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Steve Lawrence

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Steve Lawrence (born July 8, 1935) is a Jewish American actor and singer, perhaps best known as a member of a duo with his wife Eydie Gormé, billed as Steve and Eydie. The two have appeared together since appearing regularly on Steve Allen's The Tonight Show in the mid-1950s.[1][2]

Biography

Personal life

Lawrence was born Sidney Liebowitz[2] to a Jewish family[3] in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Anna (née Gelb) and Max Leibowitz, who was a cantor and house painter.[4] He attended Thomas Jefferson High School. He and Gormé married on December 29, 1957 at the El Rancho Hotel[2] in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1] They had two sons, the younger of whom, Michael, died unexpectedly in 1986 of ventricular fibrillation resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of 23.[1][2] His other son is David Nessim Lawrence, who composed the score for High School Musical. In the late 1950s, Lawrence was drafted into the Army and served as the official vocal soloist with The United States Army Band (Pershing's Own) in Washington D.C..

Career

Lawrence had success on the pop record charts in the late 50's and early 1960s with such hits as "Go Away Little Girl" (U.S. #1), "Pretty Blue Eyes" (U.S. #9), "Footsteps" (U.S. #7), "Portrait of My Love" (U.S. #9), and "Party Doll" (U.S. #5). However much of his musical career has centered on nightclubs and the musical stage. Lawrence is an actor as well, appearing in guest roles on television shows in every decade since the 1950s,[5] in shows such as The Carol Burnett Show, Night Gallery, Police Story, Murder, She Wrote, Gilmore Girls, and CSI. In the fall of 1965, Lawrence was briefly the star of a variety show called The Steve Lawrence Show, "the last television show in black and white on CBS".[2]. Lawrence also appeared in the last season of The Nanny as Fran's never-before-seen father, Morty Fine.

Between 1953 and the 1970's, Lawrence first recorded for King Records then signed to Coral, then ABC-Paramount, then United Artists, then Columbia and finally MGM, never staying with a label for a long period of time.

He and Gormé appeared together in the Broadway musical Golden Rainbow, which ran from February 1968 until January 1969. Although the show was not a huge success (a summary of this experience is chronicled in unflattering detail in William Goldman's 1968 book The Season), the show contained the memorable song "I've Gotta Be Me". This song was originally sung by Lawrence at the end of the first act of the musical; Sammy Davis, Jr. would later record a version of the song that became a Top 40 hit in 1969.

In 1980, Lawrence was introduced to a new generation of fans with his memorable portrayal of blackmailed manager Maury Sline in the hit movie The Blues Brothers with John Belushi.

His 1964 rendition of the theme song from Bewitched was featured in the 2005 film of the same name.

Awards

Lawrence has been awarded a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Sammy Glick in What Makes Sammy Run? on Broadway (1964),[1] and two Emmy Awards —one for production—for Steve & Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin (1978), which altogether won seven Emmys.

With Gormé, he has been the recipient of two Emmys for Our Love is Here to Stay, a tribute to George and Ira Gershwin; a "Best Performance By a Vocal Duo or Group" Grammy Award for We Got Us; a Film Advisory Board's Award of Excellence and a Television Critics Circle Award for From This Moment On, a tribute to Cole Porter.

The duo have also won a Las Vegas Entertainment Award for "Musical Variety Act of the Year" four times, three of them consecutively. They have been honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame,[6] and in 1995 were the recipients of an Ella Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Singers,[1][6] a non-profit organization that helps professional singers with counseling and financial assistance.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Biography from Las Vegas Online
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2003 Interview with Larry King, from a CNN website
  3. A Treasure You May Be Overlooking
  4. Steve Lawrence Biography (1935-)
  5. Steve Lawrence at the Internet Movie Database
  6. 6.0 6.1 Official website of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé

External links

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Steve Lawrence. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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