Published Apr 23, 2015Some sad news to report from the world of children's entertainment: Lois Lilienstein, of beloved act Sharon, Lois and Bram, died last night (April 22) at her home in Toronto. She was 78 years old.
The singer/actor's son David confirmed the passing to CBC, saying his mother was surrounded by friends and family in her final moments. She had been battling a rare form of cancer that had been diagnosed last October.
While Sharon, Lois & Bram are Canadian entertainment icons, Lilienstein was born in Chicago in 1936. By 1978, she had formed the group with Sharon Hampson and Bramwell "Bram" Morrison in Toronto. That same year, the band released their first of many children's records, One Elephant, Deux Éléphants, which featured twists on traditional numbers and originals like the career-defining "Skinnamarink." In 1979, Smorgasbord introduced the world to another fan favourite, "Peanut Butter."
Along with a recording career, the trio maintained a touring schedule and started their Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show television program in 1984. The Elephant Show ran for five seasons on CBC and abroad and finished its run in 1989.
While the unit continued to play live, Lilienstein eventually retired from the touring circuit in 2000. Hampson and Morrison continue to perform as Sharon & Bram and will be playing this year's Field Trip festival in Toronto. It takes place from June 6 to 7.
David Lilienstein has said he's currently making funeral arrangements, with hopes to hold a public celebration later in the summer.