Comedy icon Jerry Lewis dead at 91

Lewis was born in March 1926 in New Jersey into a family of entertainers - his father a vaudeville performer, his mother a piano player. Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy's absolute.

"His grandmother sent him for Hebrew lessons so he could be bar mitzvahed, but he didn't have a strong religious life", Levy told JNS.org in 2015.

Lewis received multiple awards for lifetime achievements from the American Comedy Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Venice Film Festival, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Observers have attributed their breakup to Lewis' interest in producing and directing movies, his ego and need for control, as well as a desire for approval from the often-remote Martin. God hadn't made me handsome, but he'd given me something, I always felt: "amusing bones".

Lewis' agent confirmed the news to Variety.

After becoming a solo act, Lewis continued to star in such feature classics as the Nutty Professor and The Bellboy. They each went on to have successful careers on their own. He has raised vast amounts of monies for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

He added a link to a video of Lewis's performance of "You'll Never Walk Alone" at his annual telethon to raise money for muscular dystrophy. The fundraiser attracted around $2 billion in donations during the more than 40 years Lewis was host.

Lewis's 10-year partnership with Dean Martin saw them star in 16 films and achieve huge box office success.

Producers of a remake of the 1970s comedy "Animal House", were planning to come to Las Vegas for a day so Lewis could have a role in that film, she said. According to the New York Times, he died at his home in Las Vegas earlier this morning (August 20th).

Although the proclaimed king of entertainment remained active, he faced different health-related issues in his later years - he suffered two heart attacks, prostate cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease and Type 1 diabetes.

Lewis had five sons and adopted another child with his first wife Patti Palmer. After a divorce, Lewis married SanDee Pitnick in 1983, with whom he adopted a daughter.


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