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The Only Major Actor Still Alive From The Love Bug

Michele Lee, who played Carole Bennet in “The Love Bug,” was born in 1942 and her first screen appearance was in 1961, playing a nurse in an episode of hospital drama “Ben Casey.” Her early career also featured multiple appearances in Broadway productions, and after a lengthy hiatus, she eventually returned to the stage in the 2000s.  

Lee only had a handful of TV appearances and a single movie role as Rosemary Pilkington in the musical comedy “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” in her résumé when she landed the female lead role in “The Love Bug.” While her character didn’t return for the sequels, Lee’s career dramatically switched gears after the hit movie. She appeared in many TV movies and shows, notably playing multiple roles in the romantic comedy series “The Love Boat” and appearing as Vivian Feffer in the 2004 Ben Stiller-Jennifer Aniston comedy “Along Came Polly.” However, her most well-known performance is Karen MacKenzie, one of the most prominent characters in the long-running CBS soap opera “Knots Landing.” Certain TV characters were recast during the “Dallas” spin-off show’s lengthy 14-season tenure, but Lee stood her ground. In fact, she and Ted Shackelford (who played Gary Ewing) are the only two actors to appear in every single one of the show’s 344 episodes and the two-part spin-off miniseries “Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac.”

While Lee is the only “The Love Bug” actor who’s still with us, it appears that she has retired from acting. Her final on-screen role was a 2013 guest appearance on the short-lived ABC comedy show “How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life).”

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