One of St. Louis County’s most beloved community theatre performers was recognized for his work on April 1. George Lamb and his wife Bea were honored with the Theatre Mask Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.
Art For Life, the community theatre support organization, presented the Lambs with the honor during their annual awards luncheon.
George Lamb arrived at the event fresh from a late performance of Sister Act the previous night at the Olivette Community Center. The Overdue Theatre Company production runs through April 9.
In Sister Act, Lamb is cast as two separate characters in Sister Act: A cab driver and Pope Paul IV. While there’s nothing unusual about an actor playing a dual role, George Lamb has a unique claim to fame. At 96, he may be one of St. Louis County’s oldest working actors.
Lamb will turn 97 in June, but he’s already thinking ahead to his next role, playing FDR in the Over Due Theatre production of Annie.
The grind of open casting calls, auditions, learning lines, wardrobe fittings—Lamb loves it. In Sister Act, Lamb’s taxi driver is bound, gagged and threatened with a gun early in act II.
He got into acting and community theatre as a fluke, when the director of a local production of Fiddler On The Roof looked at Lamb and had an idea: why not cast the novice as the fiddler. Lamb enjoyed the experience and found he could easily morph into nearly any role. He’s played Groucho Marx, a judge, a drunk, and many other characters.
Lamb a chemist during before he switched gears and became a character actor, but he’s always loved entertaining others. He played trumpet in a local band for years. Lamb also did a bit of tap-dancing.
Besides acting, Lamb bowls in a weekly league, he plays an occasional round of golf and he works out problems on his computer. He told me the secret to aging gracefully is keeping your mind active.
I asked Lamb if he ever plans to slow down from his busy acting and activity schedule.
“Maybe,” he said, “when I get old.”