Stephen Lee, a noted character actor who has appeared in a variety of films and over 200 television shows, has passed away at the age of 58. According to his friend, Lisa Pescia, the 6’3″ actor suffered a heart attack in his Los Angeles apartment on August 14. Seinfeld fans will remember Lee as Conrad, Jerry‘s indecisive cabinet maker on the episode, The Nap. In addition to his recurring roles as Tony B. on Nash Bridges and Patrick McGrail on To Have & To Hold, he also made minor appearances on such popular series as Roseanne, Star Trek: The Next Generation, CSI, The West Wing, and Grey’s Anatomy. Although much of his career was spent on the small screen, Lee also played roles on the silver screen, appearing in such films as Burlesque, The Negotiator, WarGames, and RoboCop 2. He even played famed musician, The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson), in the Ritchie Valens biopic, La Bamba.
Stephen Lee was born November 11, 1955 in Englewood, New Jersey, but lived in Europe until he was 15. Claiming he came from a “casino” background, Lee’s father made and sold slot machines. Lee returned to America in 1970 and graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Avila College in Kansas City, Missouri, beginning his career in the 1980s on shows such as Remington Steele and The Dukes of Hazzard. He was also multilingual, able to speak English, German, French, and Spanish. ~Daniel Horowitz