G Whiz! Tv Doll Lee Meredith's 'lee Strings' Just Skimp By!

updated 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

When Lee Meredith, the familiar top-heavy Doll in the Lite Beer commercials, was working a TV burlesque show a few years ago—" I was doing the comedy, not the stripping," she is quick to say—she did get into some backstage girl talk, a little vocational chitchat with Tempest Storm and other burleycue stars, and it was then, says Lee, "I realized how very practical G-strings can be."

Well, sure. After all, G-strings are ever so comfortable, they don't show any lines beneath even the tightest dresses, and, of course, they don't take up much space in your luggage (or even in your purse) should you want to carry a spare or two. The only trouble, the Doll says, is that G-strings have a bad name. People associate G-strings with bad girls. "And I've been wearing them for years too," says Lee, who, notwithstanding the bad thoughts she puts in men's minds, is as good as any God-fearing, domesticated suburban mother of two, which is what Mrs. Bert Stratford is when she isn't being the Doll.

And Mrs. Stratford (husband Bert is a producer that Lee met bowling) wears G-strings just like the Doll.

Mrs. Stratford also enjoys sewing, especially making matching outfits for herself and her daughters, Kim, 15, and Erica, 8, and so when Lee came back to her New Jersey home from the burlesque spot on TV, she started making custom G-strings instead of skirts and blouses. A sister-in-law came up with the name—Lee Strings—and now the Stratfords are in the G-string business with a national line. So far the line, launched last October, is available in about 40 states across the country, but Lee knew the road to success would have its bumps. "I know most people think of G-strings as a novelty," she says, "but I'm trying to push them as clean-cut and fun—and not just for fooling around. I already know some women in their 60s who love G-strings. And their husbands love them too."

The complete line (with a retail price of about $10 a string) includes a Lee String for most every occasion. There is your basic Pretty Practical edition just to lounge around in, a checked one to put on for cooking chores, the pearly night-out number, the watermelon picnic motif, a camouflage model (if you're a Rambo lady), the travel style (with money pouch), and for the bride who already has something old and something borrowed, what could be more appropriate than the lacey white bridal G-string?

While Lee has appeared in movies (The Producers), on the stage (The Seven Year Itch), on TV and on tour, she's been most visible in the almost 20 commercials she has made for Lite Beer—often in tandem with Mickey Spillane, whose squealy Doll she portrays. She also makes scores of personal appearances for Lite and must have set some sort of record for cheek when she performed a "modified strip" in Boston's posh Symphony Hall at a sports museum benefit in January. "A bit much," sniffed the Boston Globe. In between all the traveling, she is already working on expanding her original line with Mother's Day and Father's Day styles, plus a Gardening G-string, and for distaff joggers she has created a G-string that comes equipped with a headband. Alas, Lee says, that design must remain a secret for now.

After that?

"Lee Bras," she giggles. "And that's my zodiac sign too."

And finally, for Spillane and the rest of the boys, she's already planning, what else, Lee Straps.

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