In collaboration with several artists, most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and many other fictional characters, introducing complex, naturalistic characters and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books. In addition, he headed the first major successful challenge to the industry's censorship organization, the Comics Code Authority, and forced it to reform its policies. Lee subsequently led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.
He is unrelated to the advertising executive Stanley R. Lee, who wrote the novels Dunn's Conundrum (1985) and The God Project (1990) under the name "Stan Lee".
He was born December 28, 1922 in New York City, New York, in the apartment of his Romanian-born Jewish immigrant parents, Celia (née Solomon) and Jack Lieber, at the corner of West 98th Street and West End Avenue in Manhattan. His father, trained as a dress cutter, worked only sporadically after the Great Depression, and the family moved further uptown to Fort Washington Avenue, in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights. When Lee was nearly 9, his only sibling, brother Larry Lieber, was born. By the time Lee was in his teens, the family was living in a one-bedroom apartment at 1720 University Avenue in The Bronx. Lee described it as "a third-floor apartment facing out back", with him and his brother sharing a bedroom and his parents using a foldout couch.
Lee attended DeWitt Clinton High School in The Bronx, where his family had moved next. A voracious reader who enjoyed writing as a teen, he worked such part-time jobs as writing obituaries for a news service and press releases for the National Tuberculosis Center; delivering sandwiches for the Jack May pharmacy to offices in Rockefeller Center; working as an office boy for a trouser manufacturer; ushering at the Rivoli Theater on Broadway; and selling subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune newspaper. He graduated high school early, at age 16½ in 1939, and joined the WPA Federal Theatre Project.
A text filler in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941) was Lee's first published work. Cover art by Alex Schomburg.
With the help of his uncle, Robbie Solomon, pulp magazine and comic-book publisher Martin Goodman, Lee became an assistant at the new Timely Comics division of Goodman's company. Timely, by the 1960s, would evolve into Marvel Comics. Lee, whose cousin Jean was Goodman's wife, was formally hired by Timely editor Joe Simon.
Young Stanley Lieber's first published work, the text filler "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge" in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941), used the pseudonym "Stan Lee", which years later he would adopt as his legal name. Lee later explained in his autobiography and numerous other sources that he had intended to save his given name for more literary work. This initial story also introduced Captain America's trademark ricocheting shield-toss, which immediately became one of the character's signatures.
He graduated from writing filler to actual comics with a backup feature, "'Headline' Hunter, Foreign Correspondent", two issues
later. Lee's first superhero co-creation was the Destroyer, in Mystic Comics #6 (Aug. 1941). Other characters he created during this period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comics include Jack Frost, debuting in USA Comics #1 (Aug. 1941), and Father Time, debuting in Captain America Comics #6 (Aug. 1941).
When Simon and his creative partner Jack Kirby left late in 1941, following a dispute with Goodman, the 30-year-old publisher installed Lee, just under 19 years old, as interim editor. The youngster showed a knack for the business that led him to remain as the comic-book division's editor-in-chief, as well as art director for much of that time, until 1972, when he would succeed Goodman as publisher.
Lee entered the U.S. Army in early 1942 and served stateside in the Signal Corps, writing manuals, training films, and slogans, and occasionally cartooning. His military classification, he says, was "playwright"; he adds that only nine men in the U.S. Army were given that title. Vincent Fago, editor of Timely's "animation comics" section, which put out humor and funny animal comics, filled in until Lee returned from his World War II military service in 1945. From then through 1947, he and his wife, Joan Clayton, rented the top floor of a brownstone in the East 90s in Manhattan. They later bought two-story, three-bedroom home at 1084 West Broadway, in Woodmere, New York, on Long Island, living there from 1949 to 1952. The family, which by this time included daughter Joan Celia, bought a home at 226 Richards Lane in the Long Island town of Hewlett Harbor, New York, living there from 1952 to 1980, including the 1960s period when Lee and his artist collaborators would revolutionize comic books.
In the mid-1950s, by which time the company was now generally known as Atlas Comics, Lee wrote stories in a variety genres including romance, Westerns, humor, science fiction, medieval adventure, horror and suspense. By the end of the decade, Lee had become dissatisfied with his career and considered quitting the field.
