Lewis J. Hardee, Jr. (1937-2018) was an author, composer, drama and voice teacher, and historian.
Hardee was elected to The Lambs in 1980 as a Theatrical member. He served as Boy (vice president in Lambs’ lingo) and Historian. He revived The Script, the official Club newsletter, that had been dormant for many years. Hardee edited the newsletter for more than 10 years. He served on The Lambs’ Council and as Vice-President of The Lambs Foundation. He joined the Club’s Montague Society.
Hardee was born January 17, 1937, in Southport, North Carolina. His parents were Lewis J. Hardee Sr., originally of Fernandina, Florida, and Dorothy Dosher Hardee of Southport. Hardee graduated from Southport High School, Class of 1954, then attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where he earned a B.A. in Radio, TV, Motion Pictures; an M.A. in Music in Musicology, then did post-graduate studies in composition at Columbia University. During 1960-62 he served with the U.S. Army as a Specialist with the Counter Intelligence Corps.
Hardee served as the musical director of Wagner College Theater, Staten Island. He was chair of the Wagner College Theatre department until he retired in 1999. This followed a career in musical theatre, writing, composing, and conducting.
Hardee wrote Revolution!, the outdoor musical drama produced in Southport in 1976 as part of the Bicentennial Celebration. Two musicals, The Little Prince and The Prince and the Pauper, have toured the United States. His historical writings include Three Summer Families, published in 1995 by the Southport Historical Society, and The Lambs Theatre Club, published 2006 by McFarland and Company.
He died in New York July 7, 2018, after a brief illness. He was 81.
Hardee said, “My career was in New York, but my heart is in Southport, where it has always been, and will remain.”