Hollywood pays tribute to the legendary Jerry Lewis

Ben Arnold
(Credit: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau)

Hollywood has united in celebration of the life of Jerry Lewis, the comedy legend who has died at the age of 91.

Lewis died of natural causes at his home in Las Vegas early on Sunday morning, his agent confirmed, having influenced a generation of actors and comics.

Known for his double act with Dean Martin, he starred in a wealth of movies from ‘The Nutty Professor’ to ‘The Bellboy’, blazing a trail in physical comedy.

In a statement, Robert DeNiro, who starred with Lewis in the 1982 movie ‘The King of Comedy’, said: “Jerry was a pioneer in comedy and film. And he was a friend.

“I was fortunate to have seen him a few times over the past couple of years. Even at 91, he didn’t miss a beat… Or a punchline. You’ll be missed.”

Magician Penn Jillette told CNN: “People don’t really remember this, but when Martin and Lewis were at their peak in the 50s, they were bigger than the Beatles.

(Credit: AP)

“They were bigger than Sinatra, they were bigger than Bing Crosby. They were bigger than any star has been in the history of the United States of America.

“When they were in Times Square, in a hotel room, it stopped traffic in New York. It was a much bigger deal than the Beatles. Martin and Lewis really did change the world.

“He was the King of Comedy.”

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