Harry Lewis, founder of Hamburger Hamlet, dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harry Lewis, founder of the Hamburger Hamlet chain whose regular customers included Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth Taylor, has died at age 93.

The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1bqkpkA ) reports Lewis died Sunday at a convalescent home in Beverly Hills. His son, Adam, tells the newspaper that his father was compulsively driven by attention to detail and would cook 30 hamburgers at once.

Lewis was an actor who appeared in the 1948 movie “Key Largo” before founding Hamburger Hamlet chain in 1950 with his future wife, Marilyn.

The restaurants were decorated with movie memorabilia and offered customized hamburgers long before the idea became trendy.

At its peak, the chain had 24 restaurants nationwide. Today there are five.

Lewis and his wife sold the chain for $30 million in the 1980s.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

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