Lee, Joie Susannah 1962(?)-

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LEE, Joie Susannah 1962(?)-

PERSONAL: First name pronounced "Jwah"; original name, Joy Lee; born 1962 (some sources cite 1963), in Brooklyn, NY; daughter of William "Bill" James Edwards (a jazz bassist, composer, and actor) and Jacquelyn (a teacher of arts and black literature; maiden name, Shelton) Lee; sister of Spike Lee (an actor, producer, director, and screenwriter), Cinque Leé (an actor and screenwriter), and David Lee (a photographer). Education: Attended Sarah Lawrence College.

ADDRESSES: Office—c/o 40 Acres and a Mule Film-works, 124 DeKalb Ave., No. 2, Brooklyn, NY 11217.

CAREER: Actress, producer, director, and screenwriter. Actress in films, including (as Clorinda Bradford) She's Gotta Have It, 1986; (as Lizzie Life) School Daze, Columbia, 1988; (as first customer) Coffee and Cigarettes II (also known as Coffee and Cigarettes: Memphis Version), 1989; (as Jade) Do the Right Thing, Universal, 1989; (as Athena) Bail Jumper, Angelika, 1990; (as Indigo Downes) Mo' Better Blues, Universal, 1991; (as Cathy; under the name Joy Lee) A Kiss before Dying, Universal, 1991; (as Lois) Fathers and Sons, Pacific Pictures, 1992; (as Aunt Maxine) Crooklyn, Universal, 1994; (as Marie) Losing Isaiah, Paramount, 1995; (as switchboard operator) Girl 6, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 1996; (as Jindal) Get on the Bus, Columbia, 1996; (as Joie) Nowhere Fast, 1997; (as poet) Personals, Unapix Entertainment, 1998; and (as interviewed Bedford Stuyvesant resident) Summer of Sam, Buena Vista, 1999. Also appeared in What Goes around Comes Around (short film). Associate producer, Crooklyn, Universal, 1994; producer, Nowhere Fast, 1997; director and producer, Snapped (short film), 2000. Actress in stage productions, including (as Zora Neale Hurston and Teets) Mulebone, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York, 1991; and The Hologram Theory, off-Broadway, 2000. Appeared as herself in television specials Making "Do the Right Thing," 1989, and The Nineteenth Annual Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, syndicated, 1992; appeared in music video Sister Rosa by the Neville Brothers; guest starred on The Cosby Show, 1989; 100 Centre Street, 2002; and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 2003.


(With brothers Cinqué Lee and Spike Lee) Crooklyn (screenplay), Universal, 1994.

Also author of scripts for television programs Accidently on Purpose (pilot), Nickelodeon, and Flight 770, British Broadcasting Company (BBC).

SIDELIGHTS: Joie Susannah Lee comes from the famed family of Brooklyn Lees that also includes her brother Spike Lee, the award-winning film director, as well as a noted jazz musician and two other brothers who are also involved in making movies. Lee made her acting debut in brother Spike's first feature-length film, 1986's She Gotta Have It, and in 1994 she collaborated with brothers Spike and Cinqué Lee to write the film Crooklyn, "a garrulous elegy to an age of innocence, when black children were happy watching The Partridge Family and Soul Train and the only drug lord on the block was a glue-sniffer," as Brian D. Johnson described it in Maclean's. Crooklyn is a partially autobiographical film about the life of a middle-class African-American family in 1970s Brooklyn. Like the Lee family, the Carmichaels include an unemployed jazz-musician father, a mother who is a teacher, four sons, and one lone, tomboyish daughter, all who inhabit a Brooklyn brownstone apartment with their Citroën station wagon parked out front. The action is seen through the eyes of the family's daughter, ten-year-old Troy, as she is lifted from the comforting extended family of her Fort Greene neighborhood and sent to spend a long vacation with relatives in the unfamiliar, suburban South. The film "has a warm, nostalgic, spilling-over-the-edges effusiveness" Owen Gleiberman noted in Entertainment Weekly, as it deals with the "wild comic showdown[s]" and "roisterous household turmoil" that the high-spirited Carmichael family is generally embroiled in.



Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 1, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1962.

Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Volume 37, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2002.


America, July 1, 1994, Richard A. Blake, review of Crooklyn, p. 18.

American Film, February, 1991, Peter Rainer, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 52.

Black Scholar, March-May, 1990, Robert Chrisman, review of Do the Right Thing, pp. 53-57.

Christian Science Monitor, August 1, 1990, David Sterritt, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 15.

Cosmopolitan, September, 1990, Guy Flatley, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 48.

Entertainment Weekly, May 13, 1994, Owen Gleiberman, review of Crooklyn, pp. 36-38.

Glamour, June, 1994, Charla Krupp, review of Crooklyn, p. 142.

Harper's Bazaar, February, 1990, Anne Rosenblum, "Flash in the Clan," p. 101; May, 1994, Lynn Darling, "The Lees on Life," pp. 81-82.

Insight on the News, August 13, 1990, George Szamuely, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 62.

Interview, July, 1990, David Rimanelli, "Joie Lee: Mo' Brother Blues," p. 20.

Jet, August 6, 1990, "Spike Lee Admits to Some Squabbles with Sister on Mo' Better Blues Set," p. 57.

Library Journal, February 15, 1991, Randy Pitman, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 238.

Maclean's, August 6, 1990, Victor Dwyer, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 53; May 23, 1994, Brian D. Johnson, review of Crooklyn, p. 65.

Nation, July 17, 1989, Stuart Klawans, review of Do the Right Thing, pp. 90-100; August 13, 1990, Stuart Klawans, review of Mo' Better Blues, pp. 179-180; June 20, 1994, Stuart Klawans, review of Crooklyn, pp. 882-884.

National Review, September 3, 1990, John Simon, review of Mo' Better Blues, pp. 48-49.

New Statesman, September 21, 1990, Suzanne Moore, review of Mo' Better Blues, pp. 31-32.

Newsweek, August 6, 1990, David Ansen, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 62.

New York, May 16, 1994, David Denby, review of Crooklyn, pp. 88-89; April 17, 2000, John Simon, review of The Hologram Theory, p. 80.

New Yorker, July 24, 1989, Terrence Rafferty, review of Do the Right Thing, pp. 78-81; August 13, 1990, Terrence Rafferty, review of Mo' Better Blues, pp. 82-84.

New York Times, April 13, 1990, Caryn James, review of Bail Jumper, p. B8.

People, August 13, 1990, Ralph Novak, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 11; August 27, 1990, Marjorie Rosen, "Sisterly Newcomer Joie Lee, Spiked Hair and Maybe Spike's Heir," pp. 91-92.

Rolling Stone, August 23, 1990, Peter Travers, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 45.

Savvy Woman, September, 1990, Martha Southgate, "Joie de Vivre," pp. 21-22.

Tikkun, September-October, 1989, Michael Eric Dyson, review of Do the Right Thing, pp. 75-78.

Variety, May 24, 1989, review of Do the Right Thing, p. 26; August 1, 1990, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 65.

Video Review, February, 1991, Jeffrey Lyons, review of Mo' Better Blues, p. 47.


Cinema VII Collective,http://www.cinemavii.com/ (April 25, 2003), "Joie Lee's Cinema VII Page."*