On the Couch with Donna Lee

Donna-Lee-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Donna Lee?
I am a Performer who was born into a “Showbiz Family” – my mother was Australian Theatre Legend, Gloria Dawn, and my father, Frank Cleary was a Variety Performer and Juggler. I lived my childhood in a caravan travelling with my parents who were performing their variety shows all around the country.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I can’t even imagine doing anything else.

Who inspires you and why?
Staying on the subject of performing, I guess all those performers that were around me as I grew up, subconsciously watching them and learning from them, hoping to respectfully carry on the family tradition. Oh yes, and Lucille Ball!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I just wish everyone could respect one another a little more. I am sure that would help to make a difference in the world.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love the Gold Coast. You have so many choices. Beautiful beaches, quiet riverside picnic spots, The Hinterlands, HOTA (Home of the Arts), lovely restaurants. Oh, and the Versace “High Tea”. What a spoil!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The Rivercat on Sydney Harbour. Everyone is so surprised at how relaxing it is sailing up the Parramatta River taking in the endless vista of Sydney’s great waterways. It is beautiful.

What are you currently reading?
The Million Dollar Mermaid. An autobiography of Legendary Hollywood movie star Esther Williams. Also reading Dolly Parton My Life in Lyrics. As you can see, I love biographies.

What are you currently listening to?
The Sleepless in Seattle movie soundtrack. Fabulous standard songs with fantastic arrangements sung by Harry Connick Jr, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Nat king Cole, Carly Simone, Doris Day, Ethel Merman, to name a few. I love this album.

Happiness is?
Something to do… Someone to love… Something to look forward to… I have all three…

What does the future hold for you?
Theatre is slowly and gently returning after that life testing year of 2020. I am thrilled to be opening soon at the Hayes Theatre in a new musical, (it was due to open on Broadway last year), all about not acting your age called HALF TIME. It is so uplifting and joyful. A perfect way to leave last year behind…

Donna stars in Nineteen 98 Productions’ Australian premiere season of HALF TIME at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre from 1 April – 2 May 2021. For more information, visit: www.hayestheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Donna Lee (supplied)