Lee was born Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota. In 1941, she joined joined Benny Goodman's band -- then at the height of its popularity -- and for over two years toured the United States with it. In July 1942, Lee recorded her first hit, Why Don't You Do Right? It sold over 1,000,000 copies and made her famous. In March 1943, Lee married Dave Barbour, the guitarist in Goodman's band.
In 1944, Lee began to record for Capitol Records, for whom she produced a long string of hits, many of them with lyrics and music by Lee and Barbour. She is most famous for her cover version of the Little Willie John hit Fever and her rendition of Leiber and Stoller's Is That All There Is? .
She was also known as a songwriter with such hits as the songs from the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp, which she also sang.
Lee also acted in several films. In 1953, she played opposite Danny Thomas in a remake of the early Al Jolson film, The Jazz Singer. In 1955, she played a despondent and alcoholic blues singer in Pete Kelly's Blues (1955), for which she was nominated for an Oscar.
In the early 1990s, she successfully sued Disney for royalties on Lady and The Tramp. She claimed that she was due royalties for video tapes, a technology that didn't exist when she agreed to write and perform for Disney.
Peggy Lee is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California.
Peggy Lee Facts
|Birth Name||Norma Deloris Egstrom|
|Birthday||May 26, 1920|
|Birthplace||Jamestown, North Dakota, USA|
|Date of death||January 21, 2002 (age 81)|