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Steve Lawrence, Grammy-winning singer and partner of Eydie Gormé, dies at 88

In addition to being half of Steve & Eydie, Lawrence was an actor with credits including "The Blues Brothers" and "The Nanny."

Steve Lawrence, the Grammy- and Emmy-winning performer who dazzled as a nightclub and concert singer with his late wife, Eydie Gormé, died Thursday from complications due to Alzheimer's disease. He was 88.

"My dad was an inspiration to so many people," the couple's son David said in a statement shared with PEOPLE. "But, to me, he was just this charming, handsome, hysterically funny guy who sang a lot. Sometimes alone and sometimes with his insanely talented wife."

David continued, "I am so lucky to have had him as a father and so proud to be his son. My hope is that his contributions to the entertainment industry will be remembered for many years to come."

Born Sidney Liebowitz in 1935, Lawrence expressed an interest in singing from a young age. His start in show business came after winning a talent competition on Arthur Godfrey's CBS show, leading him to sign with King Records as a teenager.

<p>Harry Langdon/Getty</p> Steve Lawrence in 1990

Harry Langdon/Getty

Steve Lawrence in 1990

Lawrence was 17 when he first crossed paths with Gormé in New York, but it wasn't until 1953 that they became friends while performing duets on the Steve Allen's talk show, Tonight. Performing together as Steve & Eydie, they quickly garnered acclaim.

At the height of their popularity throughout the '60s and '70s, they appeared on various variety programs, including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Danny Kaye Show, The Judy Garland Show, and The Julie Andrews Hour.

They married in 1957 in Las Vegas, a city where they would become nightlife staples, headlining Caesars Palace, the Sands, the Sahara and more. Over the course of their career, they were named Musical Variety Act of the Year by the Las Vegas Entertainment Awards on four separate occasions.

With and without Gormé, Lawrence released dozens of albums in his lifetime. He topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963 with the ballad "Go Away Little Girl," and later made the top 10 with songs including "Party Doll," "Pretty Blue Eyes" and "Portrait of My Love."

Also an actor, Lawrence earned a Best Actor nod at the 1964 Tony Awards for his performance as Sammy Glick in What Makes Sammy Run? He later played Maury Sline in The Blues Brothers, a role he reprised in the sequel, Blues Brothers 2000. He played the father of Fran Drescher‘s titular character on CBS' The Nanny and guest-starred on various other shows, including Sanford and Son, Frasier, Hot in Cleveland, and Two and a Half Men.

<p>Martin Mills/Getty</p> Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé in 1967

Martin Mills/Getty

Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé in 1967

With Gormé, Lawrence made several records, including the 1960 album We Got Us, which won them a Grammy. The duo also produced and starred in several television specials, winning an Emmy for 1979's Steve & Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin. In the '80s, they staged a series of sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts.

Despite also pursuing solo projects and gigs, the duo continued performing together until Gormé died in 2013.

"Her range was better than three octaves," Lawrence told the Los Angeles Times of his late wife in 2014. "She could sing with almost anybody. But she enjoyed singing with me. We were attached at the hip — Steve-and-Eydie. It was like we were one person — to be married that long."

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