Legendary Comedian Jerry Lewis Dies at 91
He reportedly died of natural causes.
Comedy legend Jerry Lewis, who teamed up with Dean Martin in the 1950s and starred as the original incarnation of The Nutty Professor, has died at the age of 91.
The star reportedly died of natural causes at his Las Vegas home Sunday morning.
Jerry Lewis just died. When I met him, I feel apart, just sobbed. I guess it's time for that again.— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 20, 2017
Lewis "passed peacefully at home this morning of natural causes at the age of 91 with his loving family by his side," his manager Mark Rozzano said.
Lewis had experienced a series of health problems throughout his life.
In June 2012, he was hospitalized for two nights in New York after collapsing with a reported low blood sugar. He had open-heart surgery in 1982 and suffered a mild heart attack in 2006.
He also reportedly battled prostate cancer, diabetes and viral meningitis, according to reports.
The comic soured his reputation over the past 10 years as he was forced to apologize for making a gay slur on camera during the 2007 Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon, which he launched in 1966, Variety reported.
Lewis raised a reported $2.45 billion for his Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy telethon. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. He was relieved of his role as leader of the telethon in 2011.
The comedian, born Joseph Levitch in Newark, New Jersey, rose to fame as part of a duo with singer Dean Martin. The pair first developed a nightclub act and then made radio and television appearances. They also made a series of movies together before launching solo careers in 1956.
Lewis became a major comedy star with his first solo film, 1957's The Delicate Delinquent. He also starred in The Bellboy, Cinderfella and The King of Comedy.
Lewis was married twice. He is survived by his wife SanDee Pitnick and six children.
That fool was no dummy. Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy's absolute! I am because he was! ;^D pic.twitter.com/3Zdq9xhXlE— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) August 20, 2017
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