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August 12, 2013

Eydie Gormé, Singer with Long Television Career

Often accompanied by her husband, Steve Lawrence, Gorme was a fixture on TV variety shows from the 1950s through the 1990s.

Eydie Gormé, a singer who achieved success both as a recording artist and as a television star, died August 10, 2013, in Las Vegas. She was 84. Gormé was often accompanied as a performer by her husband singer and actor Steve Lawrence. The two met in 1953, when she became part of Steve Allen's local New York TV program, which Lawrence had joined the year before. When the program became The Tonight Show on NBC, she and Lawrence went with it. They married in 1957 and remained together until her passing. By that time Gormé was already a popular band singer and nightclub entertainer. She had a hit record in 1963 with the song "Blame It on the Bossa Nova." The daughter of Sephardic Jews, she was born Edith Gormezano in the Bronx, and grew up speaking both English and Spanish. Her language skills allowed her to find work as a Spanish interpreter while pursuing her singing. Her fluency in Spanish also resulted in a hit song when she recorded "Amor," with the Mexican group Trio Los Panchos," released in 1964. After they married, Gormé and Lawrence got their own television program, The Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Show, a summer replacement for Steve Allen's show. For a time, while Lawrence served in the Army, she performed as a solo artist. When he returned from the military they embarked on a long and successful run as a duo, performing throughout the U.S. and internationally, with a long tenure at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. All the while, they were often on television, with appearances on dozens of programs and specials, including The Milton Berle Show, The Garry Moore Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Ed Sullivan Show, Sammy and Company, The Carol Burnett Show and many others. She was also a guest on game shows such as What's My Line?, Password and I've Got a Secret and had acting roles on the sitcoms Empty Nest and Frasier and in the 2001 film Oceans 11. In 1979 she and Lawrence won Primetime Emmys for the special Steve & Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin. They were also nominated for the 1975 special Steve and Eydie: Our Love Is Here to Stay. In a statement, Lawrence said, "Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 year. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her, and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time." More about Gormé's life and work is available at: New York Times

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