David Clark Lee (born 1950)[1] is an American television producer, director, and writer. His best-known works are Cheers and Frasier.

Lee grew up in Claremont, California, and went to college at the University of Redlands.[2] He co-wrote and co-produced The Jeffersons and Cheers with Peter Casey for, respectively, six and four years.[3] He and Casey co-created Wings and Frasier alongside the late David Angell under the Grub Street Productions.

He produced revival productions of Broadway musicals, including South Pacific starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Reba McEntire,[3][2] Can-Can, and Camelot.[4] He co-wrote a newly revised script of Can-Can alongside Joel Fields when he was reviving the old musical.[5][6]

Lee has been nominated eighteen times for Primetime Emmy Awards; he won nine out of those nominations.[7][8] He also won the Directors Guild Award, the Golden Globe Award, Producers Guild Award, GLAAD Media Award, British Comedy Award, three Television Critics Association Awards, two Humanitas Prizes, and the Peabody Award.[8]

Personal life

Lee is openly gay.[9][10][11][2]

He paid US$3 million in 2002 (equivalent to $4,520,000 in 2021) for a Palm Springs estate built by architect Donald Wexler and originally resided in by Dinah Shore.[3] He sold the estate to real estate agents for $5,995,000 in 2009 (equivalent to $9,032,000 in 2021),[3] later purchased by Leonardo DiCaprio in 2014 for $5,230,000 (equivalent to $5,986,000 in 2021).[12]


  1. ^ McKairnes, Jim (22 October 2017). "DAVID LEE". The Interviews. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c David Lee (September 3, 2012). "PalmSprings.com Spotlight: An Interview with David Lee". PalmSprings.com (blog) (Interview). Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Beale, Lauren (May 1, 2009). "Jeffersons producer David Lee lists Dinah Shore Palm Springs estate for $5,995,000". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Levitt, Hayley (October 30, 2014). "Frasier Cocreator David Lee on Can-Can, Camelot, and 11 Years of 22-Minute Plays", TheaterMania.com; retrieved May 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew (January 17, 2013). "Revival of Cole Porter's Can-Can Aiming for Broadway in Spring 2014; David Lee Will Direct", Playbill; retrieved May 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Reiner, Jay. "Review of Pasadena Playhouse 'Revisal'", Reuters, July 8, 2007.
  7. ^ "David Lee". Emmys.com. Retrieved May 16, 2016. The website may have erroneously listed a sound mixer and the producer, writer, and director of the same name under the same page.
  8. ^ a b "David Lee". laphil.com. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  9. ^ Littlefield, Warren (2012). "Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs". Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV. New York City: Anchor Books. p. 134. ISBN 9780307739766. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Becker, Ron (2006). "Gay Material and Prime-Time Network Television". Gay TV and Straight America. Rutgers University Press. p. 163. Retrieved December 8, 2013. David Lee gay.
  11. ^ Littlefield, Kinney (1996). "In '95, Gay Came To Stay In Prime-time TV". Chicago Tribune. The date incorrectly says January 1, 1996.
  12. ^ Beale, Lauren (March 7, 2014), Leonardo DiCaprio buys Dinah Shore's onetime desert home, Los Angeles Times; accessed May 23, 2017.