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Monica Lewis, Actress, Singer, Dies at 93

Monica Lewis, a former Benny Goodman vocalist who headlined the very first broadcast of “The Ed Sullivan Show,” was the voice of the popular Chiquita Banana cartoons, clowned opposite Jerry Lewis, Red Skelton and Danny Kaye, and had co-starring roles in such films as “Earthquake,” “Airport 1975” and “The ConcordeAirport ’79,” died on June 12 of natural causes at her apartment in Woodland Hills, Calif. She was 93.

Lewis was born in Chicago to a musical family headed by her father Leon Lewis, who was a symphonic composer and conductor. Her mother Jessica sang with the Chicago Opera Company and her sister Barbara was an accomplished classical pianist. Her brother Marlo became head of variety for CBS-tv and created Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” show.

Monica studied voice with her mother from the time she was a toddler, but when the family lost everything during the Depression, they moved to New York to start over.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Monica Lewis, Actress Who Sang in Chiquita Banana Cartoons, Dies at 93

Monica Lewis, Actress Who Sang in Chiquita Banana Cartoons, Dies at 93
Monica Lewis, a former Benny Goodman vocalist who headlined the very first broadcast of “The Ed Sullivan Show,” was the voice of the popular Chiquita Banana cartoons, clowned opposite Jerry Lewis, Red Skelton and Danny Kaye, and had roles in such films as “Earthquake,” “Airport 1975” and “The ConcordeAirport ’79,” died on June 12 of natural causes at her apartment in Woodland Hills, Calif. She was 93.

Lewis was born in Chicago to a musical family. Her father Leon Lewis was a symphonic composer and conductor; her mother Jessica sang with the Chicago Opera Company and her sister Barbara was a classical pianist. Her brother Marlo became head of variety for CBS-tv and created Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” show.

Monica studied voice with her mother from the time she was a toddler, but when the family lost everything during the Depression, they moved to New York to start over.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

R.I.P. Betty Garrett (1919-2011)

I was saddened to learn this morning that Betty Garrett, the great star of stage, screen, and TV, passed away yesterday at the age of 94 after suffering an aortic aneurysm.

Garrett was one of those rare people — like, say, Jack Valenti — who happened to be a witness to and/or participant in a remarkably high number of historic events of the 20th century. She was a member of Orson Welles’s famed Mercury Theatre company, and was with him on the night that he shook up America with his infamous radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” (1938); she was Frank Sinatra’s leading lady in two of the earliest great M-g-m musical-comedies, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (1949) and “On the Town” (1949); her career was greatly hurt by the Hollywood Red Scare after her husband, the Oscar nominated actor Larry Parks, refused to name names before the House Committee
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

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