Michele Lee is best known for starring as Karen McKenzie for 14 years on CBS’ “Knots Landing.”
But Lee had a big career on Broadway in the 1960s and early ’70s, starting with “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” She was Rosemary for Robert Morse’s J. Pierrepont Finch first on stage and then in the 1967 film. He sang “I Believe in You” to Lee, and in the film she sang it with him.
Upon hearing the news of his lifelong friend’s death, Lee said to me this afternoon, “I truly believe that Bobby was the Robin Williams of musical theatre. He was a comic genius. You never knew what he was going to do up there. And when you see us on screen, it’s not just Rosemary looking adoringly at it, it’s Michele Lee. That was really how I felt about him.
Lee is not the origin of Rosemary. She replaced the original actress, Bonnie Scott. who got pregnant four or five months into the race. But she and Morse just clicked, and the rest is history.