Stage Veteran Garrett Lewis Passes Away at 77
Garrett Lewis, four time Academy Award nominated set decorator, dancer and actor, died Tuesday, January 29 at the age of 77. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1935 and died at his home in Woodland Hills, California of natural causes.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Garrett Lewis had a long and storied career as a dancer, actor and set decorator. His career began while still in college when he was offered the dance lead for a season at the Kansas City Starlight Theatre. After that one season of summer stock, he went to New York and immediately landed his first Broadway show My Fair Lady. This was followed by numerous roles in Broadway productions including Hello Dolly, Vintage '60 and First Impressions.
Lewis played the role of Cornelius in Hello Dolly starring opposite five different leading ladies. First, he went on national tour with Carol Channing. Hello Dolly was the first stage show at the newly opened Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in 1965. He reprised the role with Mary Martin in London. Hello Dolly made its premiere in the West End at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on December 2, 1965, with the Queen Mother in attendancE. Lewis also performed this role opposite Carole Cook, Dora Bryan and Patrice Munsel in various productions of the show.
Lewis was a featured performer on The Red Skelton Show and The Julie Andrews Hour. Aside from his television work, which included many major network shows at the time on both coasts, he appeared extensively in clubs across the country, supporting such leading ladies as Anna Maria Alberghetti, Arlene Dahl, Dorothy Provine and others. He was a soloist in The Lido Show in Paris, and appeared as the male lead in Little Mary Sunshine in Paris. Garrett transitioned into film and appeared in both Star! with Julie Andrews and Funny Lady.