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Lee Hale

1923 - 2019
Lee Hale Obituary
March 25, 1923 - May 10, 2019 Lee was born LeRoy Franklin Hale in Tacoma, Washington on March 25, 1923, son of Ida and Warren Hale. He died at his home in Beverly Hills on May 10, 2019, at age 96. Lee graduated from Lincoln High School in Tacoma and received a B.A. in Music and Journalism from Washington State University, graduating in 1947. During World War II, he served as a Lt.(jg) in the Navy, mostly in the South Pacific. In 1948, he drove to New York City, where he joined a singing group called "The Manhattans", who appeared in nightclubs, hotel showrooms, television shows and theatres, playing the New York Palace Theatre six times. Eventually, he became a Choral Director for numerous singing commercials, radio and television shows, including many Carol Burnett specials, as well as her TV series, "The Entertainers".In 1965, Lee was called to California to assemble all the music for "The Dean Martin Show" for its entire nine-year run. He was Associate Producer for "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts" for an additional nine years and produced all of "The Dean Martin Show" Christmas specials. His credit appeared as "Special Material By…" on other TV shows including "Gene Kelly's 50-Girls-50", "The Golddiggers", "Music Country USA", "Comedy World", "The Dom DeLuise Show", "The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters", and "The Bob Hope Vietnam Christmas Show" specials. In 1976, he produced the celebrated four-and-a-half hour special, "NBC's First 50 Years", as well as two additional NBC anniversary specials the following year. He wrote special musical material for two Emmy Awards shows and was nominated for a People's Choice Award and six Emmy Awards.Lee produced three record albums for The Golddiggers, as well as one for Foster Brooks. Called back to duty by producer Greg Garrison, he assembled and co-produced the popular collection of 29 DVDs, "The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show". With Richard Neely, he authored the highly acclaimed book, "Backstage at the Dean Martin Show", and later wrote "The Lee Hale Story". Lee produced many shows for the Society of Singers, and in 2018, was still producing shows and creating memorable video clip packages for the Professional Dancers Society. He also was editor of the Society's newspaper, the "Gypsy Chorus". In 2003, PDS honored Lee for his "tireless support and loyal dedication" and in 2017, bestowed upon him the Legacy Award for his "extraordinary contribution to the world of entertainment." Lee is survived by his spouse, Richard Neely, together for 34 years; niece, Jackie Johnston of Fairfax, Virginia, and her family; and several cousins in California, Oregon, Washington State and Alaska. Always known as a wonderful, talented man, he was deeply loved. Services will be held at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills on Monday, May 20, 2019, at 3:00 p.m.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 15, 2019
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