Who is Myrna Colley-Lee? All About Morgan Freeman’s Ex-Wife

Myrna Colley-Lee is a renowned costume designer and philanthropist, known for her contributions to the entertainment industry and her advocacy for arts education and cultural heritage preservation. While some recognize her as the former spouse of the iconic actor Morgan Freeman, her legacy extends far beyond her personal relationships. Myrna Colley-Lee emerged as a distinguished costume designer and a passionate advocate for arts education and cultural heritage preservation.

In the dynamic landscape of Hollywood, Myrna Colley-Lee left an indelible mark through her visionary costume designs, enhancing the storytelling of numerous theater productions, films, and television shows. Her meticulous attention to detail and creative flair earned her recognition and acclaim in the entertainment industry. Beyond her professional endeavors, Myrna’s dedication to philanthropy has been equally impactful, as she tirelessly championed causes aimed at nurturing the arts and uplifting communities.

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Profile Summary

Full NameMyrna Colley-Lee
OccupationRenowned costume designer and philanthropist
BirthdateJanuary 1, 1941
Place of BirthHamlet, North Carolina, USA
EducationBachelor’s degree in arts from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina,<br>Master’s degree in scenic and costume design from Temple University
Notable Works“Forest City,” “The Piano Lesson,” “Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story In Black And White”
Awards & RecognitionNumerous accolades and awards for costume design
MarriageFormer spouse of Morgan Freeman
FamilyAdopted E’Dena Hines, Morgan Freeman’s step-granddaughter
PhilanthropyActive involvement in the Rock River Foundation and support for arts education initiatives
DivorceDivorced Morgan Freeman in 2010 after a 26-year marriage
Post-Divorce LifeMaintained privacy while focusing on personal growth and professional fulfillment
LegacyInspiring figure in the entertainment industry, known for her talent, dedication, and advocacy for arts education and cultural heritage preservation

Early Life

Born in the quaint town of Hamlet, North Carolina, on January 1, 1941, Myrna Colley-Lee was destined to leave an indelible mark on the world. Growing up in the heart of the American South, she was surrounded by a rich tapestry of culture and tradition, which would later influence her artistic sensibilities.

Myrna’s journey towards artistic excellence began with her pursuit of education. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in arts from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, where she honed her creative skills and laid the foundation for her future endeavors. Eager to expand her horizons, she furthered her studies in scene painting and properties at Brooklyn College, New York. In 1980, Myrna embarked on a new chapter of academic pursuit, enrolling at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she earned a master’s degree in scenic and costume design. Armed with a wealth of knowledge and a passion for her craft, she embarked on a career that would shape the landscape of entertainment.

Career as a Costume Designer

Myrna Colley-Lee’s journey as a costume designer was marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a steadfast commitment to her craft. She began her career with humble beginnings, working on local theater productions and gradually honing her skills. Her talent and dedication soon caught the attention of industry insiders, propelling her into the spotlight of the entertainment world.

Throughout her illustrious career, Myrna lent her creative vision to a myriad of projects that spanned theater, film, and television. From dazzling stage productions to epic cinematic masterpieces, her costume designs brought characters to life and transported audiences to new worlds. Some of her notable works include “Forest City,” “The Piano Lesson,” and “Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story In Black And White,” each showcasing her unparalleled talent and artistic prowess.

Myrna Colley-Lee’s contributions to the world of costume design have not gone unnoticed. Her work has been celebrated with numerous accolades and awards, cementing her status as one of the industry’s most revered talents. Her keen eye for detail, coupled with her ability to capture the essence of a character through costume, has earned her the admiration of peers and audiences alike.

Marriage to Morgan Freeman

The union of Myrna Colley-Lee and Morgan Freeman was a serendipitous affair, sparked by fate and fueled by a shared passion for the arts. Their paths first crossed through a mutual friend, whose introduction would set the stage for a lifelong journey of love and collaboration.

As partners in life and in art, Myrna and Morgan forged a bond that transcended the boundaries of creativity. Together, they carved out a niche in the bustling world of Hollywood, establishing themselves as trailblazers in their respective fields. Their home in Tallahatchie County served as a sanctuary for artistic expression, where they nurtured a community of like-minded individuals and fostered a spirit of creativity and innovation.