In the late 1950s, DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz revived the superhero genre and experienced a significant success with its updated version of the Flash, and later with super-team the Justice League of America. In response, publisher Martin Goodman assigned Lee to create a new superhero team. Lee's wife urged him to experiment with stories he preferred, since he was planning on changing careers and had nothing to lose.
Lee acted on that advice, giving his superheroes a flawed humanity, a change from the ideal archetypes that were typically written for pre-teens. His heroes could have bad tempers, melancholy fits, vanity, greed, etc. They bickered amongst themselves, worried about paying their bills and impressing girlfriends, and even were sometimes physically ill. Before him, most superheroes were idealistically perfect people with no serious, lasting problems.
The first superhero group Lee and artist Jack Kirby created was the family of the Fantastic Four. Its immediate popularity led Lee and Marvel's illustrators to produce a cavalcade of new titles. With Kirby, Lee created the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the Mighty Thor and the X-Men; with Bill Everett, Daredevil; and with Steve Ditko, Doctor Strange and Marvel's most successful character, Spider-Man.
Comics historian Peter Sanderson wrote that in the 1960s,
DC was the equivalent of the big Hollywood studios: After the brilliance of DC's reinvention of the superhero ... in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it had run into a creative drought by the decade's end. There was a new audience for comics now, and it wasn't just the little kids that traditionally had read the books. The Marvel of the 1960s was in its own way the counterpart of the French New Wave.... Marvel was pioneering new methods of comics storytelling and characterization, addressing more serious themes, and in the process keeping and attracting readers in their teens and beyond. Moreover, among this new generation of readers were people who wanted to write or draw comics themselves, within the new style that Marvel had pioneered, and push the creative envelope still further.
Stan Lee's Marvel revolution extended beyond the characters and story lines to the way in which comic books engaged the readership and built a sense of community between fans and creators. Lee introduced the practice of including a credit panel on the splash page of each story, naming not just the writer and penciller but also the inker and letterer. Regular news about Marvel staff members and upcoming storylines was presented on the Bullpen Bulletins page, which (like the letter columns that appeared in each title) was written in a friendly, chatty style.
Throughout the 1960s, Lee scripted, art-directed, and edited most of Marvel's series, moderated the letters pages, wrote a monthly column called "Stan's Soapbox," and wrote endless promotional copy, often signing off with his trademark phrase "Excelsior!" (which is also the New York state motto). To maintain his taxing workload, yet still meet deadlines, he used a system that was used previously by various comic-book studios, but due to Lee's success with it, became known as the "Marvel Method" or "Marvel style" of comic-book creation. Typically, Lee would brainstorm a story with the artist and then prepare a brief synopsis rather than a full script. Based on the synopsis, the artist would fill the allotted number of pages by determining and drawing the panel-to-panel storytelling. After the artist turned in penciled pages, Lee would write the word balloons and captions, and then oversee the lettering and coloring. In effect, the artists were co-plotters, whose collaborative first drafts Lee built upon.
Because of this system, the exact division of creative credits on Lee's comics has been disputed, especially in cases of comics drawn by Kirby and Ditko. Similarly, Lee shares co-creator credit with Kirby on the two Fantastic Four films, while also sharing the same credit with Ditko with the Spider-Man feature film series.
In 1971, Lee indirectly reformed the Comics Code. The US Department of Health, Education and Welfare asked Lee to write a story about the dangers of drugs and Lee wrote a story in which Spider-Man's best friend becomes addicted to pills. The three-part story was slated to be published in Amazing Spider-Man #96-98, but the Comics Code Authority refused it because it depicted drug use; the story context was considered irrelevant. With his publisher's approval, Lee published the comics without the CCA seal. The comics sold well and Marvel won praise for its socially conscious efforts. The CCA subsequently loosened the Code to permit negative depictions of drugs, among other new freedoms.
Lee also supported using comic books to provide some measure of social commentary about the real world, often dealing with racism and bigotry. "Stan's Soapbox", besides promoting an upcoming comic book project, also addressed issues of discrimination, intolerance, or prejudice. In addition, Lee took to using sophisticated vocabulary for the stories' dialogue to encourage readers to learn new words. Lee has justified this by saying: "If a kid has to go to a dictionary, that's not the worst thing that could happen."
