Katie Lee was a talented young actress, folk singer and songwriter who played herself on a few Great Gildersleeve episodes, including The Jolly Boys or Katie Lee? Despite her success as a singer and actress, Katie Lee wanted a different sort of life.
She wrote: “I struggled along until I got onto radio, and then I had really good parts in radio, national radio shows. I had a running part on the Gildersleeve show, the Halls of Ivy show with Ronald Colman and Benita, his wife, where I played a part called Glory Golightly…Then I did the summer shows with Gordy MacRae on the railroad hour. These are all national shows, broadcast all over. And so I was making a decent living, but still always a struggle. And always I kept thinking in the back of my head, “Geez, what am I doing here?”
“My trips through Glen Canyon and the river that ran through it changed my life—gave me an understanding of myself, my talent and its limitations; taught me about intimacy and the value of observation. Together they resurrected my spirit and melted my heart with their beauty; showed me time was not my enemy, and with their power to entertain, mystify, and nearly kill me, diluted my ego to its proper consistency. For all my wandering the Glen gave me roots as tenacious as the willows along its banks.”
In later years, she became active in the movement to restore Glen Canyon, destroyed by a dam in 1963. She is the author of a 1998 book called All My Rivers Are Gone: A Journey of Discovery through Glen Canyon.
Katie Lee’s compact disc, Glen Canyon River Journey, includes her reading of excerpts from the book, and original songs about Glen Canyon. She writes, “I hope my music communicates love of the Western lands that I live in; the importance of free-running and undammed rivers, the beauty of nature and the refuge it affords, and, specifically, my love for the Colorado River and its tributaries, and the lost Glen Canyon that is now buried under trillions of tons of water behind Glen Canyon Dam.”
Sandstone Seduction : Rivers and Lovers, Canyons and Friends — by Katie Lee
This is a collection of Katie Lee’s most personal writing, about her life, the people in her life, and the great love of her life, the wild Colorado River.
- Welcome to the Home Page of the Real Katie Lee Web Site — “Katie Lee… Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Historian, Photographer, Author, Champion of Rivers, Adventurer, Friend… These are all words that may describe aspects of this woman, but they do not begin to define who she is.”
- Katie Lee — An introduction to Katie Lee, from the Glen Canyon Institute
- The Katie Lee Store — Books, CDs and photographs, from the Glen Canyon Institute
- My Hero: Katie Lee — Article about Katie Lee from the My Hero website
- Gail Gardner and the Sierry Petes — An article by Katie Lee, Journal of Arizona History Vol. 15, No. 3: (Summer 1977)
- Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle by Katie Lee— Review by Bill Adams on the Cisco Houston website
- The Starlet’s Passion — “Katie Lee Could Have Lived A Glittering Hollywood Dream. Instead She Fell In Love With Star-Crossed Glen Canyon”
An article by Leo W. Banks in the Tucson Weekly,January 19, 1999.
- Katie Lee — Article about Lee from the Space Age Pop website