Lonnie Burr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Lonnie Burr
BornLeonard Burr Babin
(1943-05-31) May 31, 1943 (age 69)
Dayton, Kentucky
Other namesThe Velvet Smog
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Lonnie Burr
BornLeonard Burr Babin
(1943-05-31) May 31, 1943 (age 69)
Dayton, Kentucky
Other namesThe Velvet Smog

Lonnie Burr was born on May 31, 1943, in Dayton, Kentucky. He is an American actor, dancer/choreographer, singer, director and author of Danish, French, Scots-Irish and German descent, best known for having been a star on the original Mickey Mouse Club television show from 1955 to 1959. His parents were Howard Babin and Dorothy Burr, a vaudeville dance team that performed in film and on stage as "Dot and Dash".

Contents

Early performances

At age four Lonnie started dance lessons and was soon making live appearances on local TV shows as well as acting on radio and turned professional at five. By six he began working on national TV and radio, acting in commercials and landed his first film appearance in A Yank in Korea (1950). He had his first recurring TV role as the next door neighbor Oliver Quimby on The Ruggles sitcom (1950–1951), guested on a dozen episodes of The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Roy Rogers Show, The Alan Young Show, Donald O'Conner Show, Father Knows Best, and other series. He was the child lead on the soap opera Dr. Paul and the voice of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee for two years, both on radio. His stage career began at the Pasadena Playhouse at age six.

Lonnie landed his first guest star role as the title character on a segment of The Range Rider and the same year, his eighth, he performed his first stage lead in The Strawberry Circle. His film roles include Queen for a Day (1951), Hans Christian Andersen -to whom he is related-[citation needed] (1952), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and Apache (1954).

His early television commercials include Space Patrol and The Lone Ranger.

Mickey Mouse Club

In 1955 Lonnie was signed to a seven-year contract by Walt Disney Studios as one of twenty-four original Mouseketeers. He was made a member of the show's first string unit, the Red Team, and appeared in the show's Roll Call and Alma Mater segments daily for the first two seasons. (A facial injury suffered during rehearsal kept him off-camera during the filming of Roll Call and Alma Mater for the third season). While on the show Lonnie performed in skits and musical variety numbers, both as a soloist and with others. He was generally acknowledged to be one of the show's three top dancers and his slightly husky singing voice caused other Mouseketeers to nickname him "The Velvet Smog" for at twelve he also resembled "The Velvet Fog", singer Mel Tormé.

Roles as an adult

After the Mickey Mouse Club stopped filming in 1958, Lonnie finished high school, turning fifteen a few days before getting his diploma, and achieved a B.A. and M.A. in Theatre Arts from UCLA by age twenty. He then completed a year toward a Ph.D. in English Literature. He resumed performing in the 1960s in plays and musicals including Broadway, films, television, commercials and industrial films.

His 25 films include Sweet Charity (1968), The Hospital (1971), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975), Hook (1991), Lionheart (1991), Newsies (1992), Mr. Saturday Night (1992), and Police Academy: Mission To Moscow (1994).

His over 60 TV credits as an adult include guest roles on The Beverly Hillbillies, Hill Street Blues, Hunter, a recurring role on Falcon Crest, Murder She Wrote, Chicago Hope, L.A. Heat and Homicide: Life on the Streets. Lonnie also has a total of over 100 radio performances.

His 49 stage roles range from Mack and Mabel on Broadway, the first National Company with Joel Grey and the Las Vegas production on his own of George M!, the Los Angeles company of 42nd Street and Tamara.

Lonnie also directed for radio, TV, and theater and choreographed plays, musicals, commercials, industrial films, and live performances—one that he also wrote and appeared in at Disneyland. He has written two books of poetry, the non-fiction book TWO FOR THE SHOW: Great 20th Century Comedy Teams (2000), five plays (Icons Are Not in Vogue, Occam's Razor, Over the Hill, Children Are Strangers and Exeunt All), and the book and lyrics for the musical Fantasies, which have been staged in Los Angeles and New York City. In February 2009, his autobiography, Confessions of an Accidental Mouseketeer, was published.[1]

Lonnie published articles on various subjects for eighteen national and regional magazines, newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, The Washington Times, and Cincinnati Enquirer, and also for e-zines. He has written for the screen, TV and has had 22 produced radio scripts that aired in the U.S. on a 500-station syndicate for Heartbeat Theatre and American Radio Theater.

Lonnie also appeared as a contestant on two game shows, The Big Showdown (1975) and Wordplay (1987). Most notably, after losing in his second appearance on WordPlay, the celebrity panelists put on mouse ears and sang the ending theme version of the Mickey Mouse March.

References

External links