82 (passed away Feb. 3rd, 2006)
Apr. 30th, 1923
New York City, New York, USA
Al Lewis' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
In the late 1920s, Lewis worked as a circus performer, but ultimately decided on college, earning a Ph.D. in child psychology from Columbia University. He taught school and wrote two children's books. In 1949, at the suggestion of a friend, Lewis turned to acting and joined the Paul Mann (I) Actor's Workshop in New York. Lewis worked in burlesque and vaudeville theaters across the country, which eventually led to Broadway. By the 1950s, television was booming, and Lewis took advantage of the work appearing on almost every live show out of his home base of New York City. His most famous regular TV roles were Officer Leo Schnauser on "Car 54, Where Are You?" (1961) and Grandpa on "The Munsters" (1964). When these shows ended, he opened a restaurant in New York called "Grampa's" in Greenwich Village. He has since produced a home video for children and appeared on WTBS in a series of Saturday morning programs for children.
- Former basketball player at Thomas Jefferson High School, achieved notoriety as a basketball talent scout.
- Ran as Green Party candidate for Governor of New York in 1998.
- His character on _"The Munsters" (1964)_ (qv) was often incorrectly referred to as Grandpa Munster even though his name was Sam Dracula. Munster was the surname of his son-in-law.
- Worked as a salesman, waiter, pool room owner, store detective, circus clown and vaudeville performer.
- June 30, 2003: Had his third angioplasty at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Complications developed, necessitating the amputation of his right leg below the knee and the toes on his left foot.
- After his death, his son announced that Lewis had in fact been born on April 30, 1923, not 1910 as the actor had previously claimed. Obituarist Dan Barry wrote in an article in the February 11, 2006 New York Times that almost every claim Lewis made about his early life - his birth date and place of birth, his wartime adventures in the merchant marine, his education - was unverifiable and possibly false. He may have adjusted his birth date to land the role of Grandpa Munster, as he was in reality one year younger than 'Yvonne De Carlo' (qv), the actress who was to play his daughter. Lewis' place of birth is also in question. He claimed to have been born in Wolcott, New York, but the local records contain no reference to his birth, and it is thought (although no proof has been published) that he was born in Brooklyn, New York.
- Has three sons and four grandchildren.
- was a hot dog vendor at Ebbets Field, the former ballpark for the then Brooklyn Dodgers.
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