In Memory

Larry Gottlieb

LARRY GOTTLIEB, 46 Larry Phelps Gottlieb passed away December 24, 2007 at home in his adopted hometown of Glendale California after a 6 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Family was at his side. Born in Houston, Texas March 28, 1961, Larry began acting at the age of 9 years in the Bellaire High School performance of "Gypsy" He remained a performer all his life. A gifted singer and dancer, he was the lead singer for the Los Angeles based band "Loose Ties" at the time of his passing. A graduate of Bellaire High School in Houston, Larry was also a 1983 graduate of Texas A&M University. He studied and performed comedy at Second City in Chicago, and with the comedy troupe "The Groundlings" in L.A. He was in countless television and radio commercials in the Houston area, and acted in several films. He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. His love for performance was his reason for being. He performed comedy and music in Houston, Dallas, Chicago, New York, and L.A. He was the master of improvisational comedy, no one ever did it better than Larry. He had a unique sense of what was funny and an unbelievable energy level. No wonder Larry was blessed to have made and kept so many friends from all the times in his life. He was so funny and such a joy to be around. Larry is survived by his beloved wife Cynthia, a true soul-mate; his sisters, Helene and Sandy and their families, and brothers Bruce and Tommy and their families. He is preceded in death by his parents, Rilda Gabert Gottlieb of Houston, TX and Richard E. "Dick" Gottlieb of Dallas TX. He was a One-of-a-kind individual, not to be replaced, but definitely to be remembered. Larry, we all miss you so much.

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03/20/09 11:58 AM #1    

Mark Miller

I had the pleasure of having Larry as my debate partner at Bellaire. While we were not the best on Bellaire's highly-respected squad, we won many matches because of Larry's quick wit. Also, we terrorized the Bellaire Bowling Lanes with high-flying throws. It was childish, but so funny at the time. It's amazing in retrospect that we weren't banned from the alley. God, what a loss! Surely Heaven is a more entertaining place with Larry there.

09/10/09 07:24 PM #2    

Detria Mitchell

I enjoyed being a classmate of Larry's. Many of my most enjoyable moments at Bellaire involved watching Larry setting up a practical joke or saying something absolutely "priceless" in the middle of of some lecture. He also did some pretty good Jerry Lewis imitations! He rarely failed to get the laughs he intended to get. What wonderful memories he left me with.

Detria "DeeDee"

09/25/09 06:08 PM #3    

David Casteel

Larry Gottlieb was my best friend from 1978 until his death in 2007-- almost thirty years. Larry always inspired me to be more outgoing, self-confident, cheerful, whimsical, non-sensical, musical, spontaneous, optimistic, and happy. I owe so much to Larry, and I am eternally grateful to Larry for all the many ways in whhich he positively influenced my life. He was always one of a kind, and is undoubtedly the most unique and most outrageously funny person I have ever known.

The first time I ever saw Larry Gottlieb was when he and I were in the 8th grade at Johnston Junior High School. In the Fall of 1974, I saw him playing quarterback in a flag football game in gym class.

Larry was a great scrambler with unpredictable jukes and fakes, who could run and pass very well. I could tell immediately that he was very athleticly gifted, and had charisma and leadership qualities. I didn’t know his name yet, but I definitely recognized his face around school after that day.

Later that school year, in the Spring of 1975, I saw him in the school musical, playing the part of Bud Frump-- the boss' scheming nephew in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying". He was hysterically funny, and managed to steal every scene he was in, because of his comical body language, rubber face, and his enthusiastic style. Even in the 8th grade, Larry was one of a kind. It was also very obvious that he was extremely talented as an actor, singer, and comedian.

I met Larry the next Fall when I joined the school chorus in the 9th grade. Larry and I became chorus buddies that semester. The next Spring (1976), the two of us (and a number of others) played forest ranger troopers in the play, "Little Mary Sunshine." Larry was hilarious again, and the other troopers and I did our best to emulate Larry’s hysterical antics.

The next year we started Bellaire High School. I did not see Larry a lot in 10th and 11th grade, except in chorus. However, in 12th grade, Larry and I were not only in chorus together again, but also part of the cast of the school musical, “My Fair Lady.” We were also both selected to be in “8+1,” which was an elite subset of the school chorus. As a result, Larry and I became best friends in the Fall of 1978, and remained best friends until his death.

Larry and I started at Texas A&M in 1979, and were both accepted into the Texas A&M Singing Cadets. We had a lot of good times that first semester of college, and undoubtedly would have had many more good times if I hadn’t started to go blind. I was forced to drop out of college in the beginning of 1980, but Larry always kept in touch with me. He was a really great friend when I really needed one.

Over the next twenty years, Larry was away from Houston a lot. But whenever he was in town, we would get together. In the mid 1980’s, I would ride with him all over town when he went to perform singing telegrams in outrageous costumes. We would also get together for jam sessions as often as possible to play guitars, keyboards, or whatever, and make up impromptu lyrics. Larry was an impromptu genius, talented singer, and determined guitarist.

From 1980 to 2000, Larry performed with many rock bands, appeared in numerous television commercials, did stand-up comedy, acted in theatre productions, and performed with comedy troupes in College Station, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, and New York. Around 1995ish, Larry married his wife, Cynthia. In 2000ish, Larry and Cynthia moved to California, so Larry could pursue his acting, singing, and comedy career in Los Angeles. He was following his dream when he died of pancreatic cancer in 2007.

Larry was my best friend for most of my life. He was a critical player in almost all of my happiest and saddest times. He profoundly influenced my life, in that he was my inspiration in becoming more outgoing and extroverted, more confident in public speaking and public performing, and more able to deal with stage fright, insecurity, and shyness. He massively helped to make me who i am.

Larry was also the only one (besides my family) who really was consistently there for me when I went blind and was learning to deal with my blindness. He helped heal me during those bad times, and helped me to adjust to my new life as a blind man by helping me to laugh and be merry and by helping me to always look on the bright side.

Larry was the bestest friend that anyone could ever ask for. Thank God for Larry, and for all of the wonderful gifts that Larry bestowed upon me through his steadfast friendship. May Larry rest in the arms of God.

David Casteel

10/11/09 05:45 PM #4    

Larry Jowell

Larry and I were bowling adversaries while in junior high school. He had a unique way of distracting everyone within several lanes from him, always loud and theatrical. I hated to bowl next to him, but learned to enjoy him as a fellow chorus member at Bellaire. He was entertainment on steroids and never had an off switch. My hope was to see him at the 2009 reunion and rekindle some of the old laughs we had. I found it extremely difficult to drive with him in the car returning back to campus after a choral performance because he had the whole car in an uproar of laughter. He was such an entertainer that I just knew he would end up on a sit-com some day.

A fun story about Larry dealt with a lunch following a chorus performance at a BBQ restaurant. The place was full of lunch time diners and Larry had our table totally cracked up because he kept trying to launch a pad of butter up to the ceiling with a paper napkin. Finally, he stood up and smashed it all over the wall which pretty much ended our lunch time. We all left laughing before management got wind of what was going on!

Larry will be greatly missed, but the smiles will always live with me.

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