The actress and singer best known for voicing the Chiquita Banana cartoon character, Monica Lewis, died on Friday of natural causes. She was 93.
Lewis began her career as a vocalist in Benny Goodman’s orchestra then went on to record some jazz hits in the ’40s. In 1950 she signed an exclusive contract with MGM for both music and movies. Lewis appeared in 1951’s Excuse My Dust with Red Skelton and The Strip with Mickey Rooney.
Lewis appeared in ads for Camel cigarettes, Burlington Mills’ hosiery and General Electric. But her biggest pitching gig was the 14 years she spent voicing the Chiquita Banana cartoon character, who specifically told viewers not to store bananas in the refrigerator.
She also had a few guest appearances on TV shows like Remington Steele, Falcon Crest, Ironside and Marcus Welby, M.D. She came back to singing in 1985 and went on to record several albums.
Lewis married Jennings Lang, a production executive, in 1956 with whom she had three sons. She appeared in a few of Lang’s films, including Earthquake with Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner and Charley Varrick with Walter Matthau.