(((MAY 2015))) — Molly Gilmore/Tacoma News Tribune (excerpted) Show business was Cecil Vaude deVille’s life — so much so that he legally changed his name to reflect his art. He was a singer, actor and comedian, an active member of Thurston Community Television and a longtime writer for and star of shows produced by Wrinkles of Washington, a nonprofit that raises money for Senior Services of South Sound. He also had his own production company, Jupiter Troupe, which performed at retirement communities and nursing homes. Earlier in life, he’d worked as a radio journalist and served as news director of KTNT in Tacoma using the name Gene Lewis. DeVille reinvented himself throughout his life, with different careers as well as three different names, but performing was always a part of his life. DeVille, who grew up in New York and Pennsylvania, was born Eugene Levendoski and simplified his last name to Lewis as a young man. It wasn’t until 2000 that he became, legally, deVille. He had been struggling with health problems for several years, she said, and his health quickly declined after the February death of his third wife, Judith McCarthy, whom he married in 1992. While he was known for his comic talents, one of his proudest accomplishments was a serious one from his days at KTNT.
“He covered the 1970 Puyallup fishing rights wars,” Lewis said. “There was a huge controversy that actually wound up in violence. He did extended live coverage and was tear-gassed on the air. He won a national spot news award for that.”
A video of his final performance with Wrinkles of Washington shows a thin deVille singing a song he wrote. It begins, “All the world is a stage, and we each play a part,” and ends, “When the footlights go down, that’s the end of our show.”
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