Despite the outward appearance of success and harmony, Myrna and Morgan’s relationship was not without its challenges. The demands of their respective careers often led to periods of separation and strain, testing the strength of their bond. However, through perseverance and mutual respect, they weathered the storms that threatened to tear them apart, emerging stronger and more resilient than ever.

Adoption and Family Life

One of the most enduring aspects of Myrna and Morgan’s legacy is their commitment to family. In addition to their own bond, they opened their hearts and their home to E’Dena Hines, Morgan’s step-granddaughter from a previous marriage. The decision to adopt E’Dena was a testament to their belief in the power of love and the importance of kinship, regardless of blood ties.

The addition of E’Dena to their family brought new dynamics and challenges, but it also enriched their lives in countless ways. Myrna embraced her role as a mother figure with grace and compassion, guiding E’Dena through life’s ups and downs and instilling in her the values of integrity, resilience, and kindness. Together, they formed a tight-knit family unit built on love, trust, and mutual support.

Philanthropic Endeavors

Myrna Colley-Lee’s passion for the arts extended beyond the realm of creativity and into the realm of philanthropy. She dedicated her time and resources to various charitable organizations, leveraging her platform to make a positive impact on the world. One such organization is the Rock River Foundation, where she serves as a curator, nurturing and promoting the arts in underserved communities.

At the heart of Myrna’s philanthropic efforts is a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of the arts. She has been a vocal advocate for arts education and cultural heritage preservation, recognizing the importance of ensuring that future generations have access to the rich tapestry of human creativity. Through her advocacy work, she has helped to open doors and create opportunities for aspiring artists from all walks of life.

Divorce and Settlement

In 2007, reports began to surface suggesting that cracks were forming in Myrna and Morgan’s marriage, leading to speculation about the state of their relationship. The following years saw a tumultuous period of uncertainty and upheaval as they navigated the complexities of their separation.

As news of their impending divorce spread, the public’s curiosity was piqued, and rumors began to swirl about the reasons behind their split. While some pointed to alleged infidelities on Morgan’s part, others speculated about irreconcilable differences and conflicting priorities.

In September 2010, the divorce between Myrna Colley-Lee and Morgan Freeman was finalized, bringing an end to their 26-year union. While the specific details of their financial settlement were not disclosed, it is believed that Myrna received a substantial settlement, including cash and real estate assets, as part of the divorce agreement. Despite the challenges they faced, both parties emerged from the process with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to moving forward with dignity and grace.

Post-Divorce Life

Following the dissolution of her marriage to Morgan Freeman, Myrna Colley-Lee embarked on a new chapter of her life, marked by personal growth and professional fulfillment. While the end of their relationship undoubtedly brought its share of heartache and uncertainty, Myrna remained steadfast in her determination to carve out a path of her own.

Throughout the transition, Myrna steadfastly maintained her privacy, choosing to focus on her career and personal development away from the spotlight of public scrutiny. Despite the challenges she faced, she emerged from the experience with a renewed sense of self-assurance and a deepened appreciation for life’s blessings.

Legacy and Impact

Myrna Colley-Lee’s influence on the entertainment industry extends far beyond her work as a costume designer. Her unwavering commitment to excellence and her dedication to preserving African-American cultural heritage have left an indelible mark on the world of arts and culture. Through her visionary designs and her tireless advocacy, she has inspired countless individuals to pursue their passions and make a difference in the world.

Despite the challenges she has faced, Myrna remains committed to making a positive impact on the world through her philanthropic endeavors. Whether through her work with the Rock River Foundation or her support for arts education initiatives, she continues to champion causes that are close to her heart, leaving a legacy of compassion, generosity, and hope for future generations.


Myrna Colley-Lee’s life and career are a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and resilience in the face of adversity. From her humble beginnings in North Carolina to her rise to prominence in Hollywood, she has navigated life’s twists and turns with grace and dignity, leaving an indelible mark on all who have had the privilege of knowing her. As she continues to chart her course into the future, one thing remains abundantly clear: Myrna Colley-Lee’s legacy will endure for generations to come, inspiring countless individuals to dream big, work hard, and make a difference in the world.

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