'Carnival!' (1961), 'Incident at Vichy' (1964) and 'Enemies' (1972)
    When he spotted director Elia Kazan (who had named names during the McCarthy era) approaching him, he crossed the street to avoid him.
    He was cast as Grandpa Hughes on the soap opera As The World Turns, but was replaced after one episode (1956).
    He got ticked at fellow Sesame Street cast members if they deviated from the script.
    He did commercials for Ocean Spray and Atari.
    He was blacklisted for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1948).
    While blacklisted, he taught acting, with one of his students being James Earl Jones.
    He won a Drama Desk Award for his performance in Norman Mailer's Off-Broadway play 'Deer Park' (1967).
    He said about being approached by children who recognized him as Mr. Hooper, 'Apart from the joy of knowing that you are helping so many kids, the recognition is heartwarming.'
    After he died, the producers of Sesame Street decided to have his character die as well and use the episode to help children deal with death.

Credit: C. Fishel


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