In later years, Lee became a figurehead and public face for Marvel Comics. He made appearances at comic book conventions around America, lecturing at colleges and participating in panel discussions, and by now owning a vacation home on Cutler Lane in Remsenburg, New York and, from 1975 to 1980, a two-bedroom condominium on the 14th floor of 220 East 63rd Street in Manhattan. He moved to California in 1981 to develop Marvel's TV and movie properties. He has been an executive producer for, and has made cameo appearances in Marvel film adaptations and other movies. He and his wife bought a home in West Hollywood, California previously owned by comedian Jack Benny's radio announcer, Don Wilson. Lee was briefly president of the entire company, but soon stepped down to become publisher instead, finding that being president was too much about numbers and finance and not enough about the creative process he enjoyed.
Later in the 1990s, Lee befriended former lawyer Peter Paul, who supervised the negotiation of a non-exclusive contract with Marvel Comics for the first time in Lee's lifetime employment with Marvel.This enabled Paul and Lee to start a new Internet-based superhero creation, production and marketing studio, Stan Lee Media, in 1998. It grew to 165 people and went public, but near the end of 2000, investigators discovered illegal stock manipulation by Paul and corporate officer Stephan Gordon. Stan Lee Media filed for bankruptcy in February 2001, and Paul fled to São Paulo, Brazil. He was extradited back to the U.S., and pled guilty to violating SEC Rule 10b-5 in connection with trading of his stock in Stan Lee Media. Lee was never implicated in the scheme.
Some of the Stan Lee Media projects included the animated Web series The 7th Portal where he voiced the character Izayus; The Drifter; and The Accuser. The 7th Portal characters were licensed to an interactive 3-D movie attraction in four Paramount theme parks.
In the 2000s, Lee did his first work for DC Comics, launching the Just Imagine... series, in which Lee reimagined the DC superheroes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash.
Lee created the risqué animated superhero series Stripperella for Spike TV. In 2004, he announced plans to collaborate with Hugh Hefner on a similar superhero cartoon featuring Playboy Playmates. He also announced a superhero program that would feature Ringo Starr, the former Beatle, as the lead character. Additionally, in August of that year, Lee announced the launch of Stan Lee's Sunday Comics, hosted by Komikwerks.com, where monthly subscribers could read a new, updated comic and "Stan's Soapbox" every Sunday. The column has not been updated since Feb. 15, 2005.
In 2005, Lee, Gill Champion and Arthur Lieberman formed POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment to develop film, television and video game properties. The first film produced by POW! was the TV movie Lightspeed (also advertised as Stan Lee's Lightspeed), which aired on the Sci Fi Channel on July 26, 2006.POW! president and CEO Champion said in 2005 that Lee was creating a new superhero, Foreverman, for a Paramount Pictures movie, in tandem with producer Robert Evans and Idiom Films, with Peter Briggs hired to collaborate with Lee on the screenplay.
In 2005, Lee filed a lawsuit against Marvel for his unpaid share of profits from Marvel movies, winning a settlement of more than $10 million.
In 2006, Marvel commemorated Lee's 65 years with the company by publishing a series of one-shot comics starring Lee himself meeting and interacting with many of his co-creations, including Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the Thing, Silver Surfer and Doctor Doom. These comics also featured short pieces by such comics creators as Joss Whedon and Fred Hembeck, as well as reprints of classic Lee-written adventures.
In 2007, POW! Entertainment started a series of direct-to-DVD animated films under the Stan Lee Presents banner. Each film focuses on a new superhero, created by Stan Lee for the series. The first two releases were Mosaic and The Condor.
In June 2007, Walt Disney Studios entered into an exclusive multi-year first look deal with Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment. "It's like the realization of a dream. Ever since I was a young boy, Disney represented the best and most exciting film fare to me. ... I look forward with indescribable enthusiasm to being a part of that world and contributing whatever I can to keep the legend alive and growing," said Lee.
On March 15, 2007, Stan Lee Media's new President Jim Nesfield filed a lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment for $5 billion, claiming that the company is co-owner of the characters that Lee created for Marvel.
