"Lee" was born Audrey Valentine Middleton on 14 February 1937. Her life proved to be eventful and colourful.
Much of the background material that follows comes from Lee's own accounts, in her books The Happy Medium (Futura 1983) and Kinds Of Loving (Columbus 1987).
Kinds Of Loving contains a great deal of detail about her relationship with Billy. Autobiographies, of course, are self-serving, and present events only from the point of view of the author. However, although Lee and Billy separated with a great deal of unpleasantness, they became close friends again and the book was clearly written at a time when Lee felt no rancour and was happily settled into marriage.
In her home town of Sheffield, she married early. Her husband was called up for National Service with the Army. While he was away, Audrey formed a relationship with a member of a musical tour group, became pregnant and miscarried.
She moved to London and began living with a bisexual man, during which time she also experimented with a lesbian relationship.
After moving in with Duffy Power, a member of Larry Parnes' stable of singers, she met Billy and began an eight-year relationship.
They planned to be married and to adopt a black child during a holiday in the West Indies, but before either event could take place, they heard that their pet dog had drowned at home in the UK, and flew back.
Billy and Lee set up home in Ockley, Surrey, behind a high wall where they assembled a considerable menagerie and played host to most of the big names of the music world.
Their relationship was not without its hiccups, as both had other interests from time to time.
Lee and Billy separated for a period when he completed filming I've Gotta Horse, when he became involved with his co-star, Amanda Barrie. Amanda's version of the relationship, as depicted in her autobiography, It's Not A Rehearsal, appears below.
The lifestyle depicted in some of Lee's accounts, particularly episodes of drug-taking, shocks many people. It is clear that this took place in the context of the liberating atmosphere of the 1960s, and both Billy - who seems to have operated on the periphery of this activity - and Lee appear to accept the foolishness of their conduct.
Lee made three records of her own, under the name Lady Lee, in the 1960s.
Billy and Lee finally separated at Christmas, 1967. Billy discovered that Lee had been on holiday earlier that year with disc jockey Tony King, having agreed with her friend Judith Hall, that she should give her an alibi. However, Lee felt that Billy was not blameless, as she believed that he and Judith had been associating, and mutual recriminations began.
It emerged later that Lee had been developing a relationship with disc jockey Kenny Everett, who gave an insight into the affair in his autobiography.
Billy and Judith married on May 31, 1969, and Lee married Everett.
After Billy's first heart operation, both Billy and Judith moved into the home of Lee and Everett while Billy recuperated.
Billy and Judith soon separated - Billy felt so unsettled by Judith that he sent Keith Moon to fetch his clothes. Moon took a shotgun.
Billy again moved in with the Everetts.
During her marriage to Kenny Everett, Lee became convinced that she was a medium and a healer and this became a central feature of her life.
She says that at the time of her marriage, she did not realise that Everett was homosexual. They divorced after 17 years, and Lee married actor John Alkin.
Billy had become involved with heart charities and met benefactor Cecil Rosen, an affluent man with wide interests in property. Billy then met his daughter, Lisa, who was to become a pivotal figure for the rest of Billy's life.
Lee was delighted about Billy's relationship with Lisa, with whom he spent the last years of his life. Lee wrote: "God sent Lisa just in time, as I feel that without her he'd have died much sooner." Lee and John Alkin occasionally stayed with Billy and Lisa on their Welsh farm.
Billy and Lisa were together for most of the last 12 years of his life, although at times in the final two years, Billy widened his circle of companions.
It is widely accepted that Lisa paid for the second of Billy's heart operations, and she provided much-needed finance for general living expenses.
Lisa became the main beneficiary of Billy's will.
After Billy's death, Lisa married record producer Stephen Voice. They had two children, but their marriage ended in 2000 and he died a few years later.
Lisa still lives in the building in St John's Wood, London, where Billy was staying when he collapsed.
A valuable interview with Lisa was published by the Daily Mail in January 2001.
In later years, Lee came to public notice again when she nursed her old friend Dusty Springfield through her last illness in 1999.
I believe that Lee now lives in the Brighton area.
He was very unique on-stage. An audience of girls would scream themselves silly, and at one point he used to come to the front of the stage, take ten minutes to light a cigarette, oull on it, and do all this moody bit before the curtain opened.
The audience would be mesmerised. You could hear a pin drop.
None of the other boys took rock 'n' roll seriously, ravin' away like loonies. Billy used to rehearse, practise his every move; he was serious about his stage act.
The others, Dickie, Georgie and all the rest, would go on in a barrel, just fall on stage.
They all smoked grass - it was common in the Parnes stable. Billy smoked grass from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night.
We were chased out of London. We lived in a flat that Larry Parnes bought us in Cromwell Road. The fans were nearly committing suicide on Billy's doorstep. I had to walk girls about, to bring them round after overdosing on pills, until the ambulances arrived.
There were girls hiding out in the dustbins, it was just horrendous.
We bought a house in Kingston Hill. We had a 6ft fence, and they got over that.
