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Shari Lewis

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Also Known As: Shari Phyllis Hurwitz Died: August 2, 1998
Born: January 17, 1933 Cause of Death: pneumonia brought on by treatment for uterine cancer
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: puppeteer, conductor, singer, actor, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Children's television favorite Shari Lewis got her biggest break in 1957, when she debuted her puppet alter ego Lamb Chop on CBS' "Captain Kangaroo". Before that, the sprightly, energetic Lewis was the host of local children's programs in the New York area. Among these were "Facts 'n' Fun" on WNBT-TV (1953), "Shari and Her Friends" on WPIX-TV (1954) and 1957's "Shariland" on WRCA-TV. Red-haired pixieish Shari Lewis was born Shari Hurwitz in New York City to a magician father and musical mother. By the age of two, she was studying piano and pulling rabbits out of hats. Growing up in New York, Lewis attended the city's famed High School of Music and Art where she studied music theory and orchestration as well as piano and violin. She also attended New York's Columbia University, and studied dance at the School of American Ballet and acting with Sanford Meisner of the Neighborhood Playhouse. Lewis learned early on of her talent for ventriloquism and won on "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" in 1952 which led to her many children's television projects. In 1960, she created "The Shari Lewis Show" (NBC), the first show to feature her most beloved puppets Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy. The show...

Children's television favorite Shari Lewis got her biggest break in 1957, when she debuted her puppet alter ego Lamb Chop on CBS' "Captain Kangaroo". Before that, the sprightly, energetic Lewis was the host of local children's programs in the New York area. Among these were "Facts 'n' Fun" on WNBT-TV (1953), "Shari and Her Friends" on WPIX-TV (1954) and 1957's "Shariland" on WRCA-TV. Red-haired pixieish Shari Lewis was born Shari Hurwitz in New York City to a magician father and musical mother. By the age of two, she was studying piano and pulling rabbits out of hats. Growing up in New York, Lewis attended the city's famed High School of Music and Art where she studied music theory and orchestration as well as piano and violin. She also attended New York's Columbia University, and studied dance at the School of American Ballet and acting with Sanford Meisner of the Neighborhood Playhouse. Lewis learned early on of her talent for ventriloquism and won on "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" in 1952 which led to her many children's television projects. In 1960, she created "The Shari Lewis Show" (NBC), the first show to feature her most beloved puppets Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy. The show aired until 1963, when the increasing popularity of animated children's fare pushed it off the air.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1935:
At age two, began studying piano and learned her first magic trick (date approximate)
1952:
Won "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts"(CBS)
1953:
Starred in the local children's series "Facts 'n' Fun" on WNBT-TV in New York
1954:
Starred in the local children's series "Shari and Her Friends" on WPIX-TV in New York
1957:
Starred in the local children's series "Shariland" on WRCA-TV in New York
1957:
Introduced Lamb Chop on "The Captain Kangaroo Show" (CBS)
1957:
Hosted an hour long informational series for young mothers entitled "Hi, Mom"(NBC)
:
Hosted "The Shari Lewis Show" on NBC, a children's show featuring puppets Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy
:
Performed Las Vegas nightclub acts with Donald O'Connor
:
Wrote an episode of NBC's "Star Trek" with husband Jeremy Tarcher entitled "The Lights of Zatar"
:
Hosted a Sunday evening BBC program
1975:
Hosted "The Shari Lewis Show", a syndicated program set at a puppet-run television station
1986:
Appeared on various television specials including "Television Academy Hall of Fame", "The 38th Annual Emmy Awards" and "NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration"
:
Returned to children's television with "Lamb Chop's Play-Along" (PBS)
1994:
Appeared on NBC's telecast of "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade"
1995:
Appeared as herself in an episode of the CBS comedy "The Nanny"
1995:
Hosted the holiday special "Lamb Chop's Special Chanukah" (PBS) and the math education special "Lamb Chop in the Land of No Numbers" (PBS)
1996:
Appeared as herself in an episode of the CBS comedy "Cybill"
1996:
Was a guest on the PBS special "Kathie Lee Gifford's Lullabies for Little Ones"
1997:
Hosted the PBS holiday special "Shari's Passover Surprise"
1998:
Last show "The Charlie Horse Music Pizza" premiered on PBS
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Education

The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre: New York , New York -
School of American Ballet: New York , New York -
High School of Music and Art: New York , New York - 1949
Columbia University: New York , New York - 1951

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Stan Lewis. Briefly married in the 1950s; divorced.
husband:
Jeremy Tarcher. Producer, publisher. Married on March 15, 1958; survived her.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Abraham B Hurwitz. Government employee. Official magician of the New York City Parks Department.
mother:
Ann Hurwitz. Government employee. Music coordinator for the New York City Board of Education.
sister:
Barbara Okun. Survived her.
daughter:
Mallory Jessica Tarcher. TV producer. Born c. 1962; survived her.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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