Lorenzo Music

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Lorenzo Music
Lorenzo and Henrietta Music.jpg
Music with his wife Henrietta
Gerald David Music

(1937-05-02)May 2, 1937
DiedAugust 4, 2001(2001-08-04) (aged 64)
Other namesL. Music
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota Duluth
  • Actor
  • voice actor
  • writer
  • producer
  • musician
Years active1962–2001
Height185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Henrietta Music
(m. 1959)
RelativesCarla Lalli Music (daughter-in-law)

Gerald David "Lorenzo" Music (May 2, 1937 – August 4, 2001) was an American actor, voice actor, writer, producer and musician.[1] He was best known as the original voice of Jim Davis' comic strip character Garfield.

Music began his career as a writer and a regular performer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. He co-created the sitcom The Bob Newhart Show and wrote episodes for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. In the 1980s, he voiced Garfield on twelve animated specials, and later in cartoons, video games, and commercials. Music's distinctive voice of Garfield is still often used in animated specials in his legacy.[2]

Early life[edit]

Gerald David Music was born on May 2, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York. He was six years old when his family moved to Duluth, Minnesota, for his father's job at one of the shipyards.

He was student at Central High School and then at the University of Minnesota Duluth. [3] Music met his wife Henrietta at the latter, in the Theatre Arts Department. Together they formed a comedy duo named Gerald and His Hen, who performed together for eight years.

Mr. Music changed his first name to Lorenzo for spiritual reasons after he became a member of the international spiritual association Subud.[4]


Early work (1962–1981)[edit]

Music became a writer and a regular performer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour during 1968 and 1969. His work as a writer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970 would lead him to his big break.

The Bob Newhart Show[edit]

He was the co-creator of The Bob Newhart Show (with his then-producer/writing partner David Davis) which premiered on CBS in 1972 and ran for six years; he also co-wrote the theme song to the show with his wife Henrietta.


Music continued writing for the Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off Rhoda. While casting Rhoda, the producers were looking for a voice actor to play the part of a character that would be heard but never seen: Carlton the doorman. When they heard Music's sleepy, husky voice, they offered him that role, which made his voice recognizable to a worldwide television audience. The character was popular enough to warrant a one-off single in 1975 called "Who Is It?" (b/w "The Girl in 510", United Artists UA-XW643-X), which became a regional hit. Music also co-produced and co-wrote a 1980 animated special called Carlton Your Doorman which won an Emmy Award. Though it was actually a pilot episode, CBS didn't pick it up as a series. However, Music's role as Carlton the Doorman has also been compared to that of Ralph the Doorman from The Jeffersons.[5]

Other works[edit]

In 1976, he and Henrietta were given the opportunity to host a syndicated television variety show of their own. The Lorenzo and Henrietta Music Show was produced at a time when there was a glut of television variety shows, and it did not last.

In 1983, Music voiced the character Ralph the All-Purpose Animal in the stop-motion animated film Twice Upon a Time.

Garfield (1982–2001)[edit]

In 1982, Jim Davis's Garfield was the most popular comic strip in America. Compilation books and merchandising of the strip were topping best seller lists, and Davis was negotiating to make an animated television special. Producers needed someone to voice the main character in the strip: Garfield, a fat, lazy, sarcastic and demanding cat. The audition attracted several famed vocal talents, including Sterling Holloway, the voice of Winnie the Pooh. After one audition, Music was immediately cast as the voice of Garfield; in Davis's words, "I looked at the room full of [voice] actors, and then in the corner I saw Lorenzo, quietly licking himself". Music would serve as the voice of Garfield in more than 12 television specials, in the Garfield and Friends animated television series that ran from 1988-1994 on CBS, video games and commercials until 2001. He last voiced Garfield for an automobile commercial that year.

Other voice work[edit]

Music voiced characters for shows such as TaleSpin as Sgt. Dunder, The Real Ghostbusters as the original voice of Peter Venkman, Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears as Tummi Gummi, Fluppy Dogs as Ozzie the Green Cool Fluppy, Pac-Man, Pound Puppies as Teensy in the season 2 episode Little Big Dog, and Darkwing Duck. In the mid-1990s, after Garfield and Friends, Darkwing Duck and Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears concluded, Music retired from cartoon voice acting.

During the 1980s, Music also did voice-overs for many commercials for prime-time TV, such as Larry the Crash Test Dummy in the "You Could Learn a Lot from a Dummy" public safety announcements sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and for Florida grapefruit juice, a lesser known series of commercials extolling Florida agriculture as opposed to the more popular "Florida orange juice" commercials.

