Jerry Lewis dead at 91; entertainer was an icon in comedy

April 20, 2017

by John Larson

Jerry Lewis, who was considered a legend in comedy, died in Las Vegas on August 20, 2017, according to the Associated Press. He was 91.

Lewis (whose real name was Joe Levitch) began entertaining at the age of 5 as part of his parents’ vaudeville act. He rose to fame in his early 20s as a comedy duo with Dean Martin.  It was a partnership that lasted from 1946 to 1956, and included the TV series “The Martin and Lewis Show,” as well a several movies, including “That’s My Boy, “The Stooge” and “Pardners.” Lewis’ other well-known movies included “The Nutty Professor” and “The King of Comedy.”

From 1966 to 2010, Lewis hosted a Labor Day weekend telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He served as MDA chairman until 2011.  He had many health problems that he battled over the years, including Lewis had had prostate cancer, diabetes, pulmonary fibrosis and heart disease.

Lewis had six sons with his first wife Patti Palmer, whom he was married to from 1944 to 1982.  Lewis and his second wide SanDee Pitnick (whom he married in 1983), had a daughter together

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