Lorenzo Music

Lorenzo Music
Born Gerald David Music
(1937-05-02)May 2, 1937
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died August 4, 2001(2001-08-04) (aged 64)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Cause of death Complications from lung and bone cancer
Other names L. Music
Occupation Actor, voice actor, writer, producer, musician
Years active 1962–2001
Known for Voice of Garfield and Peter Venkman
Notable work Garfield and Friends
The Real Ghostbusters
Spouse(s) Henrietta Music
(m. ?–2001; his death)
Children 4

Gerald David "Lorenzo" Music (May 2, 1937 – August 4, 2001) was an American actor, voice actor, writer, producer, and musician.[1] His best-known roles include voicing the animated cartoon cat Garfield, and Carlton the doorman on the CBS sitcom Rhoda. He is also known for his work as Tummi Gummi in Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, the original voice of Peter Venkman in DIC's The Real Ghostbusters, and Larry the Crash Test Dummy in a series of United States Department of Transportation public service announcements that promoted the use of seat belts from 1985 to 1998.[2]

Early life

Music was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in Duluth, Minnesota, where he was educated at Central High School and the University of Minnesota Duluth. He met his wife Henrietta at the latter, and together they formed a comedy duo named Gerald and His Hen. They performed successfully together for eight years. He changed his first name to Lorenzo for spiritual reasons after he became a member of the international spiritual association Subud.[3]


Early work (1962–1981)

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.

He was the co-creator of The Bob Newhart Show (with his then-producer/writing partner David Davis) which went on the air 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 Carlton Your Doorman which won an Emmy Award.

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 (1982–1994)

Main article: Garfield

In 1982, Jim Davis's comic strip Garfield was the most popular strip in America. Compilation books 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 lazy, oafish and demanding cat. After one audition, Music was 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".

More than 12 Garfield television specials were produced and the Garfield and Friends animated television series ran for seven years. Music voiced characters for shows such as TaleSpin as Sgt. Dunder, The Real Ghostbusters, 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 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!"[4]

Later years and death (1995–2001)

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 appears 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.

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 several PC games, such as Garfield's Mad About Cats, through the late-1990s.

His last appearance as the voice of Garfield was for an automobile commercial. A month later he died from complications related to lung and bone cancer on August 4, 2001. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.[5] He is survived by his wife, Henrietta; his daughters Roz, a prominent Hollywood make-up artist (Adaptation, The Virgin Suicides), and Leilani; his sons Fernando and Sam; and his nephews Ryan, Todd and Scott.


Since Music's death, Frank Welker has often replaced him as the voice of Garfield the Cat 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. Also, Bill Murray was chosen to voice Garfield in the live-action/animated films Garfield: The Movie and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. Music voiced Murray's character of Doctor Peter Venkman in The Real Ghostbusters. Meanwhile, Frank Welker also provided the voice of Ray Stantz on The Real Ghostbusters, and Music was replaced by Dave Coulier when Murray complained to the studio that the character sounded too much like Garfield.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 Nickelodeon Mullins (live-action)
1980 Oh Heavenly Dog Carlton (live-action)
1983 Twice Upon a Time Ralph the All-Purpose Animal (voice)
1986 The Adventures of the American Rabbit Ping (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
1967–1969 The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour Regular Performer (live-action) 50 episodes
1974–1978 Rhoda Carlton the Doorman 82 episodes
1980 Carlton Your Doorman Carlton the Doorman (voice) Main-role; TV pilot episode
1982 Here Comes Garfield Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
1983 Garfield on the Town Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
Pac-Man Super-Pac (voice) 4 episodes
1984 Garfield in the Rough Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
1985 Garfield in Disguise Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
The GLO Friends Save Christmas Moose (voice) TV movie
1985–1991 Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears Tummi Gummi, Knight, Man, Additional voices (voices) 60 episodes
1986 Garfield in Paradise Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
Fluppy Dogs Ozzie (voice) TV movie
1986–1987 The Real Ghostbusters Peter Venkman (voice) (Seasons 1–2) Main-role; 78 episodes; first season and syndication run
1987 Garfield Goes Hollywood Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
Pound Puppies Teensy (voice) 1 episode
The Jetsons Florist (voice) 1 episode
A Garfield Christmas Special Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
1988–1994 Garfield and Friends Garfield, Charlie, Devil Garfield, Angel Garfield, Additional voices (voices) Main-role; 121 episodes
1988 Garfield: His 9 Lives Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
1988–1989 Fantastic Max Additional voices (voice) 3 episodes
1989 Garfield's Babes and Bullets Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
Garfield's Thanksgiving Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
1990 Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue Garfield (voice) Cameo; TV special
Garfield's Feline Fantasies Garfield, Lance Sterling (voice) Main-role; TV special
1990–1991 TaleSpin Sgt. Dunder (voice) 6 episodes
1991 Garfield Gets a Life Garfield (voice) Main-role; TV special
Darkwing Duck Spider, Mole (voice) 2 episodes
1996 The Drew Carey Show Store Announcer (live-action) 1 episode
1998 Adventures in Odyssey Additional voices (voice) Episode: "A Stranger Among Us"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Garfield Labyrinth Garfield Voice
1995 Garfield: Caught in the Act Garfield Voice
2000 Garfield's Mad About Cats Garfield Voice


  1. "Lorenzo Music – Actor, 64". The New York Times. August 8, 2001.
  2. Mirabella, Lorraine. "Annapolis ad man one of the brains behind the Crash Test Dummies," The Baltimore Sun, Saturday, July 31, 2010.
  3. "Lorenzo Music: The Life and Career of the Man Who Voiced Garfield the Cat." www.retrojunk.com. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  4. Evanier, Mark. "Lorenzo Music, R.I.P.". News From Me. Mark Evanier. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  5. "Lorenzo Music – Biography". IMDb. Amazon.com. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
  6. Ken Plume (January 1, 2007). "Quick Stop Interview: Maurice LaMarche". Quick Stop Interview. Retrieved 2007-08-13.

External links

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
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