Shari Lewis (January 17th,
1933 - August 2nd, 1988) was best known as a ventriloquist, and her
puppet characters, Charlie Horse, Hush Puppy and her most famous,
Her parents encouraged her
to perform and, by the age of 13, her father taught her to perform
specialized magic tricks. She also received instructions in
acrobatics, juggling, iceskating, baton twirling, violin and piano.
She was taught ventriloquism by John W. Cooper.
Lewis continued 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 Barnard College for one year but
left college to go into show business.
Lewis was an accomplished
symphony conductor and received a honorary doctorate from the Hofstra
University School of Education on May 16th, 1993.
Shari Lewis hosted her
first kids TV shows "Facts N'Fun", on WNBT TV Ch. 4, New
York City in 1953. She would do many more children's programs over
the length of her carreer, winning an EMMY for Outstanding
Achievement in Children's Programming in 1973 for A Picture of Us.
Guest starred twice on the
TV Series, Car 54, Where Are You? Puncher & Judy (1963) and How
High Is Up? (1962) and on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as Janet Jerrod in
The Off-Broadway Affair (1966).
Lewis co-wrote "The
Lights of Zetar" episode of Star Trek (1966) with her husband,
Jeremy Tarcher, and hoped to be cast as the female guest star. The
part went to Jan Shutan.
She made two appearances on
Love, American Style, Love and the Dummies (1969) and Love and the
Alibi (1972), was the voice of Princess Nidor on The Banana Splits
Adventure Hour and provided the voice of Lamb Chop in an episode of
Lewis's daughter, Mallory
Tarcher, after her mother's death in 1998 took the advice of family
friend Dom DeLuise and decided that Lamb Chop should live on for her
many fans and began performing with puppet. Upon relaunching Lamb
Chop's career, Mallory legally changed her surname to Lewis to honor