On June 9, 2007, Stan Lee Media sued Stan Lee, his newer company, POW Entertainment, subsidiary QED Entertainment, and other former Stan Lee Media staff at POW.
In 2008, Lee wrote humorous captions for the political fumetti book Stan Lee Presents Election Daze: What Are They Really Saying?.
In April 2008, at the NYCC, Viz Media announced that their parent company Shueisha would be debuting the prologue chapter of Karakuridôji Ultimo, a collaborative effort between Stan Lee and Shaman King creator Hiroyuki Takei. Brighton Partners and Rainmaker Animation announced in April 2008 a partnership with Lee's POW! Entertainment to produce a CGI film series, "Legion of 5". That same month, Virgin Comics announced Lee would create a line of superhero comics for that company. He is also working on a TV adaptation of the novel Hero.
On December 5, 1947, Lee married Joan Clayton. Joan Lee gave birth to Stan's two daughters: Joan Celia "J.C." Lee in 1950 and Jan Lee, who died three days after delivery in 1953.
Lee's favorite authors include Stephen King, H. G. Wells, Mark Twain, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Harlan Ellison.
Lee has received several awards for his work, including being formally inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995.
He is among the celebrities scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008.
On November 17, 2008, Stan Lee was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
The Fantastic Four #10 (Jan. 1963): Cover art by Kirby & Dick Ayers. Stan Lee and his collaborator Jack Kirby appear as themselves in The Fantastic Four #10 (Jan. 1963), the first of several appearances within the fictional Marvel Universe. The two are depicted as similar to their real-world counterparts, creating comic books based on the "real" adventures of the Fantastic Four.
Kirby, during his years of working for DC Comics in the 1970s, created the character Funky Flashman as a possible parody of Stan Lee. With his hyperbolic speech pattern, gaudy toupee, and hip '70s-Manhattan style beard (as Lee sported at the time) this ne'er-do-well charlatan first appeared in the pages of Mister Miracle.
Kirby later portrayed himself, Lee, production executive Sol Brodsky, and Lee's secretary Flo Steinberg as superheroes in What If #11, "What If the Marvel Bullpen Had Become the Fantastic Four?", in which Lee played the part of Mister Fantastic.
Lee has also made numerous cameo appearances in many Marvel titles, appearing in audiences and crowds at many characters' ceremonies and parties, and hosting an old-soldiers reunion in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #100 (July 1972). Lee appeared, unnamed, as the priest at Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' wedding in New Avengers Annual #1. He pays his respects to Karen Page at her funeral in the Daredevil "Guardian Devil" story arc, and appears in The Amazing Spider-Man (June 1977).
In Alan Moore's satirical miniseries 1963, based on numerous Marvel characters of the 1960s, Moore's alter ego "Affable Al" parodies Lee and his allegedly unfair treatment of artists.
The "Young Dan Pussey" stories by Daniel Clowes, collected in Pussey!, feature an exploitative publisher who relies on Lee's gung-ho style and "Bullpen" mythology to motivate his stable of naive and underpaid creators; the stories mainly satirize the state of mainstream comics in the 1990s, but also the subculture of young superhero fans that Lee helped to create.
In Marvel's 1991 comic book adaptation of game Double Dragon, a character modeled after Stan Lee was specifically created for the comic and is introduced as the father of the protagonists, Billy and Jimmy Lee. The character is only referred by his first name, Stan, although the play on his name is obvious when one considers the Lee brothers' surname.
In X-Play on the cable network G4, the character "Roger, the Stan Lee Experience" - dubbed "the fifth-best-thing next to Stan Lee" - is a foul-mouthed, perverted stand-up comic parody of Lee. Roger's segments normally consist of him describing details of numerous unspeakable adult encounters, usually involving the wife of another Marvel veteran, Jack Kirby, with each encounter somehow leading to the creation of a well-known Marvel character.
