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Beloved Comedian Passes Away

The entertainment world has lost another legend.

Comedy icon Jerry Lewis passed away at the age of 91. Lewis rose to fame as a slapstick comedian back in the 1940’s, and he would go on to have an iconic career that’s the stuff of legends. Younger generations may remember him more for his work with muscular dystrophy research, which included the memorable annual telethons that have raised a phenomenal $2.6 billion. As the New York Daily News shares, his family confirmed his passing in a brief statement.

"Legendary entertainer #Jerry Lewis passed away peacefully today of natural causes at 91 at his home w/ family by his side," the statement read.

Tributes were quick to pour in from that point, including from the legendary Friars Club, which noted that it was “deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved abbot.”

Lewis was memorialized in a 2011 documentary entitled “Method to the Madness,” which featured a number of comedians that paid homage to his work.

“If you don’t get Jerry Lewis,” Jerry Seinfeld said in the documentary, “you don’t understand comedy.”

The White House would also release a statement on the passing of Lewis.

“Jerry Lewis kept us all laughing for over half a century, and his incredible charity work touched the lives of millions,” the statement read in part. “Our thoughts are with his family today as we remember the extraordinary life of one of our greatest entertainers and humanitarians.”

While Lewis enjoyed a lengthy career, his brand of humor wasn’t for everyone. Critics would often pan him, but Lewis has noted that it didn’t bother him all that much “because I didn’t know it. I never read negative things.”

Lewis rocketed to fame as one half of a legendary comedic duo with Dean Martin. The pair specialized in Vaudeville-style humor, and they took their humor to the masses via radio, television, film, and the nightclub circuit. The pair had a falling out in 1956, but they reconciled at the urging of Frank Sinatra in 1976 on the telethon.

During his solo career, Lewis would star in films such as “The Bellboy,” “Cinderfella,” “The Errand Boy,” “The Family Jewels” and “The Nutty Professor.” Later credits include the 1982 satire, “The King of Comedy,” in which he played a late night talk show host. It was one of his few films that would go on to receive critical acclaim.

His relationship with the Muscular Dystrophy Association would come to an unceremonious end in 2010 when they decided to go with multiple hosts, but he continued to view his work with the group as one of his greatest accomplishments.

“People hate me, because I am a multifaceted, talented, wealthy, internationally famous genius,” Lewis once said.

As for reflections on whether he had fulfilled his life’s destiny, he offered this up back in 2011.

“Not yet, but I’m getting close. Get the cure for muscular dystrophy. Then I’m fine,” he said. “Otherwise, I’m the happiest old man you’ve ever seen.”

Source: NY Daily News
Photo: YouTube

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