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Lee Purcell recalls being mentored by pal Steve McQueen, working alongside Kirk, Michael Douglas

Lee Purcell’s career in Hollywood began when she was personally selected and mentored by Steve McQueen to appear alongside a young Michael Douglas — an experience she continues to cherish decades later.

Purcell has kept busy over the years pursuing exactly what she wanted to do as an actress. The Emmy-nominated star is currently in the film “Carol of the Bells,” co-starring friends Donna Mills and Donna Pescow for director Joey Travolta and his Inclusion Films.

On-screen and well as off, 70 percent of the crew was comprised of people with developmental disabilities, giving opportunities to looking to make their mark on the big screen. “Carol of the Bells” is scheduled to appear on The Bentonville Film Festival, which officially kicks off on May 7.

Fox News spoke to Purcell about being mentored by McQueen, working with both Douglas and his father, Kirk Douglas, as well as what has kept her motivated in Hollywood since McQueen’s passing in 1980 at age 50.

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TV Confidential Podcast

Interview with Lee Purcell

Carol of the Bells actress Lee Purcell on being mentored by screen legend Steve McQueen and the cool party trick that James Garner taught her when she filmed Rockford Files

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Tv Confidential Radio
Interview with Lee Purcell

Carol of the Bells actress Lee Purcell on Steve McQueen, Bill Bixby and James Garner Actress, writer, director and producer Lee Purcell (Adam at 6 A.M., Big Wednesday, Valley Girl, Due South Long Road Home, Secret Sins of the Fathers) tells Ed why her latest film, Carol of the Bells, was among the most inspiring and rewarding experiences of her lifetime. Directed by Joey Travolta and his company, Inclusion Films (which teaches and employs people in the film industry who have developmental and physical disabilities), Carol of the Bells also features Donna Mills, Donna Pescow, and Geri Jewell, while the title role of “Carol” is played by Andrea F. Freeman, an actress who happens to have Down Syndrome. Carol of the Bells will be among the spotlight films screened at this year’s Bentonville Film Festival in Bentonville, Arkansas on Friday, May 10. (A holiday film, Carol of the Bells is also scheduled to receive a wider release later in 2019.) .

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The Brian and Lee Show:

Interview with Emmy Nominated Actress Lee Purcell

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CAROL OF THE BELLS WORLD PREMIERE

Two films will make their world premieres as Centerpiece Selections at the Bentonville Film Festival on Friday, May 10. Joey Travolta’s Carol of the Bells will screen at Record North at 4:00 p.m., with Haroula Rose’s Once Upon a River screening at the Skylight Cinema (350 SW A St) at 6:30 p.m. Carol of the Bells stars Breaking Bad’s RJ Mitte as a troubled young man looking for his biological mother, according to the news release. The film stars a trio of television stars, Donna Pescow, Lee Purcell, and Donna Mills.

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At Jan-Michael Vincent Memorial, John Milius Stands Tall

“He was a good bad boy,” said actress Lee Purcell, who played his wife and lover in Big Wednesday, to murmurs of approval from the crowd of four or five dozen Vincent friends and admirers. “A troubled Golden Boy,” Milius called Vincent in a video recapping the actor’s career. The reel got rolling on Wednesday when Milius growled “Action!” It acknowledged but didn’t dwell on the drug and alcohol struggles that were already baked into Vincent’s Big Wednesday character, who opened the movie drunk, and at one point caused a traffic debacle that matched any number of crack-ups in the actor’s later life.


Examiner.com
Actress Lee Purcell: From ‘Big Wednesday’ to ‘Persons Unknown’ and in between

By Jeremy Roberts
Actress Lee Purcell has had an extensive and still active career in movies, television, and the theatre, with memorable roles in Charles Bronson's Mr. Majestyk, the high school drama Almost Summer (an early influence on The Breakfast Club) Gene Wilder & Richard Pryor's hilarious Stir Crazy, the outrageously funny Airplane II: The Sequel, and the early '90s television comedy-drama Due South, to name only a few.

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Examiner.com
A bit of an existential experience: Movie memories with actress Lee Purcell

By Jeremy Roberts
In a far-ranging interview series, consummate actress Lee Purcell has been remembering a journey that would make most folks envious. She worked with some of the best actors of our generation in many memorable films and series including Bonanza, Mr. Majestyk, Almost Summer, Stir Crazy, and Due South.

