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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default 'Grandpa Munster' Al Lewis Dies at 95


    Al Lewis, the cigar-chomping patriarch of "The Munsters" whose work as a basketball scout, restaurateur and political candidate never eclipsed his role as Grandpa from the television sitcom, died after years of failing health. He was 95.

    Lewis, with his wife at his bedside, passed away Friday night, said Bernard White, program director at WBAI-FM, where the actor hosted a weekly radio program. White made the announcement on the air during the Saturday slot where Lewis usually appeared.

    "To say that we will miss his generous, cantankerous, engaging spirit is a profound understatement," White said.

    Lewis, sporting a somewhat cheesy Dracula outfit, became a pop culture icon playing the irascible father-in-law to Fred Gwynne's ever-bumbling Herman Munster on the 1964-66 television show. He was also one of the stars of another classic TV comedy, playing Officer Leo Schnauzer on "Car 54, Where Are You?"

    But Lewis' life off the small screen ranged far beyond his acting antics. A former ballplayer at Thomas Jefferson High School, he achieved notoriety as a basketball talent scout familiar to coaching greats like Jerry Tarkanian and Red Auerbach.

    He operated a successful Greenwich Village restaurant, Grandpa's, where he was a regular presence — chatting with customers, posing for pictures, signing autographs.

    Just two years short of his 90th birthday, a ponytailed Lewis ran as the Green Party candidate against incumbent Gov. George Pataki. Lewis campaigned against draconian drug laws and the death penalty, while going to court in a losing battle to have his name appear on the ballot as "Grandpa Al Lewis."

    He didn't defeat Pataki, but managed to collect more 52,000 votes.

    Lewis was born Alexander Meister in upstate New York before his family moved to Brooklyn, where the 6-foot-1 teen began a lifelong love affair with basketball. He later became a vaudeville and circus performer, but his career didn't take off until television did the same.

    Lewis, as Officer Schnauzer, played opposite Gwynne's Officer Francis Muldoon in "Car 54, Where Are You?" — a comedy about a Bronx police precinct that aired from 1961-63. One year later, the duo appeared together in "The Munsters," taking up residence at the fictional 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

    The series, about a family of clueless creatures plunked down in middle America, was a success and ran through 1966. It forever locked Lewis in as the memorably twisted character; decades later, strangers would greet him on the street with shouts of "Grandpa!"

    Unlike some television stars, Lewis never complained about getting typecast and made appearances in character for decades.

    "Why would I mind?" he asked in a 1997 interview. "It pays my mortgage."

    Lewis rarely slowed down, opening his restaurant and hosting his WBAI radio program. At one point during the '90s, he was a frequent guest on the Howard Stern radio show, once sending the shock jock diving for the delay button by leading an undeniably obscene chant against the Federal Communications Commission.

    He also popped up in a number of movies, including the acclaimed "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" and "Married to the Mob." Lewis reprised his role of Schnauzer in the movie remake of "Car 54," and appeared as a guest star on television shows such as "Taxi," "Green Acres" and "Lost in Space."

    But in 2003, Lewis was hospitalized for an angioplasty. Complications during surgery led to an emergency bypass and the amputation of his right leg below the knee and all the toes on his left foot. Lewis spent the next month in a coma.

    A year later, he was back offering his recollections of a seminal punk band on the DVD "Ramones Raw."

    He is survived by his wife, Karen Ingenthron-Lewis, three sons and four grandchildren.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Eruption blacknblue's Avatar
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    Sorry to see him go, but he sure had a full life!
    Honey, I ain't through with you!

    GO ILLINI!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! emm5150's Avatar
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    R.I.P. Grandpa!!!

  4. #4
    Summer Nights in Cabo SNIC's Avatar
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    Thanks for entertaining me through my childhood and beyond.
    Artists I Have Seen: 1D, 38 Special, Aerosmith, Alabama, Bad Company, Bad English, Billy Squire, Bob Seger, Bon Jovi, Boston, BTO, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Chickenfoot, Cinderella, Daughtry, Dave Matthews Band, Default, Def Leppard, Dio, Dokken, Drowning Pool, Eagles, Earth Wind & Fire, Eddie Money, Eric Clapton, Farenheit, Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Glass Tiger, Heart, Huey Lewis and the News, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Joe Bonamassa, John Mellencamp, Journey, Keel, Kingdom Come, Kings X, KISS, Kool and the Gang, Krokus, Lionel Richie, Little River Band, Lou Gramm, Loverboy, Los Lonely Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica, Michael Bolton, Nickelback, Night Ranger, Paul Stanley, Peter Frampton, Pink Floyd, Poison, Red Rider, REO Speedwagon, Santana, Sammy Hagar, Shinedown, Steely Dan, Steve Miller Band, Styx, Ted Nugent, Tesla, The 1975, The Black Crowes, The Roots, The Wallflowers, U2, Van Halen, Whitesnake, Zac Brown Band, ZZ Top

  5. #5
    Good Enough DreamIsOver's Avatar
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    Outside of The Munsters, I thought Al Lewis was great as "Hangin' Judge H. H. Harrison" in Used Cars.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    I hope I don't sound callous saying this but I thought he'd died a long time ago.
    LowLifeFlatHeadScum

    [sigpic][/sigpic]


    Your Hacked Nude Photo Here!

  7. #7
    Eruption Bono Vox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowLifeFlatHeadScum
    I hope I don't sound callous saying this but I thought he'd died a long time ago.
    It says he died today from this article:

    http://entertainment.tv.yahoo.com/en...910096000.html

    95 years old!

    R.I.P Mr Lewis...
    Bono Vox: Poetic, Political, extremely generous and just a tiny bit egomaniacal.

    "You know twenty-five years ago, Tony Soprano was driving around Jersey in his iroc-Z just blasting the Van Halen"-David Lee Roth

    "Will there be a Van Halen reunion? “I have hope and faith, and that’s more than just the name of a couple of strippers from Albuquerque” -David Lee Roth

    "This band is three quarters original, one quarter inevitable" -David Lee Roth~2007

    "“We had a lot of fun on the tour – Dave was a blast. And next time we go out, we’re going to have some new stuff, too. I’m looking forward to getting on it. I’ve got tons of music written, such a variety of stuff… Actually, next week or the week after, Wolfie, Alex, and I are gonna start jamming. Maybe we’ll give Dave a call and see what he’s up to.” - Edward Van Halen ~ 2009


    ~Congratulations to 2009 World Series Champions the New York Yankees~

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    sorry to see ya go, grandpa..RIP
    """"\//-/""""


    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!


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    “ Originally posted by FORD
    History tells us that oppressive nations build walls to keep people IN, not out.
    (See "Berlin Wall" and "Likud Israel" for examples) ” FORD- when i told him i'd build a wall between the US and Mexico.

    then ill build it from the mexican side. -my reply.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    I thought he passed away too. Glad to see he was around a little longer tho.

    RIP Grampa.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  10. #10
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    Double post. Sorry you had to see that.

    RIP - Grampa
    Last edited by smithjc; 02.04.06 at 05:05 PM.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  11. #11
    Hot For Teacher VHHarry5150's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Munster memories!!

    R.I.P. Big AL!!!!


    "Its' 5150 Time"

  12. #12
    Good Enough Phatie's Avatar
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    RIP Al Lewis


  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher bobalu's Avatar
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    Wow !!! 95 yrs. without getting kicked in the cup by Eddie. Thats something.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    RIP Grandpa
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

    www.geocaching.com - The site where you are the search engine.

  15. #15
    Baluchitherium dirtymovies's Avatar
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    R.I.P. Gramps! He was a cool cat!

 

 

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