|Sam Norkin's Jerry Lewis Mural|
In 1959, the popular theatrical caricaturist Sam Norkin was hired by Brown's Hotel & Country Club in Loch Sheldrake, New York, (the Catskill Mountains, aka the Borscht Belt), to create a large mural depicting the beloved comedian and movie star Jerry Lewis in his various personas. The mural would hang in the lobby of Brown's "Jerry Lewis Theater Club" until the hotel was eventually sold in 1988 in a foreclosure auction. It was converted into a condominium complex in the mid-1990's, and the mural was painted over. The condominiums burned down in 2012.
Jerry Lewis had a long association with the hotel's owners, Charles and Lillian Brown, beginning in his formative years in the early forties when he worked there as a waiter/tummler,
perfecting his comedy craft.
Jerry Lewis remained friends with the Brown family for decades and continued to perform for them yearly at their hotel/resort. His longtime bandleader Lou Brown was also a member of the Hotel's Brown family. Sam Norkin died in 2011.
Thanks to John Wendler
|Jerry & Patti Lewis sing a duet at Browns in 1955|
on the road to Browns
|a postcard featuring a crowd of sophisticated|
"Borscht Belters" gathering outside the Jerry Lewis Theater Club at Brown's
another postcard featuring the inside of the Jerry Lewis Theater Club
the Jerry Lewis Theatre Club stage featured two giant happy/sad Jerry
heads on each side of the stage:
Vacationing couples and friends posing in front of the mural in 1963, before the painting would be enhanced with more color. Norkin's signature and date can be seen.
(Thanks to John Wendler for these photos)
The Jerry Lewis mural in 1986 with added and changed colors, two years before
the hotel closed. Photo by Russel Harvey
a Brown's Hotel ashtray
a Browns napkin
Brown's hotel soap
Jerry & Wilber the penguin in Brown's Hotel lobby, 1955
Jerry dressed as a waiter serving soup in Brown's cafateria, circa 1956