Jerry Lewis Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Family, Wife, Children, Net Worth & More

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Who was Jerry Lewis?

Jerry Lewis (March 16, 1926 – August 20, 2017) was an American comedian, director, actor, screenwriter, singer, humanitarian, and producer.

Nicknamed “The King of Comedy”, Lewis is regarded as one of the most significant American cultural figures of the 20th century, was widely known for his “kid” and “idiot” persona and his contributions to comedy and charity, along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in pop culture over an eight-decade career.

He professionally debuted in 1946 as part of the famous Martin and Lewis with singer Dean Martin and performed together until 1956.

Jerry Lewis accused of sexual misconduct by women who starred with him in the ’60s

With no settlements to be had, no apologies to be heard, a number of women who were up-and-coming in Hollywood in the 1960s are speaking out against a powerful performer they say sexually harassed them in his prime: the late actor Jerry Lewis.

Karen Sharpe, Renée Taylor, and Hope Holiday all crossed paths with Lewis when the comic was in his 30s and the biggest star at Paramount Pictures. All three women are now telling their stories about how Lewis allegedly mistreated them.

Lewis died of natural causes in 2017, at age 91.

“He had complete autonomy over his movies,” critic Leonard Maltin told the Los Angeles Times in Lewis’ obituary. “He was such a big box office star that Paramount gave him carte blanche and he delivered the goods for them.”

Lewis apparently applied that carte blanche to women who co-starred with him, according to a new investigation Vanity Fair published Wednesday.

Sharpe, now 87, said Lewis grabbed her, fondled her, and unzipped his pants after ostensibly checking out how she looked in her costumes for “The Disorderly Orderly.” She said she refused to sleep with him and even offered to quit the film to avoid any awkwardness.

Jerry Lewis Biography, Wiki

Jerry Lewis (born March 16, 1926) was an American comedian, actor, singer, film producer, screenwriter, and film director. He is known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage, and radio.

He was originally paired up with Dean Martin in 1946, forming the famed comedy team of Martin and Lewis. In addition to the duo’s popular nightclub work, they starred in a successful series of comedy films for Paramount Pictures. Lewis was also known for his charity fund-raising telethons and position as national chairman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Lewis won several awards for lifetime achievements from The American Comedy Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and Venice Film Festival, and he had two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2005, he received the Governors Award of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors, which is the highest Emmy Award presented. On February 22, 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Lewis the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Jerry Lewis Biography Wikipedia
Jerry Lewis
BornJoseph Levitch
March 16, 1926
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedAugust 20, 2017 (aged 91)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
OccupationActor, comedian, filmmaker, humanitarian, singer
Years active1931–2017
Spouse(s)Patti Palmer​​(m. 1944; div. 1980)​SanDee Pitnick
​​(m. 1983)​
Children7, including Gary

Jerry Lewis Career

He developed a comedic routine called the ‘Record Act’ in which he mimed the lyrics of popular songs while a phonograph played the songs offstage. He was given a chance to perform at a burlesque house that flopped.

Unable to get any more shows he worked at odd jobs to make ends meet.His father’s friend, Max Coleman helped him book a performance at Brown’s Hotel in New York. This time his show was a big success and motivated him to further his career in this field.

While performing at nightclubs in 1945, he met a singer Dean Martin. This meeting proved to be fortuitous and the two went on to form the comedic pair Martin and Lewis in 1946. Their initial routine consisted of Martin singing a song which Lewis interrupted with ad-libbed insults.

Lewis played the comedian while Martin served as the straight man. The pair developed a routine characterized by ad-libbing and impromptu jokes instead of planned rehearsals. By the late 1940s, the pair had a prominent national presence.

The duo made many appearances on early live television in 1948, making their debut on Ed Sullivan’s ‘Toast of the Town’. The very next year they had their own regular radio show called ‘The Martin and Lewis Show’.

Paramount producer Hal Wallis had seen them in performance and was quite impressed by them. He booked them to a film contract and Lewis and Martin made their big-screen debut with ‘My Friend Irma’ in 1949. Together they starred in 16 films including ‘At War with the Army’ (1950), ‘Living it Up’ (1954), and ‘You’re Never Too Young’ (1955), most of which became extremely popular. The famous duo also continued appearing on radio and television.

Over the years their relationship became strained and their partnership ended in 1956. ‘Hollywood or Bust’ (1956) was their last movie together. After ending their partnership, both the comedians embarked on solo careers.

Lewis appeared in his first film without Martin in 1957. The movie, titled ‘The Delicate Delinquent’ was a big hit and gave him the confidence to move on as a solo artist. He turned director with the 1960 film ‘The Bellboy’ which he also wrote and starred in.

Over the next three decades, he directed and acted in several films like ‘The Nutty Professor’ (1963), ‘The Big Mouth’ (1967), ‘One More Time’ (1970), and ‘Cracking Up’ (1983). He has also made several appearances on stage.

He made his Broadway debut as a replacement cast member in the revival of the baseball musical, ‘Damn Yankees’ in 1994. Apart from the U.S. he is also a much respected artist all over Europe.

Jerry Lewis Wife and Children

He married Patti Palmer, a singer, in 1944. The couple divorced after several years in 1980.His second marriage was to a much younger woman, SanDee Pitnick, a Las Vegas dancer, in 1983. He was 56 and she was 32 at the time of the wedding. He has a total of seven children.

He served as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) from the 1950s until 2011. He has raised over $2.6 billion for the cause.

Jerry Lewis FAQ’s

Who was Jerry Lewis?

Jerry Lewis (March 16, 1926 – August 20, 2017) was an American comedian, director, actor, screenwriter, singer, humanitarian, and producer.

How old was Jerry Lewis?

Jerry Lewis died at 91.

How did Jerry Lewis die?

The cause was end-stage cardiac disease and peripheral artery disease.

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