Lee Priest comes from a working-class family in Australia. He was born in Newcastle on July 6, 1972 and raised in Wallsend. At a young age he became highly interested in sports and he played rugby, football and karate. That was before he became one of the all-time greats in bodybuilding; his nickname “The Blond Myth” speaks volumes. He supposedly wasn’t particularly attractive, he didn’t do well in the Mr. Olympia competition, but Lee’s tenacity and charisma made sure he became a global force to be reckoned with.
Lee Priest’s Rise as a Bodybuilding Prodigy
Lee Priest’s upbringing took place for the most part in Wallsend, Australia. His mother competed in bodybuilding and weightlifting competitions as well, which have been a huge influence on Lee. Lee started training seriously when he was just twelve years old. His grandparents were a huge help in those early years, as they gave him lots of pointers, schedules and encouragement. At just thirteen years of age Lee won his first competition! At the time when Lee was sixteen years old he was already Mr. Australia, and he would be until he was nineteen years old. Talk about taking the center stage at an early age! At seventeen years old, Lee finished fourth in the World Championship.
A Career Full of Unexpected Twists
Lee’s grandfather had a knack for training hard, very hard. Soon Lee didn’t want to do anything else than push his body to its limits. He became obsessed by looking like Tom Platz, Eddie Robinson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lee set his training goals accordingly and wanted to obtain a similar physique as his idols.
When Lee competed in the Niagara Falls Championship, he got his pro license. At twenty years old, he became one of the oldest IFBB professionals. Lee started to focus on The Ironman Pro as well, winning the competition in 2006. He got offered a place in the WBFF as well in 2010, but due to a lack of competition he decided it wasn’t worth his time. In 2013 he resurfaced to compete in the NABBA Mr. Universe competition which he promptly won.
Aside from bodybuilding and competing, Lee is a racing fanatic. He began racing in 2002, and he moved on to drag racing in 2004. He became Rookie of the Year in 2005 and he won the SCEDA Racing Championship the year after.
In 2014 Lee starts writing for Muscle Sport Magazine, and his competing days seem to be over. A long and successful career, with several awards and a whole lot of recognition. He made sure his legacy lives on by founding the Lee Priest Classic Australia in 2015. The competition featured both professional and amateur classes, with both the overall male and female amateur class champions getting a World Fitness Federation Pro Card.
A second Lee Priest Classic tournament was hosted in the United Kingdom in collaboration with Muscle Promotions UK. It took place in Peterborough in the United Kingdom in 2015, and again it featured both professional and amateur classes.
In other surprising career moves, Lee took up acting as well. His documentary film Lee Priest: The Blond Myth opened up opportunities for other movie adventures. He starred in movies like Dumb Criminals: The Movie (2015), The Skydiver and the Scarecrow (2017) and the television series Fat Pizza: Back in Business (2019-2021). Sure, not the most critically acclaimed works, but it showed us a side of Lee we hadn’t seen before.
Also, all those endeavours came with salaries and royalties and bonuses. Which may have been an incentive as well. Lee Priest today has an estimated net worth of $1,5 million. Not too bad, mate.
The Marriages of Lee Priest
Lee Priest married Cathy LeFrançois. She is a former Canadian bodybuilder who competed professionally as well. As you can imagine, they had a lot to talk about as they shared the same major interest. Lee was a true romantic when he knew he was in love with her: he wrote her a love note and he offered to accompany her to a photoshoot in the United States. They resided in the United States until 2005, when things unfortunately fell apart. They filed for divorce and both went their own way.
Lee Priest is now married to Rachel Goodban, and they look perfectly happy together on social media. Lee has retired from professional bodybuilding and now dedicates his time to tattoos and Youtube. As an addition to the household, Lee is the proud owner of a pet fox named Carlos.