Grammy-winning actor Steve Lawrence dies at 88

 March 10, 2024

Steve Lawrence, the award-winning actor who was especially known for his stage performances, has died at the age of 88. 

Susan DeBow, Lawrence's publicist, announced the actor's death in a statement that she released on behalf of his family, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lawrence, according to DeBow, died in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, March 7, 2024.

DeBow indicated that the cause of Lawrence's death was complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Who was Steve Lawrence?

Lawrence was an actor and singer who was especially known for his stage appearances, where he often appeared along with his late wife, Eydie Gorme.

The Associated Press reports, "Lawrence and Gorme — or Steve & Eydie — were known for their frequent appearances on talk shows, in night clubs and on the stages of Las Vegas. The duo took inspiration from George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and other songwriters."

Both Lawrence and Gorme, however, also had tremendously successful solo careers.

NPR reports:

Lawrence scored first in 1962 with the achingly romantic ballad "Go Away Little Girl," written by the Brill Building songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Gorme matched his success the following year with "Blame It on the Bossa Nova," a bouncy tune about a dance craze of the time that was written by Brill hitmakers Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Lawrence, when not on the stage, also made several television appearances, including on Steve Allen's television show, which eventually became NBC's Tonight. 

"I considered him family"

Many have taken to social media to pay tribute to Lawrence, including actress Carol Burnett, a friend of Lawrence who also collaborated with him from time to time.

"Steve was one of my favorite guests on my variety show, appearing 39 times. He was also my very close friend … so close that I considered him family. He will always be in my heart," Burnett said.

Lawrence's son, David Lawrence - who himself is a composer and performer - has released his own statement on his father's passing.

David told Deadline:

My Dad was an inspiration to so many people. But, to me, he was just this charming, handsome, hysterically funny guy who sang a lot. Sometimes alone and sometimes with his insanely talented wife. I am so lucky to have had him as a father and so proud to be his son. My hope is that his contributions to the entertainment industry will be remembered for many years to come.

Lawrence, according to People Magazine, "is survived by his son, David, daughter-in-law, Faye, granddaughter, Mabel, brother, Bernie, and many extended family members."

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