‘Blues Brothers’ Actor and Iconic Singer Dies: Steve Lawrence Was 88

The Blues Brothers star Steve Lawrence has died. People reports that the musician, most known for being one-half of Steve and Eydie with his late wife, Eydie Gormé, passed away on Thursday at 88 from "complications due to Alzheimer's disease," according to a press release. In a statement, his son David shared, "My dad was an inspiration to so many people. But, to me, he was just this charming, handsome, hysterically funny guy who sang a lot. Sometimes alone and sometimes with his insanely talented wife."

Lawrence was born on July 8, 1935 in New York City as Sidney Liebowitz. At age 18, he was hired by Steve Allen to be a singer on his late-night talk show in 1953. The show would then get picked up by NBC, becoming The Tonight Show. He, his future wife Gormé, and Andy Williams stayed on until 1957 when Allen left. Lawrence and Gormé tied the knot in Las Vegas that same year.

After The Tonight Show, Steve Lawrence was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving as the official vocal soloist with the United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" in Washington, D.C. He also had much success on the charts in the late '50s and early '60s, with hits such as "Go Away Little Girl," "Pretty Blue Eyes," "Footsteps," and more. Lawrence not only released solo songs, but he also released songs with Gormé under the singing duo Steve and Eydie. They had recorded on numerous record labels throughout their career and won a Grammy. The duo kept performing and recording until Gormé officially retired in 2010 for health reasons.

His musical background is not all that Lawrence was known for. He made his acting debut in an episode of Saints and Sinners in 1963. He would then go on to appear in a number of films and shows, including Medical Center, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Night Gallery, The Dean Martin Show, Sanford and Son, The Carol Burnett Show, Police Story, Murder, She Wrote, Frasier, The Nanny, CSI, Hot in Cleveland, and Two and a Half Men. In 1980, he starred in the hit buddy comedy jukebox musical The Blues Brothers as Maury Sline and reprised the role in 1998 for Blues Brothers 2000.

Steve Lawrence is survived by his son David, daughter-in-law Faye, granddaughter Mabel, brother Bernie, and several extended family members.