August 14, 2001
YOU ARE GAZING on the rarely-seen face of writer-actor Lorenzo Music, who passed away ten days ago, and who was — as I and
many others have noted — a wonderful creative force and friend. This photo is fairly recent and it was on a handout at the memorial
service held last night at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. A rather spectacular assemblage of talented folks were present and,
while it may seem odd for someone to say they had a great time at a memorial service for a pal...well, let's just say that Lorenzo, who had given us
so many entertaining shows during his life, was responsible for yet another last evening. Everyone always wants to know who was at these things
so here's a brief rundown of just some of those who were in attendance and whose names may be familiar to you...
The speakers included Bob Newhart, Jack Riley, Ed Asner, Beverly Sanders, Alan Barzman, Patti Deutsch, Marcia Wallace and several
others, including Yours Truly and a pretty funny rabbi. In the audience, one could spot Peter Bonerz, Gary Owens, Avery Schreiber, James L.
Brooks, Stan Freberg, June Foray, Thom Sharp, Rosanna Arquette, David Arquette, Julie Kavner, Maurice La Marche, Tress MacNeille, Gregg Berger, Laura
Summer, Danny Mann, Mary Gross, Edie McClurg, Dan Castellenetta, Julie Payne...and I'm probably leaving out at least fifty other names of popular
actors, both on-camera and voice, to say nothing of the non-S.A.G. friends and family that packed the Writers Guild Theater. A rousing gospel
choir closed the formal event which was followed by a party that Lorenzo would also have loved.
One of Lorenzo's sons suggested I post the photo so that his many fans can, at long last, know what one of their favorite actors
actually looked like. And Gary Owens furnished this picture of a time that Phyllis Diller and Lorenzo visited his radio program to participate
in a "Phyllis Diller Look-Alike Contest" which, I suspect, Lorenzo won handily.
Gary didn't recall the date of it but, judging from his outfit, it would probably be in the early seventies. At the time, Lorenzo
was a writer and story editor on the now-legendary sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He was also usually responsible for the show's
warm-up, greeting the audience and getting them all in the proper mood to laugh at Mary and Ted and Murray and Mr. Grant. His warm-ups were
also legendary, at least within the business, for Lorenzo was superb at holding an audience in rapt interest, and just listening to him made people
We all smiled a lot at the memorial service. And laughed. And there were even a few tears, but not that many. I think
we've all moved past that, as you have to in life, and we were there to share stories of our friend, to embrace his wonderful family and to indulge
in one big group hug.
Lorenzo...I don't know if they have Internet connections where you are but, assuming they do and the hook-up's fast enough to read this
page, I want to say the following to you: I hope you heard all the warm, loving and funny tales that were related last evening. I hope you know
how terrific everyone thought your wife and kids are and that we meant all those nice things we said about you to them. And when I go, I hope I
have at least a fourth as many wonderful and fascinating friends turn out to say good-bye to me. I only wish you could be one of them.
Click here to read the previous NEWS FROM ME