Jerry Lewis, slapstick comedian and actor, known for his off-color and physical humor as well as his partnership with Dean Martin, died today at the age of 91.
Lewis’ publicist, Nancy Kane, confirmed he died in his Las Vegas home at about 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning, saying, “He was surrounded by loved ones.”
He had a plethora of health ailments over the year from open-heart surgery to prostate cancer. He underwent treatment for prescription drug dependency and three years later suffered a heart attack. On top of all that, he suffered from the lung disease pulmonary fibrosis, the treatment of which caused horrible swelling.
Lewis is best known for his work with Martin in the ’40s and ’50s, a time in which the duo made 17 movies together, all of which were box office hits. Movies titles include My Friend Irma, The Caddy, The Stooge and Pardners, according to NBC.
After they split in the late 1950s each became a solo entertainer of their own right. Lewis went on to make 30 more movies, did a stint on Broadway and maintained a stand-up comedy career.
Lewis did philanthropic work as well, hosting The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon from 1966 to 2010. Jerry’s Kids raised about $2.5 billion for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the telethon’s tenure.
His final film, Max Rose, screened at France’s Cannes Film Festival in 2013 and he continued to do stand up comedy as late as 2016, according to Variety.