‘Knots Landing’ Star Michele Lee Is Now 79 And Made Her Way Back To Broadway


Michele Lee played the iconic Karen Cooper Fairgate MacKenzie on the soap opera Knots Landing in the ‘80s. These days, she is almost 80 years old and a few years ago, returned to her roots on Broadway.

Michele was born in 1942 in Los Angeles, California. Her father was Jack Dusick, a popular make-up artist. Michele simultaneously began a career on television, movies, and Broadway in the ‘60s. She appeared in Vintage 60 and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 1960 and 1961. Her first television role was in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.


Whatever happened to Michele Lee?

KNOTS LANDING, Michele Lee, (1993), 1979-1993. ph: Tony Esparza /© CBS /Courtesy Everett Collection

During this time, Michele married James Farentino and they had one son together. When her mother died, Michele took a brief hiatus to take care of him while grieving her mom. She almost had her own show in 1974. She shot a pilot for The Michele Lee Show but it never took off.


RELATED: ‘Knots Landing’ Cast Then And Now

BIG DREAMS & BROKEN HEARTS: THE DOTTIE WEST STORY, Michele Lee, 1995. © CBS / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Michele began to guest star on many popular shows in the ‘70s including Fantasy Island and The Love Boat until she was offered a main role on the Dallas spin-off series Knots Landing. It became a hit and she was a star. The show went on until 1993. Michele was the only character to appear in all 344 episodes.

COLOR ME PERFECT, Michele Lee, 1996. © Lifetime Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

During the series, she divorced her husband. It was said that when her character took off her wedding ring in the series, she was actually removing her real wedding ring amid her divorce. She married Fred A. Rappoport in 1987 and they are still married to this day. After Knots Landing ended, she appeared in several made-for-TV movies including Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story.

ALONG CAME POLLY, Michele Lee, Bob Dishy, 2004, (c) Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

Michele also became the first woman to star in, direct, and produce a TV movie for Lifetime called Color Me Perfect. Over the years, she reunited with her Knots Landing co-stars several times for reunions. She also appeared in Along Came Polly and Will & Grace. In the 2000s, Michele returned to Broadway. In recent years, she’s starred in the musical Wicked.

Show comments
Published by

Recent Posts

Sylvester Stallone Treated To A Giant Cannoli At NYC Restaurant

Superstar Sylvester Stallone and his two daughters, Sistine and Sophia, aged 23 and 25 respectively,…

3 mins ago

Kurt Cobain’s Iconic ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Guitar Sells For $4.5M

The late Kurt Cobain’s 1969 Fender Mustang Lake Blue Finish electric guitar was sold for…

23 mins ago

30 Groovy Fads of the 1960s Remembered

UPDATED 5/24/2022 Fads by their very nature are short-lived. They usually come out of nowhere,…

26 mins ago

Elvis Presley’s Granddaughter Riley Keough Gives Her Review Of The New Elvis Film

Elvis Presley's granddaughter Riley Keough recently opened up about seeing the new Elvis film for…

37 mins ago

Little Princess Charlotte Looks Just Like Queen Elizabeth As A Child In Adorable Birthday Portrait

The royal, Princess Charlotte, celebrated her 7th birthday on May 2, with her mother, the…

1 hour ago

Will Smith Claims He Had ‘Vision’ About Career Being Destroyed Before Oscars Slap

Will Smith recently told David Letterman that he had a "drug-induced vision" about his career…

1 hour ago