Lew Grade

From Academic Kids

Lew Grade, Baron Grade (birth name Louis Winogradsky) (December 25, 1906 - December 13, 1998) was an influential showbusiness impresario and television company executive in the United Kingdom. His interests included Pye Records and ATV.

He was born in Tokmak, Ukraine, and arrived in the UK during the 1920s, showing off his skills as a Charleston dancer, and in 1933 founded a talent agency. His two brothers, Leslie Grade and Bernard Delfont, were also show business impresarios, and his nephew, Michael Grade, carried on the tradition. Lew Grade is best known by viewing audiences for having brought The Saint and The Prisoner into production. In 1962 he purchased independent production house AP Films, co-founded by Gerry Anderson, which produced a string of popular children's marionette adventure series including Supercar, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, three feature films, and the live-action sci-fi series UFO and Space: 1999.

Grade was was instrumental in bringing The Muppet Show to the screen and was immortalized by Jim Henson, who made a Muppet in his image -- Dr Bunsen Honeydew -- which had a very different personality and profession: He was the epitome of a Mad Scientist. Henson also based the character of movie mogul Lew Lord (played by Orson Welles) in The Muppet Movie, after Grade.

His other successes as a producer included the award-winning Jesus of Nazareth (1977), starring Robert Powell - ironically, as Grade was Jewish.

He was made a life peer in 1976, having been knighted in 1969.

Quotes

Commenting on his expensive flop, Raise the Titanic: "It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic."

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