Shari Lewis enchanted children for decades with her puppet friend Lamb Chop. We remember Shari Lewis’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Shari Lewis enchanted children for decades with her puppet friend Lamb Chop. She breathed life into the sock-puppet sheep and a host of other friendly creatures, establishing rich characters that endured for decades on her many programs and guest appearances on various television shows. In addition to her longtime work as a puppeteer, Lewis was also an actress in her own right, guest-starring on such shows as “Car 54, Where Are You?”, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, and “Love, American Style.” Behind the scenes, Lewis co-wrote an episode of the original Star Trek series, “The Lights of Zetar.” We remember Lewis’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: David Huddleston U.S. actor who was known best for “The Big Lebowski” and “Santa Claus: The Movie,” dies at 85.
2014: Billie Letts, U.S. author who wrote “Where the Heart Is,” dies of pneumonia at 76.
2013: Barbara Trentham, U.S. actress who had a starring role in the movie “Rollerball” with James Caan and was the former wife of actor John Cleese, dies of leukemia complications at 68.
2012: Marguerite Piazza, U.S. soprano opera singer who performed with the New York City Opera and was a cast member on Sid Caesar‘s “Your Show of Shows,” dies of congestive heart failure at 92.
2012: Jimmy Jones, U.S. singer-songwriter who had a hit song in 1960 with “Handy Man,” dies at 75.
2003: Mike Levey, U.S. infomercial host known best as the host of the popular infomercials called “Amazing Discoveries,” dies at 55.
2001: Ronald Townson, U.S. singer who was an original member of the popular vocal group the Fifth Dimension, dies of kidney disease at 68.
1998: Shari Lewis, U.S. ventriloquist, puppeteer, and children’s television host known best as the puppeteer of Lamb Chop, who also starred on NBC’s “The Shari Lewis Show” in the 1960s, dies of complications of uterine cancer at 65.
For someone talking via a sock with stitched-on eyes, Lewis created something very special. Children knew it and so did their parents, who helped Lewis earn 12 Emmys, seven Parents’ Choice awards, a Peabody Award, a John F. Kennedy Center Award for excellence and creativity, and the list goes on and on. Read more
1997: William S. Burroughs, U.S. writer who was one of the main figures of the Beat Generation and was known for his novel “Naked Lunch,” dies of a heart attack at 83.
Of all the artists of the Beat Generation – Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, Holmes, and the rest – none was as revered by the hipsters and punk rockers who later came of age in the 1970s and ’80s. Partly this was a matter of style. Whereas Ginsberg wore long, unkempt hair and Eastern proto-hippie garb, and Kerouac had favored the rolled shirt sleeves and work boots of American blue-collar masculinity, Burroughs, with his gray flannel suits, thin ties, and wide-brimmed hats, was a 1940s throwback. He could have been a traveling salesman or guest host of “The Twilight Zone.” Read more
1988: Raymond Carver, U.S. author known for his short stories, some of which were dramatized in the Robert Altman movie
“Short Cuts,” dies of lung cancer at 50.
1986: Roy Cohn, U.S. attorney who was a prosecutor in the espionage trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and was chief counsel for U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy during his investigation into communist activity in America, dies of AIDS complications at 59.
1979: Thurman Munson, U.S. Major League Baseball player who was a catcher for the New York Yankees and was a seven-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion, dies at 32 in the crash of a plane he was piloting.
1978: Totie Fields, U.S. comedian who appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Merv Griffin Show,” and an HBO special, dies at 48.
1976: Fritz Lang, U.S. filmmaker and screenwriter whose movies included “M,” “The Big Heat,” and the silent film “Metropolis,” dies at 85.
1972: Brian Cole, U.S. musician who was a founding member and the bassist for the folk rock band the Association, dies of a heroin overdose at 29.
1923: Warren G. Harding, U.S. politician who was the 29th president of the United States from 1921 until 1923, dies while in office at 57.
1922: Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish scientist and inventor who is credited with inventing the telephone, dies of complications from diabetes at 75.
1921: Enrico Caruso, Italian operatic tenor who was one of the most famous internationally known personalities of his time, dies at 48.
1876: Wild Bill Hickok, U.S. lawman, gambler, and gunfighter in the American Old West who was shot from behind while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota, dies at 39.