Brooklyn Jewish Celebrities

Bernard "Buddy" Rich

Bernard “Buddy” Rich

By BROOKLYN TALES Bernard “Buddy” Rich was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He is considered one of the most influential drummers of all time. Rich was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Rich was born in Sheepshead Bay to Jewish-American parents Bess Skolnik and Robert Rich, both vaudevillians. Before he turned two, he was part of his parents’ act on vaudeville, but on breaks he would sneak into… Read More »Bernard “Buddy” Rich

Brooklyn Jewish Celebrities - STEVE LAWRENCE

Steve

Lawrence

American singer, actor and humanitarian.
Steve Lawrence

Steve Lawrence (born Sidney Liebowitz; July 8, 1935) is an American singer and actor, best known as a member of a duo with his late wife Eydie Gormé, billed as “Steve and Eydie.” The two first appeared together as regulars on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1954 and continued performing as a duo until Gormé’s retirement in 2009. She died August 10, 2013.  By Wikipedia

Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme's Star on the Walk of Fame
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme's Star on the Walk of Fame
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé

STEVE LAWRENCE

Steve Lawrence

Steve Lawrence (born Sidney Liebowitz; July 8, 1935) is an American singer and actor, best known as a member of a duo with his late wife Eydie Gormé, billed as “Steve and Eydie.” The two first appeared together as regulars on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1954 until Gormé’s retirement in 2009. She died August 10, 2013.

Steve Lawrence was born as Sidney Liebowitz in the Brooklyn borough of New York City to Jewish parents, Max, a cantor in the Bronx, and Helen. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School.

In 1951 he appeared on TV on the “Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts” show and won first-prize.

In the late 1950s, Steve Lawrence was drafted into the United States Army and served as the official vocal soloist with t,he United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” in Washington, D.C.

Lawrence had success on the record charts in the late 1950s and early 1960s with such hits as “Go Away Little Girl” (U.S. #1), “Pretty Blue Eyes” (U.S. #9), “Footsteps” (U.S. #7), “Portrait of My Love” (U.S. #9), and “Party Doll” (U.S. #5). “Go Away, Little Girl” sold over one million copies and was awarded a Gold record. However, much of his musical career has centered on nightclubs and the musical stage. He is also an actor, appearing in guest roles on television shows in every decade since the 1950s, in shows such as The Danny Kaye Show, The Judy Garland Show, The Julie Andrews Hour, Night Gallery, The Flip Wilson Show, Police Story, Murder, She Wrote, Gilmore Girls, and CSI. His appearances on The Carol Burnett Show (1967-78), with and without wife Eydie, were especially ubiquitous. He served as a panelist on the original What’s My Line? (1950-67). In the fall of 1965, Lawrence was briefly the star of a variety show called “The Steve Lawrence Show,” one of the last television shows in black and white on CBS.

He and Gormé appeared together in the Broadway musical “Golden Rainbow,” which ran from February 1968 to January 1969. Although the show was not a huge success (a summary of this experience is chronicled in unflattering detail in William Goldman’s 1968 book, “The Season”), the show contained the memorable song, “I’ve Gotta Be Me.” This song was originally sung by Lawrence at the end of the first act of the musical; Sammy Davis, Jr. would later record a version of the song that became a Billboard Top 25 hit on its Hot 100 pop singles chart in 1969. Frank Sinatra was known to have repeatedly stated that the best male vocalist he had ever heard was Steve Lawrence, although he also repeatedly said the same of Matt Monro and Tony Bennett.

He starred as Gary McBride in the 1972 film “Stand Up and Be Counted,” opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Stella Stevens. In 1980, he was introduced to a new generation of fans with his portrayal of Maury Sline in “The Blues Brothers” and later reprised the role in the 1998 sequel, “Blues Brothers 2000.” His other films include the Steve Martin comedy, “The Lonely Guy” (1984) and the crime thriller “The Yards” (2000).

In 1984, he and comic Don Rickles hosted ABC’s “Foul-Ups, Bleeps & Blunders.”

In 1985, Steve and Eydie Gormé played Tweedledee (Gormé) and Tweedledum (Lawrence) in Irwin Allen’s film adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.”

He played Mark McCormick’s father, Sonny Daye, in two episodes of “Hardcastle and McCormick.” In 1999, he appeared as the much-talked about, but never really seen, Morty Fine, father of Fran Fine in a few of the final episodes of “The Nanny.” In 2011, he portrayed Jack, a wealthy love interest of Betty White’s character, Elka Ostrovsky, on “Hot in Cleveland.” In 2014, he guest-starred in an episode of “Two and a Half Men” on CBS, and sang the theme song to the parody miniseries, “The Spoils of Babylon.”

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Steve Lawrence among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

WEDDING OF STEVE AND EYDIE, DECEMBER 1957
Newsreel with Joe E. Lewis
Las Vegas, Nevada

Lawrence and Gormé married on December 29, 1957, at the El Rancho Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had two sons together. David Nessim Lawrence (b. 1960) is an ASCAP Award-winning composer who composed the score for “High School Musical.” Michael Robert Lawrence (1962–1986) died suddenly from ventricular fibrillation resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of twenty-three. Michael was an assistant editor for a television show at the time of his death and was apparently healthy despite a previous diagnosis of slight arrhythmia. Gormé and Lawrence were in Steve LawrenceWhat Makes Sammy Run?Atlanta, Georgia, at the time of Michael’s death, having performed at the Fox Theater the night before. Upon learning of the death, family friend Frank Sinatra sent his private plane to fly the couple to New York to meet David, who was attending school at the time. Following their son’s death, Gormé and Lawrence took a year off before touring again.