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Examiner.com
She Fell Out of the Womb Performing: In Step With Leading Lady Lee Purcell

By Jeremy Roberts
Actress Lee Purcell has always performed, whether onstage or in front of millions via the silver screen. She has had chief roles in film and television in productions ranging from the cult surfing classic Big Wednesday to the early '80s hit romantic comedy Valley Girl with Nicolas Cage. Ms. Purcell got her jump-start with Michael Douglas in Adam at 6 A.M., produced by none other than The King of Cool, Steve McQueen.

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Examiner.com
'If You Don't Follow Your Dreams, You're Dead': In Step With Actress Lee Purcell

By Jeremy Roberts
Actress Lee Purcell has had an extensive career in television, motion pictures, and the theatre, appearing most recently in the NBC sci-fi series Persons Unknown...

Read on below to find out how she became an actress, how she traveled to California alone (almost dying in an automobile crash), the squalid, junkie-filled apartment complex she called home for a time, and why you should never stop pursuing your dreams.

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Examiner.com
Actress Lee Purcell Remembers Her Mentor Steve McQueen

By Jeremy Roberts
Today is the 30th anniversary of Steve McQueen's untimely demise from mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer) in Juarez, Mexico. Although McQueen was only fifty years old, he lived life at full throttle and on his own terms.

For his fans, McQueen will always be the "King of Cool," but off-screen, McQueen was much more than that. Actress Lee Purcell got her first big break in films due to McQueen.

McQueen hand-picked Purcell as one of the stars of Adam At 6 A.M., ultimately released in September 1970. Michael Douglas, now a legend in his own right, portrayed "Adam" in only his second major role.

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Starry Mag
Lee Purcell Interview / From Persons Unknown

Q) What can you tell us about your character Eleanor Sullivan on the show "Persons Unknown?"

A) Eleanor is really unique. You find out Eleanor's familial relationship in the pilot episode, but you have no idea if she is a good person, an evil person and what she is going to do next...

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L.A. Times
A salute to bravery and sacrifice

Lee was a celebrity participant for the Memorial Day Ceremony at L.A. National Cemetery along with fellow actors Powers Boothe, Robert Davi, Robert Forster, William Lucking, J.R. Martinez, Gerald McRaney, Joseph C. Phillips, Jon Voight.

Gov. Schwarzenegger, Mayor Villaraigosa and actor Jon Voight help mark Memorial Day at West Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Hundreds of proud relatives and friends of military veterans — and many others simply paying respects — crowded onto the flag-filled burial ground to hear Hollywood stars and political leaders extol the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women interred there.

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Daily Variety
Hollywood Don't Surf!

A MacGillivray Freeman Films production. Produced by Greg MacGillivray, Lincoln Forrest Phipps, Chris Kobin. Executive producer, William S. Price III. Directed by Greg MacGillivray, Sam George. Written by George.

With: John Milius, Jan-Michael Vincent, Gary Busey, William Katt, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Lee Purcell, Stacy Peralta, Peter Townend, Robert Englund, Greg MacGillivray, Nia Peeples, Pamela Anderson, Laird Hamilton, Greg Noll, Frankie Avalon, Kathy Kohner.

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Beyond Hollywood.com
McQuarrie's Persons Unknown to Debut in June

Christopher McQuarrie's TV series Persons Unknown has gotten a premiere date from NBC. The Prisoner-ish mystery-thriller will be making its debut on the peacock network on Monday, June 7, at 9:00 PM central time (10 pm PST), so mark your calendars, kids.

The show stars the funny Alan Ruck, Jason Wiles of Third Watch fame, and Daisy Betts (Sea Patrol) and follows a group of strangers who must work together to solve a puzzle after they wake up inside a small ghost town with no idea of how they got there. They also discover that they are being watched by surveillance cameras, and that any attempts to escape is not recommended.

Also starring Chadwick Boseman, Tina Holmes, Alan Smyth, Lee Purcell, and Reggie Lee. Persons Unknown is brought to you by Christopher McQuarrie (Way of the Gun, The Usual Suspects)

 


Variety
Lee Purcell

By STACY DODD
Lee Purcell (a two-time Emmy Award Nominee) has booked a recurring role in the upcoming Fox television series “Persons Unknown,” created by Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie.
Show follows four strangers who wake up in a deserted town with no recollection of how they got there.

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Cult Film Freak
An Interview with Lee Purcell

They don’t get much classier, more versatile or as genuinely talented as Lee Purcell, whose impressive list of classic film roles include “Mr. Majestyk”, “Big Wednesday” and “Valley Girl”.

Among other projects, the two-time Emmy nominated actress (for “Long Road Home” and “Secret Sins of the Father”) has a terrific role in NBC’s upcoming new 2009 TV-series titled “Persons Unknown” created by Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie.

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