Obituaries : Lee Guber; Broadway Producer, Head of Entertainment Chain
Producer Lee Guber, who founded the Westbury Music Fair and brought Broadway entertainment to theaters and concert halls throughout the country, has died of brain cancer.
Guber, who was 67 when he died Sunday at his Manhattan home, produced nearly a dozen shows on Broadway, including “The King and I,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Gypsy,” “I Do! I Do!” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
He also headed a suburban entertainment chain that included the Westbury Music Fair which he started in a gravel pit in Westbury on Long Island, the Valley Forge Music Fair outside Philadelphia, the Shady Grove Music Theater outside Washington and the Painters Mill Music Fair in the suburbs of Baltimore.
Guber and his partner, Shelly Gross, booked such entertainers as Judy Garland, Jack Benny, Sammy Davis Jr., Liberace and Stevie Wonder. They also brought productions of Broadway musicals to suburban theaters.
Guber’s last production, however, was one of several flops in his career. “Rags,” a $5-million musical about immigrants, ran on Broadway for only four performances before closing in August, 1986.
Married three times, Guber divorced his second wife, broadcaster Barbara Walters, in 1976 after a 13-year marriage.