My mother had a breakdown, from the house being in a constant state of siege. You wouldn't believe the gates we had. It was Auschwitz in there. We were prisoners, and they were still coming over the wall.
Then we put a 4ft barbed wire top on the wall, but our blue-rinsed neighbours complained and we had to take it down, because then the home of our dreams really did look like a concentration camp.
Amanda Barrie, Billy's co-star in the film I've Gotta Horse, gives the following account of their relationship in her autobiography, It's Not A Rehearsal.
When the rock star Billy Fury moved in with me, he brought a suitcase stuffed with socks, a few stray animals, a gun and shoebox full of marijuana. The two of us had fallen for each other on the set of the now mostly forgotten film I’ve Gotta Horse. Although he was officially my lodger, it was not long before we became lovers.
Billy was incredibly charismatic and good-looking a truly beautiful creature. I was extremely relieved to have such strong sexual feelings about a man again after the confusing love affair I’d had with a woman in the South of France, which I described in yesterday’s Mail.
I decided to convince myself that it had been just a passing phase. I still wasn’t able to face up to the truth about my sexuality.
At first, Billy and I kept our relationship a secret. I knew vaguely that he had a girlfriend, although I think he must have stopped seeing her during the time we were together. We simply never talked about it.
The lifestyle I shared with Billy was one of utter recklessness. Our main source of sustenance was rum and Coke. He and I used to rush back to my flat in London’s Convent Garden as soon as we’d finished filming, put on identical denim caps and go straight out on a pub crawl. We ate virtually nothing and as a result we both looked like skeletons.
This way of life was very bad for Billy, who had always suffered from ill health. One day he collapsed at Shepperton studios while we were filming. A doctor was called and, after examining Billy, he asked me: "Did you know that he smokes marijuana?"
I was a bit nervous about replying, because possession of dope was a serious offence in those days. Nobody got off with a caution in 1963. I managed to give a reasonably non-committal answer.
Then the doctor told me that Billy was very ill. He had TB, kidney problems and a serious heart condition – which would ultimately lead to his death at the age of just 42.
I was shocked – and even more so by what the doctor said next. "You must make sure he keeps on the marijuana," he instructed me, "it’s probably what’s keeping him alive."
Strangely enough, given that this was the Sixties and almost everyone seemed to smoke dope, I had never tried cannabis. But mindful of the doctor’s instructions, I was determined to make sure that Billy had a plentiful supply.
I used to accompany him to Brixton in South London, where we’d meet up with some wonderful West Indian musicians who were also drug dealers.
We would sit around a great big round table, they’d get all the stuff out and the deals would be struck over endless cans of Coke. They all adored Billy.
Eventually, I was persuaded by colleagues on the film set to try some cannabis – and a terrifying experience it proved to be.
Strange things started to happen to me. My arms seemed to get longer and longer, and I couldn’t hold on to anything. The furniture kept changing size, and everything had a coloured haze around it.
I had a massive panic attack. I thought the end of the world had come and I was dying. I remember ending up face down on the floor.
I felt as if I was going into a kind of limbo and that something I can only describe as a black monster was overwhelming me.
I understand that such an extreme reaction to cannabis is fairly unusual but, of course, I was just skin and bone, I had drunk a lot of brandy beforehand, goodness knows when I’d last eaten and – as usual in those days – I was in a state of exhaustion from working and playing much too hard.
I very nearly went under, that’s for sure. The only thing that held me together was the thought that is was a really stupid way to die, and that my mother would be furious.
The side effects of that experience stayed with me for many years, particularly an unnerving time-slip sensation that was part of the whole nightmare. Whenever Billy left me by myself while he popped out to get cigarettes or papers, I used to panic because I would think that he had been gone for hours when it was actually only few minutes. I began to develop a fear of being on my own that never really went away.
The whole thing put me off smoking dope with a vengeance, but fortunately Billy never pressured me into joining him. We were together for almost a year and we became so close that he proposed to me. I don’t remember what I replied, although I know I didn’t give him a proper answer. I just couldn’t. I adored him and I really did consider marrying him. But despite my attempts to forget it, what had happened in the south of France had changed everything for me.
I wouldn’t have dreamed of marrying Billy without telling him about the side of me that was attracted to women, and he was one of those people I could just never confide in. He was like a child in many ways, and I felt couldn’t burden him with my worries.
Then something very strange happened. One night as I was preparing a meal, Billy went out to buy cigarettes. He never came back.
At first I was worried. Had he been in another accident? I called the police and the hospitals. The next day I phoned his manager. He was not available, but someone in the office said. "Just leave it, Amanda. He’s had to go back."
From which I gleaned that Billy had returned to whoever he’d been with when we had got together.
I had always suspected, partly because of the gun, that there might be another side to Billy and that he might have been involved in some kind of really heavy drug scene when he met me.
I knew nothing about what was really going on, but there was some thing about the way that message was relayed to me that made me do exactly what I was told. I just left it.
It was rather as if I had been waned off. And I never saw, nor heard from Billy Fury again.(Transcribed by Pauline Swindells.)