Birth Date: April 5, 1921
Birth Place: New York, New York, USA
Date of Death: December 11, 1991 / Age: 70
Location of Death: Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of Death: emphysema
Biography: Robert Q. Lewis (April 5, 1921 - December 11, 1991) is best known for his involvement with a number of game shows in the 1950s, serving as host, guest host, panelist, guest panelist, and even as a mystery guest (on the classic panel show What's My Line?). Lewis's distinctive horn-rimmed spectacles were ever-present in his television appearances, including in his most enduring role as host of The Name's The Same, a game show in which guests with unusual (e.g. "A. Harem") or famous names (e. g. "Marilyn Monroe") were asked yes-and-no questions by three celebrity panelists seeking to determine the contestant's name. When the name was guessed, Lewis would instruct the contestant to walk over to the panel and collect $25 checks from the celebrities who failed to guess the name. Lewis's genial nature, ability to make contestants comfortable, and easy laugh helped to make this (and other) shows an enjoyable watch for many viewers.
In addition to his television work, Lewis worked extensively in radio as host of The Robert Q. Lewis Show (which would later make the move to television). At one time, Lewis was romantically linked to Rosemary Clooney. Among those who served as writers for Lewis in his radio years were famed playwright Neil Simon and renowned author and dramatist Paddy Chayevsky. Future talk-show host and producer Merv Griffin often sang on Lewis's show; Lewis ultimately replaced Griffin as host of the game show Play Your Hunch.
Robert Q. Lewis was always an enthusiast of vintage music. He frequently revived old Tin Pan Alley tunes on his radio and TV shows, and hosted a radio series called Robert Q.'s Waxworks. He also sang on phonograph records on the Columbia, M-G-M, and Coral labels. In 1967 Lewis recorded I'm Just Wild About Vaudeville for Atco ; this collection of circa-1930 songs has Lewis cleverly imitating different singing styles of the day.
Later in his career, Robert Q. made a few movies, notably Good Neighbor Sam, Ski Party, and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex. He also made a number of television guest appearances, popping up more than once on Branded and Bewitched among other shows. He continued to make sporadic acting appearances until a few years before his death from emphysema in 1991.
A collection of Robert Q. Lewis's personal papers, notes, and scripts, covering roughly the years 1940 until 1960, now resides at Thousand Oaks Library in Thousand Oaks, California. He is interred at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Incidentally, the "Q." didn't stand for a middle name; Bob Lewis stumbled on the initial while on the air in the 1940s: he followed a reference to radio comedian Col. Lemuel Q. Stoopnagle with "And this is Robert Q. Lewis." The name stuck.