Reese Witherspoon, one of America’s most coveted blonde actresses, has signed on to play Peggy Lee in Fox 2000’s untitled biopic that will chronicle the American jazz singer’s life story. Nora Ephron, of “I’ll have what she’s having,” will serve as writer and director.
Witherspoon acquired the rights to Lee’s story when she met her granddaughter, Holly Foster-Wells. I imagine that even though Wells was already inclined to grant Witherspoon the opportunity to develop a Hollywood depiction of her grandmother’s life, Witherspoon still took the time to plate up some nice cookies that were remaining from the Gyllenhaal days, and respectfully yet forcefully advocated why she was the right lady for the endeavor. And I imagine Walk the Line played a bigger part in it than just something that allowed Witherspoon to buy such plush sofa cushions.
Marc Platt, who produced Legally Blonde with Witherspoon and the glorious musical, Wicked, is producing.
Lee was one of the most multidimensional musical figures in American history. She began her career singing on local radio shows, and after a successful gig at The Buttery Room in Chicago, she captured the attention of Benny Goodman, who invited her to join his band, which officially launched her career. Perhaps Lee is most known for the songs she composed for the Disney hit, Lady and the Tramp, a production which she also voiced the four main characters. She was also responsible for the lyrics of hits like “What More Can A Woman Do?” “Don’t Smoke In Bed,” “I Love Being Here With You,” and “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter.” Over the course of her life, Lee was nominated for 12 Grammy awards and won one for “Best Contemporary Vocal Performance” for the 1965 charm, “Is That All There Is?” She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999. Lee died in January of 2002 of complications from a heart attack and diabetes.