“…when he walked in the room, he had transformed himself so completely, I literally could not recognize him.”
Director Mark Waters (Freaky Friday, Just Like Heaven, Mr. Poppers Penguins)
Lee Burns was born in Germany, to Army draftee Gary Burns and his wife Toni Wilson. Raised in and around Ft. Worth, Texas, Lee grew up in a very strict religious environment that forbade movie-going. In fact, Lee’s first movie theater experience wasn’t until he was fourteen years old, when his cousin snuck him out for a viewing of Dream a Little Dream, starring Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. Although mesmerized by the experience, Hollywood was still a dream too foreign for Lee to even imagine.
After graduating high school, and a short stint in community college, Lee embarked on a career as a professional firefighter/paramedic. In his first year, Lee was voted “Rookie of the Year” and broke the time trial record on the tower obstacle-testing course.
Lee’s first foray into the Entertainment Industry came when he was looking for part-time work around his schedule as a professional firefighter/paramedic. David John Huber, of Fashion Theater Dallas, saw a spark in Lee and agreed to represent him as a model, under one condition — that Lee try acting. It didn’t take long for Lee to realize that David was right and Lee fell in love with acting.
After several National modeling campaigns, including Six Alarm Jockey, for Jockey underwear, (one of the most successful campaigns in Jockey’s history), which ignited a two-year nationwide appearance and autographing tour and repeated coverage by Entertainment Tonight, Extra, CNN, etc., Lee decided to dedicate himself to acting.
In just two and a half years Lee became one of the most sought after actors in Texas with roles in six independent films, (four of which were starring roles), a recurring role on Walker, Texas Ranger, and two leads in movies of the week for Paramount and VH1; the first, The Way She Moves, opposite Anna Beth Gish and the second, Warning: Parental Advisory, opposite Jason Priestly and Mariel Hemingway. This is where Lee first worked for director Mark Waters, who immediately recognized Lee’s talent, saying, “This role represents a thimble full of the talent [Lee] possesses. It’s beneath [him] but it’s the best I had to offer.”
After leaving the firefighting industry for good, and moving to Hollywood to pursue his new passion, Lee has worked with Mark on two more films: Freaky Friday, opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, and Just Like Heaven, opposite Oscar Winner Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. Waters recognizes Lee as a true chameleon actor, saying, “When he walked into the room, he had transformed himself so completely, I literally did not recognize him,” adding, “Lee definitely has the whole package, the sky is the limit for him. I hope to find roles for him in all of my movies.”
Lee has since appeared in films and television shows for Paramount, Walt Disney, Universal, DreamWorks, NBC, CBS, Hallmark, Jerry Bruckheimer Productions, Warner Brothers, FOX and TNT, (many of them repeatedly), as well as starring in several independent films and a television pilot. One indie film of mention is the gritty hit Clean, which garnered eleven awards on the festival circuit, including six best picture awards. Award winning Producer/Director Nyle Cavazos Garcia had this to say about Lee’s performance in the film as the talented, tormented, mega-movie star Peter Best, “Lee lifts his character from the page and adds layer after layer of the kind of magic that is far beyond what you could have imagined for the role.” And then there’s veteran television director Bethany Rooney, who directed Lee in the starring role of her television pilot The Canyon Club, who says, “Lee brought a sexy, intense, dangerous quality to his part, which really ignites the piece…I as the audience, am drawn to him.”
Lee has also enjoyed his work opposite many of today’s top stars. Besides the aforementioned Anna Beth Gish, Jason Priestly, Mariel Hemingway, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mark Ruffalo and Oscar Winner Reese Witherspoon, Lee has worked with Oscar Winner Gary Sinise, Brooke Shields, David Carradine, Scott Glenn, Nancy Cartwright, Lou Diamond Phillips, and the legendary Chuck Norris, to name a few.
Additionally, Lee has had extensive experience behind the camera as well; as a writer and producer, in the art department, as both a carpenter and set dresser, as a grip, a gaffer, and even in transportation on numerous film, television and commercial projects.
“Lee lifts his character from the page and adds layer after layer of the kind of magic that is far beyond what you could have imagined for the role.”
Director Nyle Cavazos Garcia (Award Winning Director/Producer – Clean)
Clips & Demos
Full 3 Min Demo Reel
120 Sec Chameleon Demo Reel
A little publicity…in ‘Jockeys’
60 Sec Drama Demo Reel
60 Sec Bad Guys Demo Reel
60 Sec Comedy Demo Reel
60 Sec Nice Guys Demo Reel
Short Film: Played all five on camera roles
|Tree of Good and Evil||Lead||Dir: Craig Mooneyham/Lunar Pig Prod.|
|Absence||Supporting||Dir: Jimmy Loweree/Coup d’Etat Film|
|Hangdog||Lead||Dir: Kieran Valla/A-Fro Prod.|
|Momma's Gone||Lead||Dir: Mahryah Shain/Loud Vangaurd|
|Noble One||Lead||Dir: David Paladino/Awareness Ent.|
|Just Like Heaven||Supporting||Dir: Mark Waters/Dreamworks|
|*Clean||Lead||Dir: Nyle Garcia/Nightfire Films|
|Gone But Not Forgotten||Supporting||Dir: Armand Mastroianni/Hallmark|
|Freaky Friday||Supporting||Dir: Mark Waters/Walt Disney|
|Eight Ball Blues||Lead||Dir: Jo Cantu, Jr./TWTV|
|Signs of Us||Lead||Dir: Janet Elaine/Rose Colored Pics|
|75 Degrees in July||Supporting||Dir: Hyatt Bass/Stockyard Films|
|Chasing Rainbows||Lead||Dir: Jo Cantu, Jr./TWTV|
|1 Gun, 2 Bullets, 3 Lives||Lead||Dir: Mike Richards/No Parkign Prod.|
|*Winner of 11 awards on the Festival Circuit, including 6 Best Picture Awards|
|The Team (webisode)||Guest Star||IforkT Productions|
|Cold Case||Guest Star||CBS|
|Canyon Club (pilot)||Series Regular||In Light Prod|
|Nobody's Happy (pilot)||Guest Star||Happy Times Ent.|
|Wedding Daze (m.o.w.)||Supporting||Hallmark|
|The Bold & The Beautiful||Guest Star||CBS|
|Days of Our Lives||Guest Star||NBC|
|Warning: Parental Advisory||Lead||Paramount/VH1|
|The Way She Moves (m.o.w.)||Lead||Paramount/VH1|
|Walker, Texas Ranger||Recurring||CBS|
|27 Wagons Full of Cotton||Silva||Tamarind Theatre|
|Hernando's Hideaway||Ricard||Theatre Dallas|
|The Other Sister||Danny||The Quadraplex|
|Dead Man Walking||Matthew||The Quadraplex|
|TRAINING (Partial List)|
|The Acting Center (current): Eric Matheny, Christopher Smith,|
|Beverly Hills Playhouse (advanced): Milton Katselas | Meisner (advanced): R.E.A.C.T. Studio, Michele Cindery|
|Any Southern, (specific to state), Boston, New York, Philadelphia, English, Irish/Scottish, and others with preparation.|
|Former Firefighter/Paramedic, Stunt Fighting, Deep Tissue Masseur, Bartender, Sports,|
|Horseback Riding, General Carpentry, Motorcycle Driving, Mountain & Road Biking, Great with Kids|
The Campbell Agency
Contact: Sharon Hendricks
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