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Stephen Kroninger
Sammy Petrillo 1934-2009
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Actor, Comedian Sammy Petrillo has Died

Sammy Petrillo, the comedian who was often mistaken for entertainer Jerry Lewis in the 1950s, has died in a New York hospital
Sammy Petrillo with Suzan Lewis, the Daughter of Jerry Lewis, in of 2009.

Sammy Petrillo with Suzan Lewis, the Daughter of Jerry Lewis, in of 2009.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)Aug 16, 2009 – As a youngster, I loved watching a movie titled, Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla. The low budget film was a comedy starring a comedy team named, Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo. Sammy was a clone of entertainer, Jerry Lewis. Sammy didn't have to try to imitate Jerry Lewis. The resemblance was remarkable. They could have been twins.

Jerry Lewis was never kind to Sammy Petrillo. Although Lewis did book Petrillo for a comedy spot on the Martin and Lewis Colgate Comedy Hour, Jerry Lewis also used his influence to bar Sammy from appearing on other NBC comedy shows. Lou Costello had to inform Sammy that his appearance on the Abbot and Costello, Colgate Comedy Hour was canceled, because Jerry Lewis complained to NBC that he didn't want Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo to appear on any subsequent NBC shows.

In November of 2008, Jerry Lewis tried to have Sammy Petrillo removed from his front row seat when he learned out that Petrillo was in attendance at a speaking engagement Lewis was starring in, in New York City. I was with Sammy Petrillo that night and Sammy was crushed, although he did not leave his seat. Sammy only wanted to enjoy the seminar conducted by the man who influenced his own career for such a very long time.

Sammy was a popular figure at scores of celebrity autograph shows throughout the years because of his appearance in the film with Bela Lugosi. Sammy was also a top notch comedian, appearing in night clubs across the USA beginning in the 1950s. Most importantly, Sammy was a gentle, kindhearted man who loved making people laugh. He also gave of his time freely to help needy people with legal issues, with his expertise as a trained paralegal.

Sammy Petrillo died as a result of Cancer on August 15, 2009. I was proud to represent Sammy, and honored to have him as a friend.

Rick Saphire








My personally autographed copy of MY SON, THE PHONE CALLER


I don't know what sort of impact Sammy had on illustrators but he was/is beloved by many cartoonists and animators. Mark Newgarden gave me MY SON THE PHONE CALLER as a gift some years ago. It's been in the family vault ever since to be passed down to future generations of Kroningers. Sammy was a friend. I saw a lot of him back in the late eighties and early nineties while he was living in New York. Great guy








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