Steve Lawrence of Steve and Eydie Dies at 88 | Playbill

Obituaries Steve Lawrence of Steve and Eydie Dies at 88

Mr. Lawrence was a beloved singer, actor, and comedian on both the stage and screen.

Steve Lawrence

Singer, comedian, and actor Steve Lawrence died March 7 after a multi-year long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. He was 88.

Born Sidney Liebowitz, Mr. Lawrence was the son of a Brooklyn cantor, trained for the stage from a young age. Finding easy pocket money singing for the songwriters in Manhattan's Brill Building, he was hired at the age of 18 by Steve Allen to perform on what would become The Tonight Show, alongside co-vocalists Eydie Gormé and Andy Williams.

Mr. Lawrence and Ms. Gormé immediately clicked, with the pair marrying in 1957. It didn't take long for their couple, referred to as Steve and Eydie, to become an immensely popular vocal duo in America's midcentury. Releasing a dozen albums, the duo became Grammy winners, hosting their own show The Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé Show for a brief time.

As a solo artist, Mr. Lawrence had a variety of hit records, including "Go Away Little Girl," "Pretty Blue Eyes," "Footsteps," "Portrait of My Love," and "Party Doll." As an actor, Mr. Lawrence was a familiar face on the television screen, appearing in The Danny Kaye Show, The Judy Garland Show, The Julie Andrews Hour, Night Gallery, The Flip Wilson Show, Police Story, Murder, She Wrote, The NannyHot in Cleveland, and Two and a Half Men.

Mr. Lawrence made a number of appearances on The Carol Burnett Show, and eventually hosted his own variety show, The Steve Lawrence Show, alongside Charles Nelson Reilly. On the big screen, Mr. Lawrence was lauded for his performance in The Blues Brothers.

On Broadway, Mr. Lawrence starred in What Makes Sammy Run? for more than 500 performances, and in the musical Golden Rainbow opposite Ms. Gormé. Within Golden Rainbow, Mr. Lawrence introduced the song "I've Gotta Be Me," which later became a pop standard for singer Sammy Davis Jr. 

Lawrence and Ms. Gormé earned numerous Emmy Awards for their televised tributes to the Gershwin Brothers, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin. The duo toured the country widely with a sold-out Carnegie Hall concert series throughout the 1980s.

Mr. Lawrence was predeceased by his son, Michael Robert, and by Ms. Gormé herself, who passed away three years after the duo suspended musical tours together. Mr. Lawrence continued to tour as a solo artist through 2019.

He is survived by their second son, David Nessim Lawrence, his daughter-in-law Faye, his granddaughter Mabel, and his brother Bernie, as well as many devoted nieces and nephews. Services will be private, and the family has opened a donation tribute page for Mr. Lawrence in support of those suffering from Alzheimer's.

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