Jerry Lewis 1926-2017

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The world lost a comedy legend over the weekend as Jerry Lewis reportedly passed away on Sunday morning. He died peacefully of natural causes at his home in Las Vegas surrounded by his family. Lewis will always be remembered for his comedic team-ups with Dean Martin including the sixteen movies that they starred in together in the ’50s as well as several big comedy hits of the ’60s like The Nutty Professor and The Bellboy (both of which he directed himself). Later in his career he became known for his charity work and his live show in Vegas, although he also continued to do TV and movies as well. He was 91 years old.

Jerry Lewis rose to fame in the late ’40s as one-half of the comedy duo Martin and Lewis (the other half being Dean Martin). They had a popular nightclub act and eventually went on to star in their own radio program The Martin and Lewis Show before making appearances on many early live TV shows as well. Their first movie together was That’s My Boy in 1951 and they quickly starred in fifteen more together, ending with Hollywood or Bust in 1956. After that they went their separate ways with Lewis soon headlining several successful solo comedies starting with The Delicate Delinquent.

Lewis made his directorial debut with The Bellboy in 1960, beginning a successful career a filmmaker and auteur which would also result in such films as The Ladies Man, The Errand Boy, The Nutty Professor, The Patsy and The Family Jewels. In the early ’70s he directed the misguided and now infamous lost film The Day the Clown Cried, which was his last movie for almost a decade. He eventually returned in 1980 with Hardly Working before starring opposite Robert DeNiro in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy. His last major role was in the 2013 drama Max Rose, although he also appeared in the VOD thriller The Trust starring Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood. What are your favourite Jerry Lewis performances?

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