“To say that we will miss his generous, cantankerous, engaging spirit is a profound understatement,” White said.
Lewis, sporting a somewhat cheesy Dracula outfit, became a pop culture icon playing the irascible father-in-law to Fred Gwynne’s ever-bumbling Herman Munster on the 1964-66 television show. He was also one of the stars of another classic TV comedy, playing Officer Leo Schnauzer on “Car 54, Where Are You?”
Lewis, as Officer Schnauzer, played opposite Gwynne’s Officer Francis Muldoon in “Car 54, Where Are You?” a comedy about a Bronx police precinct that aired from 1961-63. One year later, the duo appeared together in “The Munsters,” taking up residence at the fictional 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
Al Lewis was a true character, unassuming and never took himself too seriously. He knew what had created his celebrity and never avoided it. In fact years later he relished the notion that a show that only last two seasons on air still made him a living.
It forever locked Lewis in as the memorable twisted character; decades later, strangers would greet him on the street with shouts of “Grandpa!”
Unlike some television stars, Lewis never complained about getting typecast and made appearances in character for decades.
“Why would I mind?” he asked in a 1997 interview. “It pays my mortgage.”
Grandpa Munster, thank you for all the memorable moments and laughter, Rest in Peace.