Suzan Lewis, biological daughter of Jerry Lewis says that the recent rumors about the Uchitel family are shocking and unfair to the memory of her late stepfather Hy Uchitel.
Suzan Lewis' mother Lynn was married to Hy Uchitel for seventeen years and was in Suzan's life since the age of two. Suzan remembers Hy as a fun-loving, mild mannered individual who taught her respect, the value of hard work and an education. Hy also provided a good example in Suzan's life. "He never drank and I attribute that to the fact I never touched alcohol or drugs. His drink of choice... milk", Suzan remembers.
"Hy was the father I could never have and I was the daughter he could never have. He was a great father to me, and a good husband to my mother," Suzan recalls.
Hy Uchitel owned and ran many establishments including the famed restaurant and nightclub El Morocco in New York during the 1960's. Subsequently he purchased A Place for Steak in Miami's North Bay Village during the 1970's. Suzan, who was born in 1952, has vivid memories of the restaurant life.
Her memories include recalling patrons who ranged from the who's who of Hollywood royalty, high society, politicians, to families celebrating weddings, anniversaries and baptisms frequenting the restaurants and nightclubs. "Hy would have a pot of coffee in his hand and would table hop to pour a cup for people like Jane Russell, Ed Sullivan, Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and John F. Kennedy. Everyone just loved him". Suzan's mother Lynn was a philanthropist who contributed to many charities along with being an excellent hostess for her guests. "They made a great team", Suzan states.
As for the rumors of mob ties, Suzan say, "That is absurd. Just because people who might have had mob ties came to the restaurants and enjoyed themselves does not mean the Uchitel family had involvement with the mob. What it means is that the Uchitel family provided a good meal and fabulous entertainment. It just pains me to hear such things. I don't wish to have Hy remembered as this "shady" character that he's recently being portrayed as. He was a well respected, well loved man."
"I miss Hy very much. If he were alive today, I wouldn't be living in the conditions I've been living in. I wouldn't need for anything, he would never allow me to live in lack or want for anything. He was a good man and should be remembered that way".
Suzan Lewis is currently compiling the details to her memoirs that will be released in the near future.