Jerry Lewis has passed away.
The comedian—some would say brash—had helmed works like The Nutty Professor and The Bellboy.
Lewis first began performing with Dean Martin in 1946; the duo proved an instant hit. The two performed together for a decade, with each of their films—including The Stooge, The Caddy, and Pardners—proving a considerable box office hit. They made their last film together in 1956, Hollywood or Bust, and split acrimoniously afterwards. The two would not reconcile until the 1980s.
Lewis’s comedy had fallen-out of fashion in later years, though he remained popular in France, which awarded him the Legion of Honour award in 1983.
The 1980s were good for Lewis in another way: he starred in Martin Scorsese’s film The King of New York, producing some of his finest work.
Lewis received the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Award in 2009. In May 2014, his footprints became immortalised at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Lewis became infamous after writing and directing 1972’s The Day the Clown Cried, an unreleased film centred on a clown who, like a demented Pied Piper, leads Jewish children to the gas chambers in Auschwitz. He considered the film too bad for release, and was famously ashamed of it.
Lewis passed away at home, surrounded by his family. He was 91.
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