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June 18, 2013

Harry Lewis, Actor and Restaurateur

In addition to his acting career, Lewis started the Hamburger Hamlet restaurant chain.

Harry Lewis, an actor who appeared with such stars as Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson, but whose most enduring legacy may be the restaurant brand he created, died June 9, 2013, in Beverly Hills. He was 93.

A native of Los Angeles, Lewis enlisted in the U.S.Army during World War II, after which he returned home and began an acting career, often in Warner Bros. films of the 1940s. Most notably, he played Humphrey Bogart's nemesis in the 1948 release Key Largo.

In 1950 Lewis and his fiancée Marilyn Friedman opened their first Hamburger Hamlet restaurant, which Lewis built around the concept of gourmet burgers. It became an immediate success and spawned several other locations.

Harry and Marilyn Lewis sold the chain in 1987 for a reported $33 million.

They later opened another successful eatery, Kate Mantilini.

From the ’50s through the ’80s he continued to act, and had roles in such programs as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Yancy Derringer, The Six Million Dollar Man, East of Eden and Fame.

More details are available at:

Hollywood Reporter

Los Angeles Times

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