Born April 7, 1931, Joanna Lee was a single mother in her 20s when she began her career as an actress, gathering small roles in B-movies such as "The Brain Eaters" and the cult-favorite "Plan 9 from Outer Space. " Shortly after appearing on the TV Shows "Leave It to Beaver" and "Miami Undercover," Lee was in an automobile accident and, after recuperation, returned to the industry with the ambitions of becoming a writer. Her first gig as a scribe for the animated classic "The Flintstones" led to further work on such live-action comedies and dramas as "Julia," "Room 222," "The Brady Bunch," "Gilligan's Island," "I Dream of Jeannie," and "Death Valley Days" (a show on which she had previously acted). Lee contributed five scripts to the 1972-1981 rural family drama "The Waltons" during its early seasons, taking home an Emmy for the episode "The Thanksgiving Story." After forming her own production company, the actress-turned-writer produced a spate of made-for-TV movies that included the Emmy-nominated sports documentary "Babe" and the cosmetic-surgery character study "Mirror, Mirror," on which she made her directorial debut. She cast her son, the actor Christopher Ciampa, in the 1980 family drama "Children of Divorce," basing much of its content on real-life dynamics. Lee became a prolific, Humanitas Prize-winning force behind TV's popular "ABC Afterschool Specials" before publishing her autobiography, "A Difficult Woman in Hollywood," in 1999. She died from bone cancer at the age of 72.