DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Shari Lewis (aged 65)
American ventriloquist, puppeteer, and television show host
Phyllis Naomi Hurwitz (January 17, 1933 – August 2, 1998), better known as Shari Lewis, was an American ventriloquist, puppeteer, children’s entertainer and television show host. She was best known as the original puppeteer of the sock puppet Lamb Chop, first appearing on Captain Kangaroo in March 1956 and then Hi Mom, a local morning television show that aired on WRCA-TV (now WNBC-TV) in New York City.
DEATH: Lewis was treated for breast cancer in 1984. In June 1998 she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She had a hysterectomy, but her doctors informed her that the cancer was inoperable and she was given six weeks to live. After recovering from the hysterectomy, she began chemotherapy at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. While undergoing chemotherapy, she developed viral pneumonia and died on August 2, 1998, at the age of 65. Her body was cremated.