Actor, comedian, screenwriter, film producer, film director and humanitarian Jerry Lewis has died. He was 91.
Lewis was best known as the funny half of the film and comedy duo Martin & Lewis–along with actor, singer and straight man Dean Martin. They performed on radio and for U.S. audiences, and appeared in various films together, including My Friend Irma (1949), That’s My Boy (1951) and Artists and Models (1955). Martin & Lewis also made several television appearances, including NBC’s The Colgate Comedy Hour and on CBS’s Toast of the Town–later renamed The Ed Sullivan Show
In 1956, after Martin & Lewis broke up, Lewis made a name for himself, including starring in, writing and directing some of the films he starred in, including The Bellboy (1960), The Errand Boy (1961), The Ladies Man (1961) and The Nutty Professor (1963).
He served as the national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and for 44 years hosted the Labor Day broadcast of The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.
Lewis is survived by his second wife SanDee Pitnick, (adopted) daughter Danielle, and by five sons from his first marriage to Patti Palmer–including Gary (from the 1960’s singing group Gary Lewis and the Playboys), Ronnie, Scott, Anthony and Christopher. His youngest son Joseph, from his marriage to Palmer, preceded him in death, in 2009.