EVELYN BELL LEWIS
EVELYN BELL LEWIS Evelyn Bell passed away Thursday, March 10, 2016, at Sutter Roseville Hospital after a brief Illness. She was 95. Ms. Bell was a well-known musical theater actress and the widow of Russell Lewis, Broadway producer and co-founder of Sacramento Music Circus. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 11, 1921. A versatile actress and singer, she started her career in vaudeville alongside such luminaries as Bob Hope, Perry Como and the Gumm Sisters (before Frances Gumm became Judy Garland). Musical theatre came naturally, and Ms. Bell traveled the U.S. hitting all the major regional theatres of the time. During the Second World War, she put her career on hold while she entertained American troops at military bases and hospitals. She resumed performing after the war -theatre, films and the brand-new medium of television. In 1951 she was cast as a "resident" member of the ensemble for the first season of the fledgling Music Circus, performing in five productions. During that summer, Ms. Bell and Mr. Lewis became engaged. They were married on October 26, 1951, in Ensenada, Mexico. Ms. Bell continued her career while raising the couple's two children. A versatile and resourceful actress, she appeared in more than 60 Music Circus productions before her retirement in 1983, playing roles as varied as Golde in "Fiddler on the Roof ' and Bloody Mary in "South Pacific." After residing in Hawaii for many years, Ms. Bell returned to the Mainland in fall 2007 to live with her son Richard and his family. Mr. Lewis is the CEO of California Musical Theatre, the successor organization to Music Circus, the company that was his father's legacy. Other surviving relatives include daughter Madith (Dita) Lewis-Panter of Orangevale, her sister, Veronica McKinley of New Brighton, PA, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. No services will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations in Evelyn Bell's name may be made to California Musical Theatre, 1510 J Street, Suite 200, Sacramento CA 95814.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased