|Birth: ||Apr., 1913|
|Death: ||Apr. 24, 2007|
Local TV legend Sir Graves Ghastly dies at age 94
In the end, death comes for us all…but out of professional courtesy it took a long, long time before it got around to claiming Sir Graves Ghastly.
Lawson Deming -- the actor who played local TV legend Sir Graves Ghastly -- died Tuesday in Cleveland of congestive heart failure. He was 94.
To say that Lawson's beloved Sir Graves was the hammiest (next to the late Bill Kennedy) of all Detroit local TV hosts would be an understatement. With his fish-belly complexion, rampaging eyebrows and British accent, Sir Graves was the Sir Lawrence Olivier of creepy camp, rising above the anarchy of The Ghoul and the dementia of Morgus, the mad scientist.
Accompanied by the howl of werewolves, Sir Graves would rise from his coffin to present classic horror films such as "Dracula" and "Frankenstein," as well as a collection of cheesy B movies sprinkled with brain eaters, swamp creatures, aliens and weirded-out teenagers, as well as bosomy damsels constantly in distress.
Between film clips, he entertained both old and young with horrible puns, terrible jokes, addled ad libs and an assortment of strange creatures, including a slightly disturbing creature called "The Glob" -- which was actually an upside-down close-up of Deming's mouth singing strange little ditties.
Sinking back into his coffin, Sir Graves' closing line was "Happy Haunting" spoken with a Vincent Price laugh that probably caused more giggles than chills.
According to Sir GravesGhastly.com, Deming started out as a puppeteer and came to Detroit in late 1966 from the "Woodrow the Woodsman" show in Cleveland. He accepted a spot as the host of a horror show on WKBK-TV (Channel 2) in 1967 and immediately started working on a character.
Aided by his wife, Mary Rita, he finally settled on the name Sir Graves Ghastly after rejecting Sir Ghostly, Sir Graves Ghostly and Sir Ghouly, among others. During the 15 years Sir Graves haunted local TV, Deming's character would visit schools, make appearances on charity-thons and respond to the thousands of letters he received from fans.
LAWSON J. DEMING Beloved husband of Mary Rita (nee Basile); father of Basil S. "Bud" (Rose Marie), David L. (Ann), Rick (Sandra) and Terence D. (Eileen); grandfather of 8 and great grandfather of 7 (plus one expecting). Service at the ZEIS-McGREEVEY FUNERAL HOME 16105 DETROIT AVE Monday April 30 at 1 PM. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery. Memorials to Cleveland Institute of Art 11141 East Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44106.
Happy haunting, Sir Graves. You will be missed.
Holy Cross Cemetery
Created by: Vern H.
Record added: Apr 26, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19105122