Jerry Lewis has died at the age of 91. Over his seven decades in show business, he was an iconic comedian and philanthropist.
Lewis got his big break when he teamed up with Dean Martin in 1946. The pair worked together for a decade, starring in films such as “My Friend Irma,” “The Caddy,” and “The Stooge.” The two parted ways in 1956.
After going solo, Lewis developed a Las Vegas act that he would perfect throughout the rest of his life. Lewis would later star in “The Nutty Professor”, “The Bellboy”, and “Law & Order: SVU”. He also lent his voice to an episode of “The Simpsons.”
- Many know Jerry Lewis thanks to his annual telethon benefitting the Muscular Dystrophy Association. From its creation in 1966 through 2009, the last year Lewis hosted his annual telethon, he raised a whopping $2.5-billion for the organization.
- Lewis’ life did not come without controversy, however. He was known to make racist and misogynistic jokes and was forced to apologize after using a gay slur on camera during the 2007 telethon…and again for using the same word the following year. He also battled numerous illnesses and a prescription drug dependency over the years.
- Lewis had seven children. He and former band singer Patti Palmerhad six sons throughout their 36-year marriage. Lewis is survived by his second wife, SanDee Pitnick, with whom he adopted a daughter.