Is Philomena Lee Still Alive? Who Was Philomena Lee’s Son?

Philomena Lee

Annie Philomena Lee was an Irish woman whose story was told in Martin Sixsmith’s 2009 book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee. Philomena (2013), a film that was based on the novel, was nominated to win four Academy Awards, including Best Actress in a portrayal by Judi Dench of Philomena, and Best Picture. Lee is an advocate for adoption rights. Lee founded The Philomena Project in order to raise awareness about adoption laws, and to find ways to improve them. In February 2014, she met Pope Francis to discuss adoption policies.

Is Philomena Still Alive?

Yes, Philomena Lea is still here at 89 years old and is still kicking it. Lee was born Annie Philomena Lee March 24, 1933. Lee spent her childhood at the convent school with her sisters Kaye, Mary, and later at 18 she was sent to Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea when she discovered she was pregnant. It was considered a sin to have an unwed mother. After three years of service, she was transferred to Liverpool, London to study nursing. She is now a spokesperson and advocate for adoption rights.  

The Lost Child of Philomena Lee

The story of a mother-son duo, Philomena and Philomena Lee is The Lost Child of Philomena. It tells the story of their lives and the secrets they were forced to keep. Martin Sixsmith published the book The Lost Child of Philomena. Stephen Frears directed a film based on this novel. Judi Dench plays Philomena Lee, and Steve Coogan portrays Martin Sixsmith. The film received numerous international film awards and critical praise.  

Philomena Lee’s Son

Born Anthony Lee, Michael Anthony Hess was an Irish-born American lawyer. He served as the Republican National Committee’s (RNC’s) deputy chief legal counselor and later, as chief legal counsel, in the late 1980s. Anthony Lee was the son of Philomena Lee, a native of Ireland. He spent his early years in a convent until he was adopted by Marge Hess and Doc Hess in St. Louis, Missouri. He was separated from his mother at birth. His adoption was part a program of forcible adoptions that was being practiced at the time by some Catholic religious order in Ireland. The story of that first part of his life was later told through Martin Sixsmith’s book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, and the film Philomena. He died from HIV AIDS after he failed his mother to find him. Eight years later, Philomena, his mother, found his tombstone in the exact same spot he was buried in Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea. His ashes were buried there in his honor, so that his mother would one day find him there, if she had to search for him.  

Philomena Lee’s Family

Lee’s mother died from tuberculosis in her sixties. Lee and Kaye, her sisters, were sent to a convent school, while Mary’s father, a butcher kept his sons at their home. After finishing her formal education in the convent, Lee moved in to live with Kitty Madden her maternal aunt. After marrying in 1959, she had two more children, Jane (and Kevin) and worked as an nurse. John E. Libberton was her first husband. She later remarried Philip Gibson.


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