‘Thank you for the laughs’: Comedy legend Richard Lewis dies, age 76

Feb 29, 2024
Fans and colleagues flooded social media with tributes, expressing their grief over the loss of a comedic genius. Source: AP PHOTO.

The world of comedy has lost one of its brightest stars following the passing of the legendary Richard Lewis at the age of 76.

Lewis, who bravely shared his battle with Parkinson’s disease in 2023, passed away on Tuesday, February 27, at his Los Angeles home following a heart attack, as confirmed by his publicist, Jeff Abraham.

“His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time,” Abraham said in a statement.

Born on June 29, 1947, Lewis discovered his comedic flair at an early age, earning a reputation as the class clown during his school days.

His journey in the world of comedy took him from clubs to late-night television, quickly making him a household name. Whether playing the romantic lead in Anything But Love alongside Jamie Lee Curtis or embodying the neurotic Prince John in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men In Tights, Lewis left a lasting mark.

His comedic brilliance wasn’t confined to the screen; Comedy Central hailed him as one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time, and GQ magazine included him in the list of the 20th Century’s Most Influential Humorists. Lewis also shared his humour for charitable causes, participating in events like Comic Relief and Comedy Gives Back.

Perhaps, his most memorable appearance came through Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he teamed up with long-time friend and co-star, Larry David.

David, in a heartfelt statement, was among the first to pay tribute to Lewis, revealinging their profound connection, labeling Lewis not only as the funniest but also the sweetest person he knew.

“Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me,” David said in a statement shared by HBO.

“He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him.”

Fans and colleagues flooded social media with tributes, expressing their grief over the loss of a comedic genius. Platforms quickly filled with sentiments of gratitude and admiration for Lewis’s contribution to the world of humour.

Lewis is survived by his wife Joyce Lapinsky.


-with AP.

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