In keeping with his beliefs in Subud and emphasis on charity, Music frequently volunteered his time on a suicide hotline. Music recalled that sometimes a caller would change his tone: "I am bankrupt, my wife ran off with another man...Hey, you sound just like that cat on TV!"[6]

Later years (1995–2001)[edit]

In 1996, Music's voice could be heard on Stan Freberg's Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume Two album, released as a CD by Rhino Records. Music appeared on the album as James Madison and Robert E. Lee. Music also appeared as an intercom announcer on an episode of The Drew Carey Show.[citation needed]

In the early 1990s, he served as the voice-over for commercials for Ore Ida Potatoes and Fruit and Cream Strawberry Twinkies. He later served as the pitchman for Ruggles Ice Cream (a local brand from Orrville, Ohio). Music continued his role of Garfield for commercials and several PC games, such as Garfield's Mad About Cats, through the 1990s and early 2000s. His last appearance as the voice of Garfield was for an automobile commercial in 2001.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Music was married to composer/writer Henrietta Music; together they had four children.[1][7]


Music died from complications related to lung and bone cancer on August 4, 2001. He was 64.[1] He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.


Since Music's death, Frank Welker has often replaced him as the voice of Garfield in recent productions of the Garfield franchise including three fully-CGI films: Garfield Gets Real, Garfield's Fun Fest, and Garfield's Pet Force and the CGI animated series, The Garfield Show. In the live-action films Garfield: The Movie and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Garfield's voice was provided by Bill Murray. Coincidentally, Music voiced Peter Venkman in the first two seasons of The Real Ghostbusters, a role originally played by Murray. Welker provided the voices of Ray Stantz and Slimer in the same series.




List of acting performances in feature films
Year Title Role Notes
1976 Nickelodeon Mullins
1980 Oh Heavenly Dog Carlton


List of acting performances in television shows
Year Title Role Notes
1967–1969 The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour Regular Performer 50 episodes
Also writer (54 episodes)
1969 The Leslie Uggams Show N/A Writer (10 episodes)
1970–1971 The Mary Tyler Moore Show N/A Writer (8 episodes)
1972–1978 The Bob Newhart Show N/A 142 episodes
Writer (5 episodes)
1974–1978 Rhoda Carlton the Doorman 82 episodes
Also executive consultant, producer and writer

Voice roles[edit]


List of voice performances in feature films
Year Title Role Notes
1983 Twice Upon a Time Ralph the All-Purpose Animal
1986 The Adventures of the American Rabbit Ping


List of voice performances in television shows
Year Title Role Notes
1980 Carlton Your Doorman Carlton the Doorman TV pilot episode
1982 Here Comes Garfield Garfield TV special
1983 Garfield on the Town TV special
Also consultant and writer
Pac-Man Super-Pac 4 episodes
1984 Garfield in the Rough Garfield TV special
1985 Garfield in Disguise TV special
The GLO Friends Save Christmas Moose Television film
1985–1991 Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears Tummi Gummi, Knight, Man, Additional voices 60 episodes
1985-1999 The Incredible Crash Test Dummies Larry the Crash Test Dummy PSAs
1986 Garfield in Paradise Garfield TV special
Fluppy Dogs Ozzie Television film
1986–1987 The Real Ghostbusters Peter Venkman Main-role; 78 episodes; first season and syndication run
1987 Garfield Goes Hollywood Garfield TV special
Pound Puppies Teensy Episode: "Little Big Dog/The Bright Eyes Mob"
The Jetsons Florist Episode: "The Odd Pod"
A Garfield Christmas Special Garfield TV special
1988–1994 Garfield and Friends Garfield, Charlie, Devil Garfield, Angel Garfield, Additional voices Recurring role
1988 Garfield: His 9 Lives Garfield TV special
1988–1989 Fantastic Max Additional voices 3 episodes
1989 Garfield's Babes and Bullets Garfield TV special
Garfield's Thanksgiving Main-role; TV special
1990 Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue Cameo; TV special
Garfield's Feline Fantasies Garfield, Lance Sterling TV special
1990–1991 TaleSpin Sgt. Dunder 6 episodes
1991 Garfield Gets a Life Garfield TV special
Darkwing Duck Spider, Mole 2 episodes
Rugrats Dr. Hartley Episode: "Grandpa's Teeth/Momma Trauma"
Also writer (Episode: "Momma Trauma")
1996 The Drew Carey Show Store Announcer Episode: "There Is No Scientific Name for a Show About God"
1998 Adventures in Odyssey Additional voices Episode: "A Stranger Among Us"

Video games[edit]

List of voice performances in video games
Year Title Role
1993 Garfield Labyrinth Garfield
1995 Garfield: Caught in the Act
2000 Garfield's Mad About Cats


  1. ^ a b c "Lorenzo Music – Actor, 64". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 8, 2001.
  2. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/08/arts/lorenzo-music-actor-64.html
  3. ^ "Lorenzo Music". Zenith City. Zenith City. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  4. ^ "Lorenzo Music: The Life and Career of the Man Who Voiced Garfield the Cat." www.retrojunk.com. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  5. ^ https://n.noovie.com/people/ned-wertimer-162564
  6. ^ Evanier, Mark (August 5, 2001). "Lorenzo Music, R.I.P." News From Me. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  7. ^ Oliver, Myrna (August 8, 2001). "Lorenzo Music; Voice of Garfield the Cat". Los Angeles Times.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Lou Rawls (singing voice in Here Comes Garfield)
Voice of Garfield the Cat
Succeeded by
Bill Murray
Preceded by
Bill Murray
Voice of Dr. Peter Venkman
Succeeded by
Dave Coulier