Lorenzo Music

Gerald David "Lorenzo" Music (May 2, 1937 – August 4, 2001) was an American actor, producer and writer.[1] Music began his career in the 1960s as a writer and a regular performer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. In the 1970s, Music co-created the sitcom The Bob Newhart Show with David Davis and composed its theme music with his wife, Henrietta. He also wrote episodes for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, and got his major voiceover role for playing the unseen, but often heard, Carlton the Doorman in Rhoda. Music gained fame in the 1980s for voicing Jim Davis's comic strip character Garfield on twelve animated specials, and later in cartoons, video games, and commercials until his death in 2001. Music's distinctive voice of Garfield is still often used in animated specials in his legacy.[1]

Lorenzo Music
Lorenzo and Henrietta Music.jpg
Music with his wife Henrietta
Born
Gerald David Music

(1937-05-02)May 2, 1937
DiedAugust 4, 2001(2001-08-04) (aged 64)
Other namesL. Music
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota Duluth
Occupation
  • Actor
  • producer
  • writer
Years active1962–2001
Known forVoice of Garfield
TelevisionThe Bob Newhart Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Rhoda
Spouse(s)
Henrietta Music
(m. 1959)
Children4
RelativesCarla Lalli Music (daughter-in-law)

Early lifeEdit

Gerald David Music was born on May 2, 1937, in Brooklyn, New York. He was six years old when his family moved to Duluth, Minnesota, for his father's job at one of the shipyards.[1]

He was student at Central High School and then at the University of Minnesota Duluth.[2] Music met his wife Henrietta at the latter, in the Theatre Arts Department. Together, they formed a comedy duo named Gerald and His Hen, who performed together for eight years.[1]

Music changed his first name to Lorenzo for spiritual reasons after he became a member of the international spiritual association Subud.[3]

CareerEdit

Writing career (1962–1981)Edit

Music became a writer and a regular performer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour during 1968 and 1969. His work as a writer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970 would lead him to his big break. Music was the co-creator of The Bob Newhart Show with his producer/writing partner David Davis. The show ran on CBS from 1972 to 1978; he also co-wrote the theme song to the show with his wife Henrietta.

Music continued writing for The Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off Rhoda. While casting Rhoda, the producers were looking for a voice actor to play the part of a character that would be heard but never seen, Carlton the doorman. When they heard Music's sleepy, husky voice, they offered him that role,[citation needed] which made his voice recognizable to a worldwide television audience. The character was popular enough to warrant a one-off single in 1975 called "Who Is It?" (b/w "The Girl in 510", United Artists UA-XW643-X), which became a regional hit. Music also co-produced and co-wrote a 1980 animated special called Carlton Your Doorman which won an Emmy Award. Though it was a pilot episode, CBS did not pick it up as a series.

In 1976, Lorenzo and Henrietta were given the opportunity to host a syndicated television variety show of their own. The Lorenzo and Henrietta Music Show was produced at a time when there was a glut of television variety shows, but it did not last. In 1983, Music voiced the character Ralph the All-Purpose Animal in the stop-motion animated film Twice Upon a Time.

Garfield (1982–2001)Edit

In 1982, Jim Davis's Garfield was the most popular comic strip in America. Compilation books and merchandising of the strip were topping best seller lists, and Davis was negotiating to make an animated television special. Producers needed someone to voice the main character in the strip: Garfield, a fat, lazy, sarcastic, and demanding cat. The audition attracted several famed vocal talents, including Sterling Holloway, the voice of Winnie the Pooh. After one audition, Music was immediately cast as the voice of Garfield; in Davis's words, "I looked at the room full of [voice] actors, and then in the corner I saw Lorenzo, quietly licking himself". Music would serve as the voice of Garfield in more than 12 television specials, in the Garfield and Friends animated television series that ran from 1988-1994 on CBS, video games and commercials until 2001. He last voiced Garfield for an automobile commercial that year.

Other voice workEdit

Music voiced characters for shows such as TaleSpin as Sgt. Dunder, The Real Ghostbusters as the original voice of Peter Venkman, Adventures of the Gummi Bears as Tummi Gummi, Fluppy Dogs as Ozzie the Green Cool Fluppy, Pac-Man, Pound Puppies as Teensy in the season 2 episode Little Big Dog, and Darkwing Duck. In the mid-1990s, after Garfield and Friends, Darkwing Duck and Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears concluded, Music retired from cartoon voice acting.

During the 1980s, Music also did voice-overs for many commercials for prime-time TV, such as Larry the Crash Test Dummy in the "You Could Learn a Lot from a Dummy" public safety announcements sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and for Florida grapefruit juice, a lesser-known series of commercials extolling Florida agriculture as opposed to the more popular "Florida orange juice" commercials.

In keeping with his beliefs in Subud and emphasis on charity, Music frequently volunteered his time on a suicide hotline. Music recalled that sometimes a caller would change his tone: "I am bankrupt, my wife ran off with another man... Hey, you sound just like that cat on TV!"[4]

Later years (1995–2001)Edit

In 1996, Music's voice could be heard on Stan Freberg's Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume Two album, released as a CD by Rhino Records. Music appeared on the album as James Madison and Robert E. Lee. Music also appeared as an intercom announcer on an episode of The Drew Carey Show.[5]

In the early 1990s, he served as the voice-over for commercials for Ore-Ida Potatoes and Fruit and Cream Strawberry Twinkies. He later served as the pitchman for Ruggles Ice Cream (a local brand from Orrville, Ohio).

