Tommy Lee is known to rockers as the drummer for Motley Crue, and known to the rest of the world as the ex-husband of Pamela Anderson, and star of one of the most popular movies of the 1990s.

Lee was born Thomas Lee Bass, and spent his first four years in Greece before moving to Southern California. He dropped out of high school and drummed with a band called Suite 19 until 1981, then left to form Motley Crue with Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, and Lee’s high school buddy Vince Neil. Lee left Motley Crue in 1999, to spend more time with his family, and soon formed his new band, Methods of Mayhem.

Lee was briefly married to a model in the 1980s, then married to Heather Locklear in the early 1990s, and to Pamela Anderson in the late-90s.

While married, Lee and Anderson filmed a video memento of their love. In a mystery that remains unsolved, the tape was allegedly stolen from their house in 1997 and released as Pam & Tommy Lee: Stolen Honeymoon. They sued the film’s distributor, Internet Entertainment Group of Seattle, but settled out of court, presumably for a cut of the profits. The uncut version of Stolen Honeymoon was 1998’s #1 adult video in both sales and rentals.

“My mom would talk to me in Greek, and I wouldn’t

be able to comprehend a word she was saying…”

Is Tommy Lee Greek?

Yes, Tommy Lee is half-Greek. He was born Thomas Lee Bass on October 3, 1962, in Athens, Greece, to father David Lee Thomas Bass, an American U.S. Army sergeant, and mother Vassilikki “Voula” Papadimitriou, a Miss Greece contestant for the 1960 Miss World event. His family moved to California a year after he was born.

Here’s what Tommy says about his roots in his own words in his book “TommyLand: “I am Tommy Lee, born Thomas Lee Bass in Athens, Greece, on October 3, 1962, and raised in a suburb of California by an American father and a Greek mother…

This is from an interview at the Rolling Stone magazine in 2001:

“I inherited that storm cloud from my mother. Her life was like that: Everything good was surrounded by tragedy. Her name was Vasiliki Papadimitriou, and she was Miss Greece in the Fifties. My dad, David Lee Thomas, was an Army sergeant, and he proposed to my mom the first time he ever fucking saw her. They were married within five days of meeting, just like Pamela and I would be almost forty years later. He didn’t speak a word of Greek, she didn’t speak a word of English. They drew pictures when they wanted to communicate, or she’d write something in Greek and my dad would struggle to make sense of the characters using a Greek-English dictionary.

Just after I was born, my parents left Athens and moved to a Los Angeles suburb called Covina. It was hard for my mother. She used to be a totally rad model, and now here she was in America, making a living cleaning other people’s houses like a fucking servant. She was living in a new country, and she had no family, no friends, no money, and she hardly spoke a word of English. She missed home so much, she named my younger sister Athena.

My dad worked for the L.A. County Road Department, fixing highway-repair trucks and tractors. My mom always hoped he’d make enough money so she could quit her job and hire a housekeeper, but he never did. My mom would talk to me in Greek, and I wouldn’t be able to comprehend a word she was saying. I had no idea why I could understand everybody else around me but I couldn’t make out a word my mother was saying. Experiences like that led to the constant fear and insecurity I feel as an adult…”

Rolling Stone, May 10, 2001

Tommy Lee, interview: