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Uncle Funny Gone

from The LA Times

Murray Gershenz, Record Store Owner and Character Actor, Dies at 91


Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

Call Murray. Call him from Germany. Call him from South America. Surely he will have what you are looking for: Bjorling, Brazilian jazz, early Beach Boys.

For more than 50 years, Murray Gershenz ran a used record store in Los Angeles that was much more than a store. It was an international archive of more than 300,000 records that he loved, or that he hoped one day to hear and was convinced that someone else out there did, too.

“He told me, ‘If I could listen to every one of these records I would,’ ” his son Irving said.

But some people in Los Angeles take day jobs to finance secret dreams, and Music Man Murray, as both he and his store were called, was one of them. In 1938, when he was 16 and living in New York, he helped form the Bronx Playgrounds Operetta Club. They sang at the 1939 World’s Fair. When he was nearly 80, he started taking comedy classes in Los Angeles.

His much younger classmates wondered how he made it all look so easy. The dry delivery. The exasperated face. One evening a casting director spotted him, and soon enough there he was on “Will & Grace,” playing a character named Uncle Funny.

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Posted on September 7, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

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