At age 90, Jerry Lewis has made his return to the big screen in the film Max Rose, delivering what critics have called a mesmerizing performance that fans of the legendary comedian may not have seen before.
In his first film role in more than 20 years, Lewis plays the titular character, a jazz pianist who, days before his wife’s death, makes a discovery that leads him to question his marriage of 65 years.
“If you're real to yourself, you recognize there's not a lot of time left. I don’t like that part. I don't like that part at all,” Lewis told Inside Edition of facing his own mortality.
The legend said his greatest fear is leaving behind his wife Sandee and their 24-year-old daughter, Danielle.
“I’m not going to hold them, I’m not going to love on them,” Lewis said, noting that thought is something he can’t handle.
His role in Max Rose is a departure from the work an entire generation remembers Lewis for; wacky and over-the-top performances delivered in classic comedies such as The Nutty Professor.
Comedy is in the funny man’s blood.
“I think it was in the maternity ward when I came out of there and I said, ‘What the hell was that?’” he quipped.
While his walk has slowed and he may need assistance strolling down red carpets, Lewis is nowhere near retirement, taking the stage every month to perform in front of a live audience.
It’s his secret to staying young, he said, noting: “If they're happy, you’re happy.”