In Marvel's July 1997 "Flashback" event, a top-hatted caricature of Lee as a ringmaster introduced stories which detailed events in Marvel characters' lives before they became superheroes, in special "-1" editions of many Marvel titles. The "ringmaster" depiction of Lee was originally from Generation X #17 (July 1996), where the character narrated a story set primarily in an abandoned circus. Though the story itself was written by Scott Lobdell, the narration by "Ringmaster Stan" was written by Lee himself, and the character was drawn in that issue by Chris Bachalo. Bachalo's depiction of "Ringmaster Stan" was later used in the heading of a short-lived revival of the "Stan's Soapbox" column, which evolved into a question & answer format.
In his given name of Stanley Lieber, Stan Lee appears briefly in Paul Malmont's 2006 novel "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril".
Lee and other comics creators are mentioned in Michael Chabon's 2000 novel about the comics industry The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
On one of the last pages of "Truth: Red, White, and Black", Lee appears in a real photograph among other celebrities on a wall of the Bradley home.
In Ultimate X-Men #20, a caricature of Lee appears as a photograph next to the letter Xavier leaves for his students.
In Stan Lee Meets Superheroes, Stan Lee comes in to contact with some of his favorite creations. The series was written by Lee himself.
Film and television appearances
- Lee appears with director Kevin Smith and 2000s Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada in the DVD program "Marvel Then & Now: An Evening with Stan Lee and Joe Quesada, hosted by Kevin Smith".
- One of Lee's earliest contributions to animation based on Marvel properties was narrating the 1980s Incredible Hulk animated series, always beginning his narration with a self-introduction and ending with "This is Stan Lee saying, Excelsior!" Lee had previously narrated the "Seven Little Superheroes" episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, which the Hulk series was paired with for broadcast.
- Lee did the narration for the original 1989 X-Men animated series pilot titled Pryde of the X-Men.
- Lee was interviewed on the History Channel Show Superhuman by Daniel Browning Smith, who held several Guiness Records for extreme flexibility due to having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic condition affecting collagen formation. Smith had created his own comic book to display his own struggles as an outcast for his flexibility, and legitimately surprised Lee with a quick demonstration of his talent.
- In the animated series Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, Lee plays himself in a live-action scene of the "Comic Capers" episode.
- Lee was an executive producer of the 1990s animated TV series Spider-Man. He appeared as himself in animated form in the series finale episode titled "Farewell, Spider-Man". Spider-Man is transported by Madame Web into the "real" world where he is a fictional character. He meets Lee and the two swing around until Spider-Man drops him off on top of a building; Madame Web appears and brings Spider-Man back to his homeworld. Realizing he is stuck on a roof, Lee muses, hoping the Fantastic Four will show up and lend a hand.
- He also voices the character "Frank Elson" in an episode of Spider-Man: The New Animated Series series broadcast by MTV in 2003, and titled "Mind Games" (Parts 1 & 2, originally aired in August 15 & 22, 2003).
- He voiced a loading dock worker named Stan on The Spectacular Spider-Man in the episode "Blueprints".
- Lee has an extensive cameo in the Kevin Smith film Mallrats. He once again plays himself, this time visiting "the" mall to sign books at a comic store. Later, he takes on the role of a sage-like character, giving Jason Lee's character, Brodie Bruce (a longtime fan of Lee's), advice on his love life. He also recorded interviews with Smith for the non-fiction video Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters, and Marvels (2002).
- Lee appeared as himself in an extended self-parodying sketch on the episode "Tapping a Hero" of Robot Chicken.
- Lee appears as himself in writer-director Larry Cohen's The Ambulance (1990), in which Eric Roberts plays an aspiring comics artist.
- In The Simpsons episode "I Am Furious Yellow" (April 28, 2002), Lee voices the animated Stan Lee, who is a prolonged visitor to Comic Book Guy's store ("Stan Lee came back?" "Stan Lee never left. I am starting to think his mind is no longer in mint condition.") He asks if Comic Book Guy is the stalker of Lynda Carter - the star of the 1970s show Wonder Woman - and shows signs of dementia, such as breaking a customer's toy Batmobile by trying to cram a Thing action figure into it (claiming that he "made it better"), hiding DC comics behind Marvel comics, and believing that he is the Hulk (and fails trying to become the Hulk, while Comic Book Guy comments he couldn't even change into Bill Bixby). In a later Simpsons episode, Worst Episode Ever, Lee's picture is seen next to several others on the wall behind the register, under the heading "Banned for life".
