Celebrating Alex

This tribute site is for you to view and add messages and memories, to learn more about Alex's life and passions, and to find out how you can donate to the causes so important to Alex and help change our world. Please contribute your thoughts, memories and images and check back often. Deanna and her family will cherish every item you post. If you'd like to write to Deanna directly: deannajlee2@gmail.com


Alex Emma Lee

Answer one question or many - using words, photos or other media.


Lisa Kraus
I met Deanna Lee in NYC, 1989, when we both worked for Prime Time Live. This is a message I sent to Deanna after learning Alex Emma had died:

"My heart is heavy. I am in NY and went to your Facebook page to send a message to see if we could get together. There, I learned about Alex Emma Lee. I have tears in my eyes. I wish I could give you a hug. I remember years ago when I went to your apartment and met Alex Emma. There were a couple of new pennies on the floor. Alex Emma called them 'shinies'. That always stayed with me. It made me think of beautiful, bright loving people who touch others deeply -- like you. I know Alex Emma was and will always be a shiny. I am sending love, Deanna."

Lisa Vick Kraus
Kate Di Pietro
Deanna and Emma were regulars at my husband’s upper west side restaurant, Tarallucci e Vino, just a block from their home. Most weekends, they would come in and get pastries to go: chocolate chip muffins, pain au chocolat and cinnamon brioches were their favorites, along with peach juice. One of the last times Emma was there, she came in with a friend. Her hair had green and purple highlights...she wore eyeliner..and Rita our longtime barista thought how grown-up she had become, no longer the little girl who would come in with her mother, here she was with a friend, ordering a cappuccino and pain au chocolat on her own...to go.

My son Ian was remembering the time a few years back when Deanna invited us to her rooftop on a steamy summer evening. While Deanna, Luca and I sipped pinot grigio and admired the stunning view of Central Park, Ian and Emma splashed in and out of a plastic wading pool, totally absorbed in play, laughing and chasing each other, talking non-stop. They truly enjoyed each other’s company.

Emma had such expressive eyes. When she spoke, especially when she was making a point, they grew wider and wider, drawing you into what she had to say. . .

I think Emma knew that she had the power to convey a lot with her eyes...annoyance, interest, mischief, anger, intelligence, vulnerability, intensity, love. I hope Deanna always remembers what it was like when Emma looked at her with love.

My daughter Isabella was in tears as she thought aloud about how hard it is for most people to imagine what a person feels like when what they see in the mirror every day does not reflect what they believe themselves to be, to really, truly be. I don’t know if this was Emma’s experience or not but it is painful to think that she may have come to feel that she was not at home in her own self.

Deanna has a fierce kind of love and reserved the very best of it for Emma. As a single working mother, she managed demanding, creative professional roles with Emma’s school applications, planning for family vacations (including Rome two years ago), martial arts, theatre, community service, Chinese new year celebrations, birthday parties, music lessons, pug walks and so much more. It is heartbreaking to see that fierce, beautiful bond broken.
Charlotte Wolf
I remember when we were in We Are Monsters together at Actors Connection and we knew that we had seen each other before. We talked every rehearsal and then finally figured out that we both did Appluase! We had so much fun in We Are Monsters. Alex was a human and I was a vampire and we got to prove to the audience that monsters and kids really can be friends. I miss you everyday Alex❤️
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Sree Sreenivasan
Deanna's answer to this question is "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison. It's my favorite song of all time. I wish I could have karaoked it with both Alex and Deanna.
Hailey Rounds
All of My Heart by Sleeping With Sirens because Alex did everything in his power to make me smile and laugh. His laugh was absolutely contagious!! He was my best friend and he had all of my heart<3
Deanna Lee
Brown Eyed Girl


Chris Parungao
laughing attack title: nosebleed story
laughing attack length: 10 minutes
laughing attack severity out of 10: 10/10
For privacy reasons, lets call him nick. nick was a friend of me, emmas, and clares. i was the only one in 7th grade so i always got to our little friend group late at snack time. but when i did arrive i was greeted with a laughing attack which i soon would be inspired to join in. emma always updated things about the little friend group and one day, i came down later then usual, but when i did come down, the table had a red stain on the wood, a nick with two pieces of paper shoved up his nose, and emma, oh emma, i couldve heard her laugh all the way from the seventh floor! but the laugh was an amazing, loud, beautiful and contagious laugh. through her laughter she said, "you know how in anime people have nosebleeds like this?-" and she jerked back her head as if she was hit in the head by a forceful stone. then she continued "well you know how i ship nick and clare? and you know how nick TOTALLY has a crush on clare? well i just asked nick if he had a crush on clare and he just had an anime nosebleed!!!!" she broke down in laughter and taking all of that info in, i started laughing as well. emma and i were on the floor laughing at five minutes and stayed there on the ground for the next five, laughing. our. heads. of. it was absolutely hilarious even though i could understand how nick wouldve had a nose bleed, emma probably had asked him in that confident, knowing tone that even if he didnt like clare, just her asking it in that amazing convincing tone wouldve made anyone like clare.
David Cohen
Alex had forgotten something at his apartment and had to go get it. I volunteered to go with him since I didn't have class for the next two hours. Two minutes in Alex goes "Im so tired!" I volunteered to carry him After a friendly, lighthearted quarrel, Alex finally decided to let me carry him for 10 blocks. After the first block I jumped and started running like a horse. Alex screamed and we both laughed our lungs out. We ended up getting what he needed and getting a bite to eat. That's when I know that our bond was so strong. I was able to confide in him and him in me. I will never forget you, Alex. You were a big part of my happiness and my meaning. RIP
Betsy Kane
Alex was hanging out with my little kids after dinner (how could they not want to hang out with someone so warm, and wearing kitty cat ears?), letting them get to know one of the science teacher's classroom/pet rats. My kids were giggling and squeaking as the rat poked its head in and out of Alex's shirt sleeve again and again. Alex's demeanor was quiet and calm though it all (probably not wanting to spook the rat), but Alex grinned at me joyfully over their heads as we shared an understanding of the fun of it all. I laughed at the silliness but also at the kindness of a teenager willing to not just spend time with little kids (and rats!), but to give them such a lovely and unexpected experience. I didn't know Alex well, but that type of kindness made a big impression on me and my children.