Originally created 08/04/98

Puppeteer Shari Lewis dead at 65



LOS ANGELES -- Puppeteer Shari Lewis, the children's entertainer who charmed youngsters for decades with furry sidekicks Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy, died of cancer, her publicist said today. She was 65.

Miss Lewis, diagnosed with uterine cancer in June, was undergoing chemotherapy treatments when she developed pneumonia and died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, spokeswoman Maggie Begley said.

After the treatments started six weeks ago, the Emmy Award-winning ventriloquist cut short production in Vancouver on her latest PBS children's series, "The Charlie Horse Music Pizza."

She bill the series as an educational "Cheers" for children that focused on music. The show premiered Jan. 5.

Miss Lewis won 12 Emmys, including five for her last PBS series, "Lamb Chop's Play-Along."