- Lee also appears as himself in the Mark Hamill-directed Comic Book: The Movie (2004), a direct-to-video mockumentary primarily filmed at the 2002 San Diego Comic-Con.
- Lee also made an appearance on December 21, 2006, on the NBC game show Identity.
- Lee appeared as himself in episode 3.16 of The Big Bang Theory.
- Lee appears in the manga and anime series of Heroman as a regular at a diner. He is voiced by Atsushi Ii in the Japanese anime.
- Stan Lee voices the Mayor of Superhero City in the Super Hero Squad Show.
Film and television appearances
 Marvel film properties
Stan Lee appeared in cameos as one-scene characters in many (but not all) movies based on Marvel Comic characters he helped create. He is currently the 22nd ranked actor in terms of box office takings thanks to his cameos in Marvel movies.
- In the TV-movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989), Lee's first appearance in a Marvel movie or TV project is as jury foreman in the trial of Dr. Bruce Banner.
- In X-Men (2000), Lee appears as a vendor of a hotdog stand on the beach when Senator Kelly emerges naked onshore after escaping from Magneto.
In Spider-Man (2002), he appeared during Spider-Man's first battle with the Green Goblin, pulling a little girl away from falling debris.
- In Daredevil (2003), as a child, Matt Murdock stops Lee from crossing the street and getting hit by a car.
- In Hulk (2003), he appears walking alongside former TV-series Hulk Lou Ferrigno in an early scene, both as security guards at Bruce Banner's lab. It was his first speaking role in a film based on one of his characters.
- In Spider-Man 2 (2004), Lee again pulls an innocent person away from danger during Spider-Man's first battle with Doctor Octopus.
In Fantastic Four (2005), Lee appears for the first time as a character from the comics, in a role credited as Willie Lumpkin, the mail carrier who greets the Fantastic Four as they enter the Baxter Building.
- In X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Lee and Chris Claremont appear as two of Jean Grey's neighbors in the opening scenes set 20 years ago. Lee, credited as "Waterhose man," is watering the lawn when Jean telekinetically redirects the water from the hose into the air.
- In Spider-Man 3 (2007), Lee appears in a credited role as "Man in Times Square". He stands next to Peter Parker, both of them reading a news bulletin, and commenting to Peter that, "You know, I guess one person can make a difference". He then says his catch phrase, "'Nuff said."
- In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Lee appears as himself at Reed Richards' and Susan Storm's first wedding, being turned away by a security guard for not being on the guest list. In Fantastic Four Annual #3 (1965), in which the couple married, Lee and Jack Kirby are similarly turned away.
- In Iron Man (2008), Lee (credited as "Himself") appears at a gala cavorting with three blond women, where Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner. In the theatrical release of the film, Stark simply greets Lee as "Hef" and moves on without seeing Lee's face; another version of the scene was filmed where Stark realizes his mistake, but Lee graciously responds, "That's okay, I get this all the time."
- In The Incredible Hulk (2008), Lee appears as a hapless citizen who accidentally ingests a soft drink mixed with Bruce Banner's blood, leading to the discovery of Dr. Banner's location in a bottling plant in Brazil.
- In Iron Man 2 (2010), during the Stark Expo, Lee, wearing suspenders and a bright colored shirt and tie, is greeted by Tony Stark as "Larry King".
- Lee said he has met with Kenneth Branagh, director of the planned film Thor about his possible cameo in that movie. Lee confirmed the cameo via his Twitter page on December 6, 2009.
In the original broadcast airing of the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Apokolips... Now! Part 2", an animated Stan Lee was planned to be visible mourning the death of Daniel "Terrible" Turpin, a character based on Lee's collaborator Jack Kirby. The scene would also have included such Marvel characters as the Fantastic Four, Nick Fury, and Peter Parker, as well as such Kirby DC characters as Big Barda, Scott Free, and Orion. This shot appeared in the completed episode and was aired in 7 February 1998 in WB Kids, but was later removed in the DVD release of the episode.
Other film, TV and video
Lee appears with director Kevin Smith and 2000s Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada in the DVD program "Marvel Then & Now: An Evening with Stan Lee and Joe Quesada, hosted by Kevin Smith".
