Tewksbury, Henry 1923-2003 (Henry the Cheese Man, Henry Peter Tewksbury, Peter Tewksbury)

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Tewksbury, Henry 1923-2003 (Henry the Cheese Man, Henry Peter Tewksbury, Peter Tewksbury)

PERSONAL:

Born 1923, in Cleveland, OH; died February 20, 2003, in Brattleboro, VT; married Kathleen Willoughby (divorced); married Ann Schuyler; children: two from first marriage, four from second marriage.

CAREER:

Brattleboro Food Co-op, Brattleboro, VT, cheese department manager. Former film director and television producer and writer; wrote episodes for My Three Sons and Alcoa Premier, produced the television series Father Knows Best. Worked as school administrator, voice actor for cartoons, cattle farmer, radio sportscaster, and furniture salesman.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Emmy Award, best direction for a single program of a comedy series, for episode "Medal for Margaret," Father Knows Best, 1959.

WRITINGS:

The Cheeses of Vermont: A Gourmet Guide to Vermont's Artisanal Cheesemakers, Countryman Press (Woodstock, VT), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS:

One of the pioneers of the artisanal cheese movement in Vermont in the early 1990s, Henry Tewksbury wrote the well-received The Cheeses of Vermont: A Gourmet Guide to Vermont's Artisanal Cheesemakers. The book explains the history and techniques of cheesemaking, and also lists cheesemakers by region. Reviewers and cheese enthusiasts welcomed the book as a well-written and informative guide by a figure who was highly esteemed among artisan farmers and did much to promote the role of cheesemaking in Vermont's economy. As Tewksbury explained to Boston Globe writer William A. Davis in 2000, many Vermont cheeses can compete with the best cheeses in the world. "High-quality farmstead cheeses," he pointed out, "are helping save the Vermont family farm and preserve the Vermont landscape." Farmstead cheese, he went on to say, "is made at a farm from the milk of animals—cows, goats, or sheep—that are also raised and milked there. This means the cheese has a unique flavor with subtle seasonal and annual differences, just like wine from a vineyard."

Though he became best-known as "Henry the Cheeseman," Tewksbury had enjoyed a distinguished earlier career as a producer, director, and writer of films and television series. Despite the success he found in Hollywood, including three Emmy nominations and one award, Tewksbury grew dissatisfied with this competitive lifestyle and moved to Vermont. As a cheesemaker and worker at the Brattleboro Food Coop, he lived so unassumingly that his associates and neighbors were stunned to discover that he had once made major deals in Hollywood.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Bloomsbury Review, July-August, 2002, Greg Kirrish, review of The Cheeses of Vermont: A Gourmet Guide to Vermont's Artisanal Cheesemakers.

Boston Globe, June 21, 2000, William A. Davis, review of The Cheeses of Vermont, p. F8.

Gourmet Retailer, July, 2002, review of The Cheeses of Vermont, p. 46.

Publishers Weekly, March 4, 2002, review of The Cheeses of Vermont, p. 77.

ONLINE

Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (May 14, 2007), "Peter Tewksbury."

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Tewksbury, Henry 1923-2003 (Henry the Cheese Man, Henry Peter Tewksbury, Peter Tewksbury)

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