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Harry Lee documentary to premiere next week

September 25, 2009

“Wild about Harry, The Harry Lee Story,” a one-hour documentary about the late Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee, J.D. ’67, will premiere at Loyola University New Orleans on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m., in Roussel Performance Hall on Loyola’s main campus. Tickets are $10 for Loyola students, faculty, staff and senior citizens and $25 for the general public. They are available online at montage.loyno.edu, by phone at 504-865-2074 or at the Loyola Box Office.

The documentary commemorates the second anniversary of Lee’s death and is being presented to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“Wild about Harry” is the story of an improbable hero, the nation’s only Chinese-American sheriff, a brash 350-pound cowboy who sang with Willie Nelson, threw parties on the White House lawn with Bill Clinton and used his political power to raise big money, much of which he gave to charity.

The program features interview excerpts with Lee filmed two weeks before his death, plus commentary from 62 people who share their recollections of the man and his life. The idea and inspiration, plus major funding for the program came from Lee’s friend and supporter for many years, local businessman John Georges.

“Harry Lee protected the people of Jefferson Parish for 28 years, and I’m proud to present this film as a tribute to a man I loved and admired,” said Georges.

Born in the back room of a Chinese laundry in New Orleans, Lee followed the ritual of expectation set by his immigrant parents. One of eight children and the eldest son, Lee became a successful businessman, attorney, elected official, civic leader and philanthropist. While the outspoken and often politically incorrect Lee clashed with critics, as an elected public official, he earned the highest popularity rating in the state’s history.

The program presents a vivid portrait of a man who embraced life with gusto—a man who was loved, honored, vilified, satirized, but never ignored.

“Wild about Harry” was produced and directed by Deno and Jeorge Seder; executive producer, Anita Semjen; and was made possible by a grant from Dathel and John Georges. DVDs may be purchased at the Loyola premiere or from AMA Distributors, 1525 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA 70001, or by phone at 504-309-1202.

See the trailer for “Wild about Harry” at www.denosederproductions.com/Harry.

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