Jerry Lanning was on the Dick Van Dyke Show in 1962, the episode was called “The Twizzle” where he played Randy “Twizzle” Eisenbauer, a young man who invents a new dance craze called the “Twizzle” (an obvious reference to a popular dance of the day). Do any of you remember Jerry at the bowling alley performing the song The Twizzle, and those moves he made to the song, (I now have the song stuck in my head, lol! it was a rather catchy tune). That episode was just on and I thought the guy guest starring on it was Jerry but I was not sure until I googled it! Sure enough it was him, he was all of 19 years old.
Jerry was born on May 17, 1943. He is well known for his stage work, singing and acting. He has starred on a few soap operas which include, Texas (as Justin Marshall), Search For Tomorrow (as Nick D’Antoni), Guiding Light (as Cain Harris), Another World (as Anthony Walker / Dr. Russell ‘Russ’ Matthews #5).
Jerry and his future wife to be Sherry Mathis both appeared on Search For Tomorrow in 1979, Sherry played Liza Walton Kaslo Sentell Kendall. You might remember that Jerry who played Nick was trying to kill Liza’s (Sherry) boyfriend Travis Sentell (Rod Arrants) for financial gain. They filmed scenes in Sarasota, Florida for the show and some of those senses with Liza & Nick were violent. Almost immediately after these remote scenes were filmed Sherry & Jerry went to Sherry’s hometown of Memphis, TN and got married!
Even a couple of years before they got married they both performed in the musical Camelot in 1977 where Jerry played Lancelot, Sherry was Guenevere and Rock Hudson played King Arthur.
Jerry and Sherry divorced sometime in the 1980’s I believe. (Sad to report Sherry died in January of 1994). I remember once talking to Jerry and Sherry in the late 1970’s on the telephone. They answered some questions I had for them about the soap operas they were on at the time. Both were very nice and generous with their time.
Jerry has continued in Theater and in 2010 he and Tom Rhoads and Frankie Michaels sang “My Best Girl” honoring Angela Lansbury at the Drama League Gala, Pierre Hotel, in New York City. He still has that wonderful singing voice! Look at handsome, young Jerry below with composer Jerry Herman, Angela Lansbury, Frankie Michaels and Jerome Lawrence for the 1966 Broadway Musical Mame.
Hope you enjoyed my little blog on Jerry Lanning and if you have some extra time check out my Store at Naturesjoy’s Celebrity Clippings & Pinups where you will find a neat selection of various Celebrity clippings and pinups for sale.