Sunday, August 20, 2017

Entertainment icon #JerryLewis has DIED at 91! [details]

Legendary entertainer, Jerry Lewis has passed away.

His death was confirmed in a statement tweeted by a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"Legendary entertainer Jerry Lewis passed away peacefully today of natural causes at 91 at his home w/ family by his side,” the statement read.

Inside the comedy world, Lewis was revered as a genius. The 2011 Lewis documentary "Method to the Madness" featured comedians from Billy Crystal to Eddie Murphy to Chevy Chase praising his singular style of comic lunacy and pathos.

"I get paid," Lewis once said, "for what most kids get punished for."

"If you don't get Jerry Lewis," Jerry Seinfeld said in “Method,” "you don't understand comedy."

For American audiences, Lewis' career had three major segments: his early television, stage and movie collaboration with Dean Martin, which ended in 1956; his solo movie career, which peaked in the 1960s; and his return every Labor Day for the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, which he hosted until 2010.

His tearful pleas for “Jerry's Kids" and his rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" became television signatures.

Lewis was also known throughout his career as an attentive and demanding businessman who knew the nuts and bolts of his business — though not all his projects worked out.

In 1969, he cofounded the Jerry Lewis cinemas, a chain of intimate movie theaters that initially showed only family-friendly films. While it folded a decade later, it foreshadowed the modern-day multiplex model of small theaters.

Inside the movie industry he was known for pioneering a filmmaking process known as "video assist," which was eventually adopted by all the major studios.

But he made his most indelible mark as a comedian, with a style that featured physical comedy, prominently including facial contortions, and rapid-fire repartee.

His prominent influences included early comedians like Charlie Chaplin and vaudeville, in which his Russian immigrant parents had worked.

Lewis hosted three TV variety shows of his own, but none were successful. He didn't succeed in getting to Broadway with a 1976 revival of "Hellzapoppin," in which he costarred with Lynn Redgrave, but he did eventually hit the Great White Way with a short 1995 run in "Damn Yankees."

He received only two major awards nominations for his ongoing work, a primetime Emmy nod in 1952 and a BAFTA nomination for "King of Comedy" in 1983.

Later he received a slew of honorary awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Comedy Awards in 1997 and a Governor's Award from the primetime Emmys in 2005.

He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2009 from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He also had no problem appreciating his own work.

"People hate me," he once said, "because I am a multifaceted, talented, wealthy, internationally famous genius."

Asked in 2011 if he felt he had fulfilled his life destiny, he said, "Not yet, but I'm getting close. Get the cure for muscular dystrophy. Then I'm fine.

"Otherwise, I'm the happiest old man you've ever seen."

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