THE SLAPSTICK COMEDIAN HAD HIS AUDIENCES IN STITCHES
With his tongue-out, jaw-stretching smile, Jerry Lewis knew how to squeeze out a laugh from the hardest of audiences.
His smile never faded – even through his grouchy moments – despite numerous health problems, including overcoming several heart attacks and prostate cancer.
The actor and comedian died at his home in Las Vegas on August 20, surrounded by his family. He was 91.
A coroner said the cause of death was complications due to coronary artery disease.
Jerry’s brash, slapstick style of comedy had audiences in stitches, which was only heightened in his partnership with Dean Martin. As the absurd joker to Dean’s crooner, the pair made 16 films together over 10 years.
But as well as his big laugh, Jerry also had a big heart. From 1966 to 2010, he hosted a telethon to raise more than $3.5 billion for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, of which he was chairman. The annual event helped finance New York’s multimillion-dollar Institute for Muscle Disease.
Many celebrities shared their sadness at the loss of the legendary funnyman, including friend Dame Joan Collins (84), who tweeted: “The King of Comedy Jerry Lewis was a tremendous talent and a good friend.
Rest in peace #JerryLewis. You’ll be sorely missed.”
Jerry is survived by his wife SanDee (66), daughter Daniele and five sons from a previous marriage.
in 1953 with Marilyn Monroe
A champion for muscular
dystrophy. All smiles in the Lewis household in 1958 with his first wife Patti and their sons. Dean and Jerry were a success story on screen, making 16 films together. Jerry, his wife
SanDee and daughter Daniele. Like father like son: Jerry and Gary clown around in 2004. Th i s w o n’ t hurt a bit!
Jerry with his lifetime achievement award. Below: With Joan and Alan Cumming. Jerry Lewi s 1926-2017