The Bronx Babe overcomes career-threatening injury

Janet Lee did most of her modeling overseas in the 1980s.
Photo courtesy of Janet Marie Lee

A lifelong actress from the Bronx is not letting any obstacles – including uneven pavement – get in the way of achieving her goals.

The Bronx-born actress, Janet Marie Lee, also known as ‘Sonny’ Marie Lee and widely recognized as ‘The Bronx Babe’, is making her climb back to the stage after suffering a career-threatening injury.

Sonny’s new year got off to a rocky start, when she tripped on a broken sidewalk and split her knee open on Monday, January 4. She had suffered a compound fracture to the patella (or the kneecap).

The gash required 37 staples and surgery to repair the knee.

The incident forced her to postpone the second set of performances of her one-woman show, The Bronx Babe, which reflect’s on her experiences in her junior high school years.

Instead of performing on stage in March and April as she had originally planned, Sonny was rehabilitating from her knee injury and was required to go to physical therapy for four and a half months.

Now, almost completely recovered, Sonny is eager to get back to the level she was at before the injury, and is looking forward to future opportunities to continue pursuing her acting career.

One of those opportunities will take place in the spring of 2017, when she will finally be able to perform the second set of The Bronx Babe shows at the Manhattan Movement & Art Center at 248 W. 60th Street in Manhattan, a theater that seats nearly 200 people.

“This was an unfortunate incident – but everything happens for a reason,” said Sonny, who also has experience in the cosmetics/skincare beauty industry as a makeup artist. “In retrospect, the injury gave me more time to plan the show and perfect the scenes.”

After this second set of performances, she will begin writing her sequel show to The Bronx Babe, which will highlight her high school years.

The daughter of a detective and an accountant, Sonny began acting and modeling in her early 20s, appearing in everything from films, commercials, soap operas, live shows and magazines after being recognized at local theater gigs and performances when she was a teenager. Last year, she released a children’s book, titled ‘The Magical Sewing Machine.’

“I always knew I wanted to be an actress, a writer and a performer – I always had a passion for being creative,” said Sonny, who also acted and modeled overseas while living in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, China and France in the 1980s. “However, I will always love the Bronx for the people, the culture and the history – which is why I always end up coming right back here.”

“Now, I am fully committed to myself that this will be the comeback of the Bronx Babe,” she added.

‘Sonny’ who turns 58 this month, recently launched a Kickstarter page to raise money for her upcoming show. To donate visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1167382531/the-bronx-babe-a-girls-adventure-growing-up-in-the.

‘The Bronx Babe’ is anticipating her next performance in the spring of 2017.
Photo courtesy of Janet Marie Lee

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