Shari Lewis Biography

 

Shari Lewis also learned how to play the piano and violin at New York's High School of Music and Art, dance at the American School of Ballet, and acting with Sanford Meisner of the Neighborhood Playhouse. She attended Columbia University for one year, then left college to go into show business.

In 1952, Shari Lewis and her puppetry won first prize on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts television show. This opened the door for her to host her own local kids TV shows, Facts N'Fun, Kartoon Klub/Shari & Her Friends, Shariland and Hi Mom/Family on WNBT/WRCA Ch. 4 and on WPIX TV Ch. 11 in New York City, from 1952 to 1959.

In March of 1956, Shari and Lamb Chop appeared on Captain Kangaroo, helping her career immensely.  Her personal life also moved forward with her marriage to Jeremy Tarcher in 1958. Her first marriage to Stan Lewis had ended in divorce, but she kept Lewis as her stage name -- Shari Lewis.  By 1960, she was starring in her own national TV kids show as both host and puppeteer of The Shari Lewis Show.

Biography of Shari Lewis (January 17, 1933 - August 2, 1998)

Shari Lewis, who became famous for her puppetry with Lambchop and other puppets, was born Shari Phillis Hurwitz to Abraham and Ann, a Jewish American couple.  Her father was a professional magician, and he taught her how to perform magic acts by the age of thirteen.  She also learned juggling and acrobatics, and was taught ventriloquism by John W. Cooper.

The program featured such characters as Hush Puppy, Charlie Horse and Lamb Chop. Lamb Chop, who at the time was little more than a sock with eyes, served as a sassy alter-ego for Shari Lewis. Life moved on at a frantic pace in both her professional and personal life -- her daughter, Mallory, was born in 1962; interestingly enough, years later Mallory would help write for Lamb Chop’s Play Along and Charlie Horse Music Pizza, and would continue performing with Lamb Chop after her mother’s death.  But in the meantime, The Shari Lewis Show continued through 1963, and Shari began appearing on other shows as well, such as Car 54, Where Are You?, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and a variety of others after the end of her first series.

In addition to being a performer, she was also a talented writer, and wrote on the episodes for Star Trek: The Original Series - “The Lights of Zetar” - she had hoped to star in the episode as well, although that didn’t happen.  She also wrote dozens of children’s books, and again starred in a national children’s TV show,  The Shari Lewis Show for the BBC, with Lamb Chop and a host of new puppets set at the location of a TV station owned by one of the puppets, Bear Beardley.

In addition to writing, performing and appearing as guests on numerous other TV shows, Sheri Lewis and Lamb Chop returned again to American TV in 1992 with Lamb Chop’s Play Along, which was on the air through 1997, featuring magic tricks, origami, skits, and some old familiar friends - Hush Puppy and Charlie Horse -- as well as the well-known “This is the song that never ends” as the closing theme music.

Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop continued performing, with several specials such as Lamb Chop’s Special Hannukah (1996) and direct to video specials such as 101 Things You Can Do and Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop Present 1 Minute Bible Stories.

In 1998, Shari Lewis began her final TV series, Charlie Horse Music Pizza, when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in June of  1998. Two months later, on August 2, 1998, Lewis died at the age of 65 after developing viral pneumonia.