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Things to know about Jerry Lewis – A Great Entertainer

jerry-lewis-dead

Sunday came up with a shocking news of the death of Jerry Lewis, an American Comedian & Filmmaker. He was 91 years old. His death was confirmed by his publicist, Candi Cazau.

He was a comedy icon, whose manic style amused generations of fans. He was very well known for his presence and contributions to the American cinema, television, nightclubs, on the Broadway stage and in the university lecture hall.

Here’s an Overview of his Career & Personal Life  –

Jerry Lewis was born on March 16, 1926, in Newark. His parents, Danny and Rae Levitch, were entertainers. His father, a song and dance man, & his mother a Pianist.

Barely out of his teens, he shot to fame shortly after World War II with a nightclub act in which the rakish, imperturbable Dean Martin crooned and the skinny, hyperactive Lewis capered around the stage.

After his break with Mr. Martin in 1956, Jerry Lewis went on to a successful solo career, eventually writing, producing and directing many of his own films.

jerry-lewis-before-his-death-i-have-a-lot-to-do-and-not-a-lot-of-time-left

Mr. Tashlin also functioned as a mentor to Lewis, who was fascinated with the technical side of filmmaking.  Lewis made three uninspired films to complete his obligation to Hal Wallis. He saved his creative energies for the films he produced himself. The first three of those films — “Rock-a-Bye Baby” (1958), “The Geisha Boy” (1958) and “Cinderfella” (1960) — were directed by Mr. Tashlin.

Through it all,  Lewis continued his charity work, serving as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and, beginning in 1966, hosting the association’s annual Labor Day weekend telethon. In 1983, Mr. Lewis married SanDee Pitnick, and in 1992 their daughter, Danielle Sara, was born. Besides his wife and daughter, survivors include his sons Christopher, Scott, Gary and Anthony, and several grandchildren.

In 2005,  Lewis collaborated with James Kaplan on “Dean and Me (A Love Story),” a fond memoir of his years with Mr. Martin in which he placed most of the blame for their breakup on himself. Although the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences never honored Jerry Lewis for his film work, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his charitable activity in 2009. His many other honors included two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — one for his movie work, the other for television — and an induction into the Légion d’Honneur, awarded by the French government in 2006.

“There’s something about the risk, the courage that it takes to face the risk,” he told The New York Times. “I’m not going to get greatness unless I have to go at it with fear and uncertainty.’’ Lewis believed.

Lewis loved his work very much and despite his age and mounting health problems, Lewis said last year that he never stopped doing what he loved. “I never stop working,” he explained. “You always have your hand in it somewhere. I’m always thinking about future projects and at the same time trying to finish the project you’re in the middle off.” And after a career spanning eight decades, when asked what’s his greatest accomplishment was, Lewis said, “It’s always family.”

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