Lee Meriwether was born in Los Angeles and became Miss America, 1955, while attending San Francisco City College as a Radio and TV/Theatre Arts major.
Most know Lee as “Betty” in the highly successful CBS series, Barnaby Jones—where she co-starred opposite Buddy Ebsen for eight years, and was nominated for both the Golden Globe and the Emmy for her work on that show—Meriwether has had starring or recurring roles in no less than nine different series, ranging from the first women’s editor with Dave Garroway on the original Today Show on NBC to her three year run as Lily on The Munsters Today for Universal. Some of Meriwether’s other successful series include: The Time Tunnel, The New Andy Griffith Show, Mission: Impossible, The F.B.I., 12 O’Clock High, and Dr. Kildare.
Her noteworthy film roles include Catwoman in the original BATMAN: THE MOVIE (1966). She also portrayed Andy Griffith’s pregnant wife in Angel in My Pocket (1969), as well as Rock Hudson’s southern wife in The Undefeated (1969). Lee “swam” with Namu, the Killer Whale (1966) and played the “man” killed by Kim Novak in The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968).
Live theatre, however, continues to be Meriwether’s first love.
An assortment of her recent national stage credits include: the female version of The Odd Couple (two productions), Last Summer at Blue Fish Cove for which she received the Drama Logue Award for Best Actress as well as the San Francisco Critics Award. The Business of Murder with Van Johnson, Sondheim’s Follies, a national tour with Anthony Zerbe and Roy Dotrice of Country Matters and most recently productions of the musicals Hello Dolly!, Mame, The King and I with George Chakiris, and I Do, I Do, Pirates of Penzance and the 20th Anniversary Tour of Nunsense with Kaye Ballard, Mimi Hines, Georgia Engel and Darlene Love. And four national tours of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite with her husband, Marshall Borden.