Lee narrated the 2001 film Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, under the pseudonym "Peter Parker."
One of Lee's earliest contributions to animation based on Marvel properties was narrating the 1980s Incredible Hulk animated series, always beginning his narration with a self-introduction and ending with "This is Stan Lee saying, Excelsior!" Lee had previously narrated the "Seven Little Superheroes" episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, which the Hulk series was paired with for broadcast.
Lee did the narration for the original 1989 X-Men animated series pilot titled Pryde of the X-Men.
In the animated series Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, Lee plays himself in a live-action scene of the "Comic Capers" episode.
Lee was an executive producer of the 1990s animated TV series Spider-Man. He appeared as himself in animated form in the series finale episode titled "Farewell, Spider-Man". Spider-Man is transported by Madame Web into the "real" world where he is a fictional character. He meets Lee and the two swing around until Spider-Man drops him off on top of a building; Madame Web appears and brings Spider-Man back to his homeworld. Realizing he is stuck on a roof, Lee muses, hoping the Fantastic Four will show up and lend a hand.
He also voices the character "Frank Elson" in an episode of Spider-Man: The New Animated Series series broadcast by MTV in 2003, and titled "Mind Games" (Parts 1 & 2, originally aired in Aug. 15 & 22, 2003).
He voiced a loading dock worker named Stan on The Spectacular Spider-Man in the episode "Blueprints".
Lee has an extensive cameo in the Kevin Smith film Mallrats. He once again plays himself, this time visiting "the" mall to sign books at a comic store. Later, he takes on the role of a sage-like character, giving Jason Lee's character, Brodie Bruce (a longtime fan of Lee's), advice on his love life. He also recorded interviews with Smith for the non-fiction video Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters, and Marvels (2002).
Lee appeared as himself in an extended self-parodying sketch on the episode "Tapping a Hero" of Robot Chicken.
Lee appears as himself in writer-director Larry Cohen's The Ambulance (1990), in which Eric Roberts plays an aspiring comics artist.
In The Simpsons episode "I Am Furious Yellow" (April 28, 2002), Lee voices the animated Stan Lee, who is a prolonged visitor to Comic Book Guy's store ("Stan Lee came back?" "Stan Lee never left. I am starting to think his mind is no longer in mint condition.") He asks if Comic Book Guy is the stalker of Lynda Carter - the star of the 70s show Wonder Woman - and shows signs of dementia, such as breaking a customer's toy Batmobile by trying to cram a Thing action figure into it (claiming that he "made it better"), hiding DC comics behind Marvel comics, and believing that he is the Hulk (and fails trying to become the Hulk, while Comic Book Guy comments he couldn't even change into Bill Bixby). In a later episode, Lee's picture is seen next to several others on the wall behind the register, under the heading "Banned for life".
Lee also appears as himself in the Mark Hamill-directed Comic Book: The Movie (2004), a direct-to-video mockumentary primarily filmed at the 2002 San Diego Comic-Con.
He appeared in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) as the "Three Stooges Wedding Guest", a Spaniard who learns English from watching Three Stooges shorts.
Stan Lee narrates the 2000 video game Spider-Man and the 2001 sequel Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro.
Lee is producer and host of the reality-TV show Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, which premiered on the Sci Fi Channel on July 27, 2006, and had its second season in summer, 2007.
Lee has made two appearances as a subject on To Tell the Truth: first in 1970, and again in 2001.
Lee also made an appearance on December 21, 2006, on the NBC game show Identity.
Lee voices characters in POW! Entertainment's direct-to-DVD "Stan Lee Presents" line of animated features. In Mosaic he voices the security guard Stanley at Interpol, and in The Condor he voices a candy-store owner whose granddaughter the Condor saves.
In the "Unexpected" episode of the TV science-fiction drama Heroes (2006), Lee appears as a bus driver kindly greeting Hiro Nakamura.
In the summer of 2008, Lee worked on a kids version of Who Wants To Be A Superhero?, for CBBC, which began broadcasting in the UK on January 3, 2009. He again appears via TV as a superhero godfather figure to the aspiring superheroes.
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