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Shari Lewis, Charley Horse and Lamb ChopShari Lewis - Popular and very attractive puppeteer, ventriloquist, actress, author, and conductor who won nine Emmy Awards over five decades. Shari Lewis "the puppeteer to the baby boomers" was once described as having "childlike excitement, an entertainers savvy and a librarian's heart." She began her career by winning three appearances on ARTHUR GODFREY'S TALENTS SCOUTS radio program in 1952, and followed that success by starring in KARTOON CLUB on WRCA-TV in 1953.

Set in the fairy town of Kartoonia, host Shari Lewis interacted with Taffy Twinkle, a girl puppet (a redecorated turn of the century "Willie Talk" doll); Randy Rocket, an outer space dummy that she taught the ways of the Earth; and Pip Squeak, a rubber-faced monkey who never spoke. Shari later appeared on her own local New York program SHARI AND HER FRIENDS in 1954.

Her big break came in 1956 when she appeared as the niece of Mr. Green Jeans (Hugh Brannum) on the nationally televised CBS children's program CAPTAIN KANGAROO.

She later starred on SHARILAND (1957), a Saturday morning puppet program with Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Wing Ding, a bird made of jersey cloth, sponge rubber and other parts. Shari's hand puppets, Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy and Charlie Horse became her most popular characters.

Lamb Chop was a shy, soft-spoken fleecy little lamb about 6-years-old with a penchant for mischief and wisecracks; Charlie Horse was a cocky, bucktoothed 10-year-old; and Hush Puppy was a sweet 7-year-old Mortimer Snerd-like country cousin of Lamb Chop.

When THE HOWDY DOODY SHOW was canceled in 1960, Shari Lewis replaced that popular children's program with her own 30-minute series THE SHARI LEWIS SHOW/NBC/1960-63 that featured Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy, Charlie Horse, Mr. Goodfellow (Ronald Radd) and Jump Pup (Jackie Warner).

Some 15 years later, Shari starred on THE SHARI LEWIS SHOW/NBC/SYN/1975-77, a 30-minute takeoff of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW with pro-social storylines with a staff of twenty-five animal puppets including Lamb Chop and a kangaroo named Captain Person who worked for Bearly Broadcasting Studios (BBS).

Shari Lewis began ventriloquism at the age of eleven by playing with dolls and puppets around the house. According to Shari Lewis, her puppet Lamb Chop was born when her father, Dr. Abraham B. Hurwitz (a professor of education at Yeshiva University and an accomplished magician) said "If Mary had a little lamb, why not Shari?" By practicing at home in front of a mirror, Shari improvised her way to stardom.

Shari's talents inspired her to write a number of books including her first book "The Shari Lewis Puppet Book" (Citadel Press, 1958); and a series of thirty-six "Kids Only Club" books commissioned by Holt Rinehart & Winston in 1979 that taught kids crafts and entrepreneurial skills.

Shari has also produced the videos Have I Got a Story for You; 101 Things For Kids To Do; and a CD entitled Lamb Chop in the Land of No Manners (A & M Video).

In the 1990s, Shari Lewis hosted the Emmy Award winning children's series LAMB CHOP'S PLAY-ALONG/PBS/1992, a half-hour interactive show that encouraged children to participate by acting out stories, songs, stunts, games and activities.

This is the song that doesn't end
Yes it goes on and on my friend
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they'll continue
Singing it forever
Just because
This is the song that doesn't end
Yes it goes on and on my friend ...

Colorfully described by Shari Lewis as "an anti-couch potato show," the program featured three kids, Amanda McAdams, Brian Ito and Sabrina Sanchez who shared in the show's fun and introduced Baby Lamb Chop, who appeared in flashbacks about Lamb Chop as a child.

Shari Lewis died on August 2, 1998. Parent's concerned over how to discuss her death with children were advised to say that Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse's mommy had died and that they could send letters expressing their grief to her family. Shari Lewis was married for more than 30 years to book publisher Jeremy Tarcher. (People Weekly 10/19/92 p. 154-56).

Before Shari's death she reported to work for the PBS series entitled THE CHARLIE HORSE MUSIC PIZZA that taught music appreciation to young kids at home. Shari's daughter Mallory Tarcher who shared in the writing as a creative consultant with Shari Lewis Enterprises eulogized her mom saying "As long as there are parents and children and VCRs, Shari Lewis will always be remembered."

TRIVIA NOTE: In the 1960s, Shari Lewis and her husband, publisher Jeremy Tarcher, wrote episode No. 73 "Lights of Zetar" for the sci-fi series STAR TREK/NBC/1966-69 (an Enterprise crew member's body is taken over by mysterious energy life-forms on planetoid Memory Alpha) See also - SHEEP: "Lamb Chop" 

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