Personal lifeEdit

Music was married to composer/writer Henrietta Music; together they had four children.[1][6]

DeathEdit

Music died from complications related to lung and bone cancer on August 4, 2001, at age 64.[1] He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.

LegacyEdit

Since Music's death, Frank Welker has often replaced him as the voice of Garfield in recent productions of the Garfield franchise including three fully-CGI films: Garfield Gets Real, Garfield's Fun Fest, and Garfield's Pet Force and the CGI animated series, The Garfield Show. In the live-action films Garfield: The Movie and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Garfield's voice was provided by Bill Murray. Coincidentally, Music voiced Peter Venkman (a role originally played by Murray) in the first two seasons of the animated series of The Real Ghostbusters, before being replaced by Dave Coulier. Welker provided the voices of Ray Stantz and Slimer in the same series.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Nickelodeon Mullins
1980 Oh Heavenly Dog Carlton

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1967–1969 The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour Regular Performer 50 episodes
1974–1978 Rhoda Carlton the Doorman 82 episodes
1996 The Drew Carey Show Store Announcer (voice) Episode: "There Is No Scientific Name for a Show About God"

Animated filmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Twice Upon a Time Ralph the All-Purpose Animal
1986 The Adventures of the American Rabbit Ping

AnimationEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1980 Carlton Your Doorman Carlton the Doorman TV pilot episode
1982 Here Comes Garfield Garfield Television special
1983 Garfield on the Town
Pac-Man Super-Pac 4 episodes
1984 Garfield in the Rough Garfield Television special
1985 Garfield in Disguise
The GLO Friends Save Christmas Moose Television film
1985–1991 Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears Tummi Gummi, Knight, Man, Additional voices 60 episodes
1985-1999 The Incredible Crash Test Dummies Larry the Crash Test Dummy PSAs
1986 Garfield in Paradise Garfield Television special
Fluppy Dogs Ozzie Television film
1986–1987 The Real Ghostbusters Peter Venkman Main-role; 78 episodes; first season and syndication run
1987 Garfield Goes Hollywood Garfield Television special
Pound Puppies Teensy Episode: "Little Big Dog/The Bright Eyes Mob"
The Jetsons Florist Episode: "The Odd Pod"
A Garfield Christmas Special Garfield Television special
1988–1994 Garfield and Friends Garfield, Charlie, Devil Garfield, Angel Garfield, Additional voices Main-role; 121 episodes
1988 Garfield: His 9 Lives Garfield Television special
1988–1989 Fantastic Max Additional voices 3 episodes
1989 Garfield's Babes and Bullets Garfield Television special
Garfield's Thanksgiving Main-role; TV special
1990 Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue Cameo; Television special
Garfield's Feline Fantasies Garfield, Lance Sterling Television special
1990–1991 TaleSpin Sgt. Dunder 6 episodes
1991 Garfield Gets a Life Garfield Television special
Darkwing Duck Spider, Mole 2 episodes
Rugrats Dr. Hartley Episode: "Grandpa's Teeth/Momma Trauma"
1998 Adventures in Odyssey Additional voices Episode: "A Stranger Among Us"

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role
1993 Garfield Labyrinth Garfield
1995 Garfield: Caught in the Act
2000 Garfield's Mad About Cats

Production creditsEdit

WriterEdit

Year Title Notes
1967–1969 The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 54 episodes
1969 The Leslie Uggams Show 10 episodes
1969–1970 Love, American Style 3 episodes
1970–1971 The Mary Tyler Moore Show 8 episodes
1972–1978 The Bob Newhart Show Created by (142 episodes)
Writer (5 episodes)
1974–1978 Rhoda 2 episodes
1976 The Lorenzo and Henrietta Music Show Main writer
The New Lorenzo Music Show Teleplay
1983 Garfield on the Town TV special
1991 Rugrats Episode: "Momma Trauma"
1994 De Sylvia Millecam Show 6 episodes

ProducerEdit

Year Title Notes
1972–1975 The Bob Newhart Show Executive producer (51 episodes)
Producer (6 episodes)
1974–1975 Rhoda 33 episodes
1976 The Lorenzo and Henrietta Music Show Executive producer
The New Lorenzo Music Show
1980 Carlton Your Doorman

ConsultantEdit

Year Title Notes
1970–1972 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Story consultant (24 episodes)
Assistant to producers (24 episodes)
1975 Rhoda Executive consultant (5 episodes)
1983 Garfield on the Town Consultant
2001 Atlantis: The Lost Empire Loop group

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Lorenzo Music – Actor, 64". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 8, 2001.
  2. ^ "Lorenzo Music". Zenith City Press. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "Lorenzo Music: The Life and Career of the Man Who Voiced Garfield the Cat". Retrojunk.com. February 4, 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Evanier, Mark (August 5, 2001). "Lorenzo Music, R.I.P." News From Me. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  5. ^ "Lorenzo Music: Actor". IMDb. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  6. ^ Oliver, Myrna (August 8, 2001). "Lorenzo Music; Voice of Garfield the Cat". Los Angeles Times.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Lou Rawls (singing voice in Here Comes Garfield)
Voice of Garfield the Cat
1982–2001
Succeeded by
Preceded by Voice of Dr. Peter Venkman
1986–1988
Succeeded by