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Lorenzo Music
Music with his wife Henrietta
Gerald David Music

(1937-05-02)May 2, 1937
DiedAugust 4, 2001(2001-08-04) (aged 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other namesL. Music
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota Duluth
  • writer
  • producer
  • voice actor
Years active1958–2001
Henrietta Music
(m. 1959)
RelativesCarla Lalli Music (daughter-in-law)

Gerald David "Lorenzo" Music (May 2, 1937 – August 4, 2001) was an American writer, producer, performer and voice actor.[1] Music began his career in the 1960s with his wife, Henrietta, forming the comedy duo Gerald and His Hen. He then became a writer and a regular performer on the controversial CBS variety show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. In the 1970s, Music co-created the sitcom The Bob Newhart Show with David Davis and composed its theme music with his wife. He also wrote episodes for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, and got a major voiceover role for playing the unseen, but often heard, Carlton the Doorman in Rhoda. Music gained fame in the 1980s for voicing Jim Davis' comic strip character Garfield on twelve animated specials, and later in cartoons, video games, and commercials. His distinctive voice of Garfield was also emulated by other actors following his death in 2001.[1]

Early life and career

Gerald David Music was born on May 2, 1937, in Brooklyn, New York City.[2] He was six years old when his family moved to Duluth, Minnesota because of his father's job at one of the shipyards.[1] He was a student at Central High School and then at the University of Minnesota Duluth.[3] Music met his wife, Henrietta, in college at its Theatre Arts Department. Together, they had four children and formed a comedy duo, Gerald and His Hen, performing together for eight years, even performing at a USO show in Japan.[4][1]



Music became a writer and a regular performer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour from 1967 to 1969 and won an Emmy Award for writing.[5] His work as a writer and story editor on The Mary Tyler Moore Show[6] in 1970 would lead to his big break.[clarification needed] Music was the co-creator of The Bob Newhart Show with his writing partner, David Davis. The show ran on CBS from 1972 to 1978; he also co-wrote the theme song to the show with his wife.

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,[citation needed] which made his voice recognisable 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 a pilot episode, CBS did not pick it up as a series.

In 1976, Lorenzo 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, but it did not last. In 1983, Music voiced Ralph the All-Purpose Animal in the stop-motion animated film Twice Upon a Time.


Main article: Garfield

In the 1980s, Jim Davis' Garfield was the most popular comic strip in America since Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts. 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' 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 all twelve specials, an animated series, video games, and commercials until his death in 2001.

Other work

Music also voiced characters for the animated series Pac-Man, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Fluppy Dogs, The Real Ghostbusters, Pound Puppies, TaleSpin, and Darkwing Duck. After Garfield and Friends ended in 1994, Music retired from cartoon voice acting.

Music 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 its 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!"[7]

Music's voice could be heard on 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. He also appeared as an intercom announcer on an episode of The Drew Carey Show.[8] Music 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.

Death and legacy

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

Since Music's death, Frank Welker replaced him as the voice of Garfield in three fully-CGI films, an animated series, and the Nickelodeon crossover fighting video game All-Star Brawl. Garfield's voice was also provided by Bill Murray in two live-action films. Coincidentally, Music voiced Peter Venkman in the first two seasons of The Real Ghostbusters before being replaced by Dave Coulier. Welker provided the voices of Ray Stantz and Slimer in the same series as well. Chris Pratt voiced Garfield in a CGI animated film in 2024.

Production credits


Year Title Notes
1967–1969 The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 54 episodes
1969 The Leslie Uggams Show 10 episodes
1969–1970 Love, American Style 3 episodes
1970–1971 The Mary Tyler Moore Show 8 episodes
1972–1978 The Bob Newhart Show Created by (142 episodes)
Writer (5 episodes)
1974–1978 Rhoda 2 episodes
1976 The Lorenzo and Henrietta Music Show Main writer
The New Lorenzo Music Show Teleplay
1983 Garfield on the Town TV special
1991 Rugrats Episode: "Momma Trauma"
1994 De Sylvia Millecam Show 6 episodes


Year Title Notes
1972–1975 The Bob Newhart Show Executive producer (51 episodes)
Producer (6 episodes)
1974–1975 Rhoda 33 episodes
1976 The Lorenzo and Henrietta Music Show Executive producer
The New Lorenzo Music Show
1980 Carlton Your Doorman


Year Title Notes
1970–1972 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Story consultant (24 episodes)
Assistant to producers (24 episodes)
1975 Rhoda Executive consultant (5 episodes)
1983 Garfield on the Town Consultant



Year Title Role Notes
1967–1969 The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour Regular Performer 50 episodes
1974–1978 Rhoda Carlton the Doorman 82 episodes
1975 Tattletales Himself/Contestant 6 episodes
1976 The Lorenzo and Henrietta Music Show Himself/host 35 episodes
1996 The Drew Carey Show Store Announcer Episode: "There Is No Scientific Name for a Show About God"


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


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Carlton Your Doorman Carlton the Doorman TV pilot episode
1982 Here Comes Garfield Garfield Television special
1983 Garfield on the Town
Pac-Man Super-Pac 4 episodes
1984 Garfield in the Rough Garfield Television special
1985 Garfield in Disguise
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 Television 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 Television special
Pound Puppies Teensy Episode: "Little Big Dog/The Bright Eyes Mob"
The Jetsons Florist Episode: "The Odd Pod"
A Garfield Christmas Special Garfield Television special
1988–1994 Garfield and Friends Garfield, Charlie, Devil Garfield, Angel Garfield, Additional voices Main-role; 121 episodes
1988 Garfield: His 9 Lives Garfield Television special
1988–1989 Fantastic Max Additional voices 3 episodes
1989 Garfield's Babes and Bullets Garfield Television special
Garfield's Thanksgiving Main-role; TV special
1990 Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue Cameo; Television special
Garfield's Feline Fantasies Garfield, Lance Sterling Television special
1990–1991 TaleSpin Sgt. Dunder 6 episodes
1991 Garfield Gets a Life Garfield Television special
Darkwing Duck Spider, Mole 2 episodes
Rugrats Dr. Hartley Episode: "Grandpa's Teeth/Momma Trauma"


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Adventures in Odyssey Mr. Smith Episode: "A Stranger Among Us"

Video games

Year Title Role
2000 Garfield's Mad About Cats Garfield


  1. ^ a b c d e "Lorenzo Music – Actor, 64". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 8, 2001.
  2. ^ "Lorenzo Music". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved February 15, 2024.
  3. ^ "Lorenzo Music". Zenith City Press. April 16, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Oliver, Myrna (August 8, 2001). "Lorenzo Music; Voice of Garfield the Cat". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ "Lorenzo and Henrietta Music | College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences | UMN Duluth". Retrieved February 15, 2024.
  6. ^ "Lorenzo Music, voice of Garfield, dies". Chron. Associated Press. Retrieved February 15, 2024.
  7. ^ Evanier, Mark (August 5, 2001). "Lorenzo Music, R.I.P." News From Me. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  8. ^ "Lorenzo Music: Actor". IMDb. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
Preceded byLou Rawls (singing voice in Here Comes Garfield) Voice of Garfield the Cat 1982–2001 Succeeded byBill Murray Preceded byBill Murray Voice of Dr. Peter Venkman 1986–1988 Succeeded byDave Coulier