Eric "Ric" Marlow (born Sanford Phillip Schafler; December 21, 1925 – February 28, 2017) was an American songwriter and actor, best known for co-writing with Bobby Scott the song "A Taste of Honey" which won a Grammy in 1962.[1][2] The song has been recorded by approximately 200 artists internationally, including The Beatles, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, and Johnny Mathis. He also had several acting roles, most notably on the television programs, Bonanza, Hawaii Five-O and Magnum, P.I.[3]

Ric Marlow
Ric Marlow in the 70's.jpg
Sanford Phillip Schafler

(1925-12-21)December 21, 1925
DiedFebruary 28, 2017(2017-02-28) (aged 91)
OccupationProducer, singer, songwriter, actor
Years active1961–2017
  • Katherine Mae Highfill
    (m. 1947; div. 1953)
  • Irene Flanken
  • (m. 1955; div. 1961)
  • Dorothy Juana Sophia Cobarrubias
    (m. 1964; div. 1969)
  • Constance Julia Magoncia
    (m. 1988; died 1996)

Early lifeEdit

Marlow was born to Bernice (née Berney) and Arthur Schafler in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Long Island, New York.

Marlow had several accidents in his youth, resulting in broken noses, fractured ankles, torn ligaments, and a fractured skull from a diving accident. Following his school years, he joined the Army, but due to his fractured skull, the Army felt he was unsuitable for duty.[4]

Owing to his love of music, especially singing, he spent a lot of time with his aunt, who worked as a secretary for the president of Chappell & Company, later known as Warner/Chappell Music. He got to meet up-and-coming artists and established celebrities of the time, including Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Oscar Levant, Rudy Vallee and Red Nichols.[5]

Marlow started his career singing in local cafes across the country. He also worked several odd jobs, from hauling cement to driving a cab. After becoming a featured vocalist at New York's Basin Street, he began singing in major clubs. When he finally landed an appointment with a casting director, he started down the road of acting. He joined the Screen Actors Guild in 1959. Due to his tough, chiseled features, he was usually cast as a bad guy gangster in television shows, including "This Man Dawson", "The Lawless Years", "Border Patrol", "Death Valley Days", "Bonanza" and many others. He became good friends with the stars of those shows.

A Taste Of HoneyEdit

Marlow's life took a turn back to music when his former pianist, Bobby Scott, needed someone to help him put together a song for a Broadway adaptation of the play A Taste of Honey, written by Shelagh Delaney. The song they created was also titled "A Taste of Honey".

"I ran over and Bobby and I put this song together in five minutes and rushed it to the theater," Ric reflected one evening to his stepsons, Parris and Dalton. "I never guessed it would become such a hit."

And a hit it was. It has been recorded by hundreds of artists including the Beatles, Tony Bennett, and Peggy Lee. It has sold more than 300 million copies internationally, and earned Marlow a gold record. In 1962, he won a Grammy Award for best instrumental theme.[3]

The version recorded by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass received the most awards.

Personal lifeEdit

Marlow was married five times and had seven children: one daughter, one step-daughter, and five step-sons.

  • Katherine Mae Highfill (married 1947; divorced 1953)
  • Irene Flanken
  • Leslie Parrish (married 1955; divorced 1961)
  • Dorothy Juana Sophia Cobarrubias (married 1964; divorced 1969)
  • Constance Julia Magoncia "Julia English-Marlow" (her acting credits were under Julia English) (married 1988; her death 1996)

Marlow died in Palm Springs, California, at the age of 91.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1958 Have Gun – Will Travel Episode:"The Hanging of Roy Carter"[6]
1960-1961 Sea Hunt Robert Lewis Bates / Slade / Tomas Velagos / Conrad Barnes / Vincent Reka 5 episodes
1961 You Have to Run Fast Jay Rocco
1965 The Incredible Sex Revolution Jan
1965 Psychedelic Sexualis Arthur Borden


  • Marlow, Ric (2015). Tastes of Honey. Escargot Books and Music. ISBN 978-1908191175.


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin (2002). The Virgin encyclopedia of fifties music (3rd ed.). Virgin. ISBN 978-1-85227-937-0.
  2. ^ "ASCAP Advertisement". Billboard. October 22, 1966. p. 67. ISSN 0006-2510.
  3. ^ a b c Barnes, Mike (March 6, 2017). "Ric Marlow, 'A Taste of Honey' Songwriter, Dies at 91". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
  4. ^ "Ric Marlow Is Becoming Favorite Of Younger Set". Kittanning Daily Leader Times. United Press International. January 8, 1962. p. 4.
  5. ^ Gilgallon, Bonnie (October 12, 2015). "Sweet, Sweet Honey: Local Grammy Winner Ric Marlow Publishes a Book of Poems and Lyrics". Coachella Valley Independent.
  6. ^ "Have Gun - Will Travel" The Hanging of Roy Carter (TV Episode 1958) - IMDb, retrieved 2020-01-28

External linksEdit