Comedy legend Jerry Lewis has died

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer

Jerry Lewis has died, aged 91.

Slapstick comedy legend Jerry Lewis – the man behind comedy classics such as ‘The Nutty Professor’ and ‘The Bellboy’ – has died today, of natural causes.

According to his agent, Jerry Lewis died at around 9:15 Sunday morning with his family by his side, at his home in Las Vegas.

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Jerry Lewis rose to fame as part of a duo alongside Dean Martin, and they first starred together in the 1949 hit, ‘My Friend Irma’ as well its sequel the following year – the only sequel the duo ever made.

The pair went on to star in a string of popular comedy flicks, but their partnership ended in 1956. Of course, the duo both continued to pursue successful solo careers, with Jerry Lewis starring in the likes of ‘The Bellboy’, ‘The Nutty Professor’ and ‘The Day the Clown Cried’.

Despite the pair’s split, Martin and Lewis reconciled their differences in 1987.

But he wasn’t just a successful comedy actor.

He also managed to get behind the camera, writing, producing and directing films.

Signing a staggering $10 million deal with Paramount, he released ‘The Ladies Man’ in 1961 and ‘The Errand Boy’ in 1962 – both of which showcased his talents as a writer/director after the huge success of ‘The Bellboy’ in 1960.

But his biggest commercial success came with ‘The Nutty Professor’.

The 1963 comedy classic earned a whopping $19 million, and cemented his place in comedy history. The film was remade starring Eddie Murphy in 1996 to huge commercial success.

In later years, Jerry Lewis starred in the likes of ‘Max Rose’ and ‘The Trust’ in 2016… and made a memorable cameo appearance in ‘The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XIV’ as father of the loveable scientist, Professor John Frink – a clear nod to ‘The Nutty Professor’.

He is survived by his second wife, SanDee Pitnick.

RIP Jerry Lewis, who died 20 August 2017.

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