...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Now this was a life!

A big, hearty R.I.P. to "Grampa" Al Lewis, who died yesterday at a cantankerous 95. Although you all remember him from The Munsters and some of you even remember that he co-starred (also with Fred Gwynne) in Car 54, Where Are You? (the TV show, not the horrible movie).

But here are a few things you probably didn't know about Al Lewis.

He was an activist who put his money and his fame where his fake fangs were. At the age of 88, he ran for Governor of New York as the Green Party candidate against incumbent Pataki, campaigning against the steep NY drug laws and capitol punishment. Despite losing a lawsuit that would have allowed him to appear on the ballot as "Grampa Al Lewis," he got over 50,000 votes. He also ran for Mayor of New York City 5 times.

When he started getting some success in theater in the '50s, he bought a building on the upper West Side that is still used to this day as a home for people who can't afford to pay rent in NYC.

He held a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University.

He had a restaurant in NY called "Grampa's."

He was a devout fan of the blues, and every time he visited the Bay Area he would drop a big load of change at Down Home Music in El Cerrito.

Until his death, he hosted a weekly radio show on Pacifica's NY station, WBAI.

Of course, in the best sense, the man is immortal. Or at least, undead.


Blogger Margrit said...

Alas poor Grandpa--I knew him, Horatio

Wed Feb 08, 07:51:00 PM PST  

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