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Jerry Lewis Dies: A Mercurial Comedy Legend, Actor,Classic Filmmaker and Composer Was 91| About Him


Jerry Lewis Dies: A Mercurial Comedy Legend
and Classic Filmmaker Was 91. The beloved comic enjoyed a decade’s long
career. Longtime actor and comedian Jerry Lewis has
died of natural causes early Sunday morning, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. Lewis’ agent confirmed the news to Variety. Lewis faced many health problems throughout
the years, including prostate cancer and two heart attacks. He also suffered from Type 1 diabetes and
battled pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease. The beloved comic enjoyed a decades-long career,
selling out his one-man shows at the 2,400-seat La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
in California in 2014. He achieved national fame starting in 1946
alongside Dean Martin, performing with him on television and radio shows and in movies
before they parted ways in 1956 as a duo. Lewis went on to star in, produce and direct
an array of films, including “The Delicate Delinquent” (1957), “The Bellboy” (1960)
and “The Nutty Professor” (1963). He also made multiple television appearances
and hosted the annual Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for over
40 years until he was reportedly unceremoniously dumped by the organization in 2010 and resigned
from his post as national chairman. MDA announced in May 2015 that the telethon
would be ending, saying “the new realities of television viewing and philanthropic giving
have made this the right time.” Despite ups and downs, Lewis continued to
work, performing on stage and even directing a musical theatre version of “The Nutty
Professor” at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville in 2012. He most recently starred in the film “Max
Rose,” about a jazz musician dealing with the death of his wife of 65 years, whom he
discovers was unfaithful. “I’ve worked under the most painful conditions
any man has ever felt in his life,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. “But when I walk out on that stage, the
pain goes away.” Those touched by Lewis’ work quickly took
to social media to express their regard and respect for the Hollywood legend. Actors William Shatner and Patton Oswalt expressed
their condolences to Lewis’ family. Josh Gad called Lewis, “one of the greatest
of all time.” Lewis, who was formerly married to Patti Palmer,
is survived by his wife, SanDee Pitnick, and his children, sons Gary, Ronnie, Scott, Christopher
and Anthony and daughter Danielle. His youngest son Joseph died of a drug overdose
on Oct. 24, 2009, at the age of 45.

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