Former Cornwall resident lands a role in Hollywood movie

Sultan Jessa

CORNWALL, Ontario – A former Cornwall resident and founder of Cow Patti, a professional comedy dinner theatre, has landed a role in a Hollywood movie.

“East Texas Oil is an uplifting comedy,” said AnneMarie Lea. “It is based on an absolutely true story about the greatest oil strike in history!”

The movie, she said, is definitely family entertainment.

It will make us laugh and inspire our better natures. East Oil Texas, filmed near Calgary, Alberta, is set in 1931. It revolves around a pair of super-slippery men who hit a small Texas town looking to con lonely widows of their money. Lea plays the role of Therma Lou Jones, a widow.

This movie is directed by Kevin Sorbo, the actor who played TV’s Hercules before becoming a film maker.

East Oil Texas is set for release next year.

The film leads are Sorbo, John Ratzenberger and Sam Sorbo.

“The crew was all Canadian and I have to say it was one of the most integral, kind and giving sets I have ever been on,” said Lee. “I refer to everyone from the costume gals to the lovely Rachel who did my hair, to drivers, the Hollywood producers.”

Sorbo is best known for his time playing titular hero in the series Hercules.

Lea said everyone gave 110 per cent of themselves to this project.

“I think that was because everyone was valued and felt genuine appreciation for all contributions of talent and skill.”

The film is set in the small town of Cornville, Texas. When con men arrive in the town, the unthinkable happens. The men actually strike oil, that’s just the first of the miracles that start popping forth from the dead soil.

The movie was filmed in a huge, family owned ranch, which has been featured in many western films over the years.

Lea, her husband Tom and their children once lived in Alberta. They left Calgary, where Cow Patti was inaugurated in 1997. At one time Cow Patti performed theatre at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall. Cow Patti is now celebrating 22 years in production.

Lea and her family returned to Alberta 2010 however, Lee still travels to Morrisburg, to perform at the Upper Canada Theatre.

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