Comedian and actor Jerry Lewis has died, aged 91.
The entertainer’s publicist confirmed the news. He passed away at his Las Vegas home, according the Las Vegas Review Journal. His family said in a statement he had died of “natural causes”.
BREAKING: Publicist: Jerry Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died.
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 20, 2017
Lewis starred in films such as the original 1963 version of The Nutty Professor, The Bellboy and Cinderfella. He starred alongside Dean Martin in 16 films over a 10 year period and was, at one point, the highest paid actor in Hollywood.
He later became the highest paid star on Broadway when he played Mr Applegate in the musical Damn Yankees in 1995.
The comedian suffered a heart attack in 2006 and struggled with pulmonary fibrosis. Lewis hosted the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon from 1966 to 2010, helping to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
He is survived by his wife, daughter, and six sons from his first marriage.
Hollywood stars have begun to pay tribute to the comedian. Jamie Lee Curtis wrote on Twitter: “Jerry Lewis loomed large in my family. Many movies with my mom & he made home movies with Janet and Tony. He made me and many laugh.”
Whoopi Goldberg added, referencing the recent death of fellow comedian Dick Gregory: “I realise I may be late with all this but all know is, losing Dick Gregory & Jerry Lewis is a gain 4 heaven, but big loss for comedy.”
‘Whiplash’ actor Paul Reiser wrote: “How lucky are we to have ever had Jerry Lewis in the 1st place? We’ll certainly never see his equal again. What a giant. RIP my friend.”
See those and more reactions below.
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) August 20, 2017
I realize I may be late with all this but all know is,losing Dick Gregory & Jerry Lewis is a gain 4 heaven, but big loss for comedy
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) August 20, 2017
How lucky are we to have ever had Jerry Lewis in the 1st place? We'll certainly never see his equal again. What a giant. RIP my friend.
— Paul Reiser (@PaulReiser) August 20, 2017
Jerry Lewis was an angel to me. Loved him & will never forget what he did for me during one of the worst times in my life. RIP, Love Roe pic.twitter.com/0OoQV4yaae
— Rose Marie-Official (@RoseMarie4Real) August 20, 2017
Jerry Lewis has passed on. I sincerely hope his afterlife is a warm, peaceful…
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 20, 2017