In June 2019, Lawrence was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Best Performance By a Vocal Duo or Group” Grammy Award for “We Got Us”; a Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence and a Television Critics Circle Award for “From This Moment On,” a tribute to Cole Porter. The duo also won a Las Vegas Entertainment Award for “Musical Variety Act of the Year” four times, three of them consecutively.

They were honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 1995 were the recipients of an Ella Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Singers, a non-profit organization that helps professional singers with counseling and financial assistance.

Steve Lawrence, Student at J.H.S. 109 June 1950

Steve Lawrence, Student at J.H.S. 109
June 1950
Steve is probably the boy in the back row, on the extreme right.
Photo courtesy of Craig Schlange

STEVE RECEIVED A HUMANITARIAN AWARD FROM THE YIDDISH THEATRICAL ALLIANCE January 4, 1969

STEVE RECEIVED A HUMANITARIAN AWARD
FROM THE YIDDISH THEATRICAL ALLIANCE
January 4, 1969

“Presented to Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, in recognition of their faithful devotion and untiring efforts in behalf of humanitarian causes and exceptional
achievement in the Theatre Arts. Yiddish Theatrical Alliance.”

Pictured, left to right: Jacob Jacobs, Menasha Skulnik, Steve Lawrence, David Kulok, Irving Jacobson and Charlie Cohan.

Courtesy of Steven Lasky, museumoffamilyhistory.com

Steve’s discography includes:

  • Steve Lawrence (1953, King)

  • About That Girl (1956, Coral)

  • Songs by Steve Lawrence (1957, Coral)

  • Here’s Steve Lawrence (1958, Coral)

  • All About Love (1959, Coral)

  • Swing Softly with Me (1959, ABC-Paramount)

  • Songs Everybody Knows (1960, Coral)

  • We Got Us with Eydie Gormé (1960, ABC-Paramount)

  • Steve & Eydie Sing the Golden Hits with Eydie Gormé (1960, ABC-Paramount)

  • Best of Steve Lawrence (1960, ABC-Paramount)

  • The Steve Lawrence Sound (1960, United Artists)

  • Steve Lawrence Goes Latin (1960, United Artists)

  • Portrait of My Love (1961, United Artists)

  • Our Best to You with Eydie Gormé (1961, ABC-Paramount)

  • Cozy with Eydie Gormé (1961, United Artists)

  • It’s Us Again (1962, Silvirkin shampoo)

  • People Will Say We’re In Love (1962, United Artists)

  • Winners! (1962, Columbia)

  • Come Waltz With Me (1962, Columbia)

  • Two on the Aisle with Eydie Gormé (1962, United Artists)

  • Steve Lawrence Conquers Broadway (1963, United Artists)

  • Swinging West (1963)

  • Steve & Eydie At the Movies with Eydie Gormé (1963)

  • That Holiday Feeling with Eydie Gormé (1964)

  • Academy Award Losers (1964, Columbia)

  • What Makes Sammy Run? (1964, Columbia)

  • The Steve Lawrence Show (1965, Columbia)

  • Steve Lawrence’s Greatest Hits(1965, Columbia)

  • Together on Broadway with Eydie Gormé (1967, Columbia)

  • Sing of Love and Sad Young Men (1967)

  • Bonfá & Brazil with Eydie Gormé (1967)

  • Moon River(1967, Harmony)

  • Golden Rainbow (1968)

  • I’ve Gotta Be Me (1969)

  • Real True Lovin’ with Eydie Gormé (1969)

  • What It Was, Was Love with Eydie Gormé (1969)

  • Ramblin’ Rose(1969, Harmony)

  • The More I See You(1969, Vocalion)

  • On A Clear Day – Steve Sings Up A Storm (1970)

  • A Man and a Woman with Eydie Gormé (1970)

  • Love me with all your heart(1970, Harmony)

  • Go Away Little Girl(1971, Harmony)

  • Portrait of Steve (1972)

  • The World of Steve & Eydie with Eydie Gormé (1972)

  • Feelin’ with Eydie Gormé (1972, Stage 2)

  • Our Love is Here to Stay: The Gershwin Years with Eydie Gormé (1976)

  • Tu Seras Mi Musica (1977)

  • My Way (1977)

  • Take It On Home (1981)

  • Hallelujah with Eydie Gormé (1984)

  • Through the Years with Eydie Gormé (1984)

  • Alone Together with Eydie Gormé (1989)

  • Greatest 20th Century Songs (2000)

  • Warm Hours (2000)

  • Academy Award Losers + 7 Bonus Track (2001)

  • Songs My Friends Made Famous (2001)

  • Sings of Love & Sad Young Men/Portrait of Steve (2001)

  • Steve Lawrence Sings Sinatra (2003)

  • Winners/On a Clear Day (2005)

  • Love Songs From The Movies (2005)

  • Steve Lawrence Sound/Portrait of My Love (2005)

  • Steve Lawrence Show + 4 Bonus Track (2009)

  • When You Come Back to Me Again (2014)

  • Steve Lawrence Conquers Broadway (2014)