February 29, 2024

Actor-Comedian Richard Lewis Dead at 76

Richard Lewis, who was like a comedic god when I was growing up, has passed away.

Lewis was infamous for his self-deprecating humor during his standup routine.

He also starred in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” expanding his fan base significantly after his stand-up days had passed by.


Lewis has never exactly been a model of health, with his act concentrating on all the things he thought were wrong with him.

While you would think someone whining about their problems would be boring, Lewis had mastered the delivery and if you ever saw him perform live, as I was lucky enough to have done, you likely left the show holding your side from laughing so hard.

During the latter part of his career, Lewis joined “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” where his popularity only grew.

In recent years, Lewis’ health problems have increased, with Lewis announcing that he had Parkinson’s disease in April.

According to his office, he suffered a heart attack on Tuesday night and passed away.

His wife, Joyce Lapinsky issued a statement through Lewis’ office, stating, "Thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time.”

Larry David, the originator of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has been friends with Lewis for decades.

He stated, “Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital, and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me.

“He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest.

“But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him.”

Lewis’ career started in the early 1970s when some of the giants of comedy got their start doing the stand-up circuit.

While he did have some TV appearances, he really started to make it big in the 1980s and 1990s, having comedy specials on both Showtime and HBO.

He also got a handful of movie and TV credits in his prime, including appearing with Jamie Lee Curtis in “Anything But Love.”

Curtis remembered him on her social media, saying that his acting talents “blew everyone else away,” locking down the role when he made her laugh so hard she snorted during the audition.

She stated, "It turns out he was a wonderful actor. Deep and so freaking funny.”

Curtis added, "He helped me. I am forever grateful for him for that act of grace alone.

"I’m weeping as I write this. Strange way of saying thank you to a sweet and funny man. Rest in laughter, Richard."

Rest in peace, Richard, and I truly thank you for the many nights filled with laughter as a direct result of your comedic genius.

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