Jerry Lewis, Dead at 91

Comedian, actor & director died Sunday morning at 91

 

Jerry Lewis, the legendary comedian known for his slapstick style and rubbery facial expressions – has died at the age of 91.

His publicist Candi Cazau says Lewis died Sunday morning of natural causes in Las Vegas with his family by his side.

Lewis’ career spanned over 80 years – acting in his parents vaudeville act at 5.  He was just 20 when his pairing with Dean Martin made them international stars. He went on to make as The Bellboy and The Nutty Professor, was featured in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy and appeared as himself in Billy Crystal’s Mr. Saturday Night.

(Lewis in The Nutty Professor in 1963)

In the 1990s, he scored a stage comeback as the devil in the Broadway revival of Damn Yankees. And after a 20-year break from making movies, Lewis returned as the star of the independent drama Max Rose, released in 2016.

(Lewis in Max Rose in 2016)

In his 90s, he was still performing standup shows.

Lewis was probably best know for being the celebrity face of the Labour Day Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon.  The telethon featured him joking, reminiscing and introducing guests, sharing stories about ailing kids and concluding with his personal anthem, the ballad “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

(Lewis in the annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon)

He announced in 2011 that he would step down as host, but would remain chairman of the association he joined some 60 years ago.

His fundraising efforts won him the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2009 Oscars.

He was remembered on social media by fellow celebrities who posted their condolences on Twitter:

 

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