Jerry Lewis

Actor, Director, Producer
"Le Roi du Crazy," as his fans in France knew him, Jerry Lewis was one of the most iconic comic performers in Hollywood history. As one half of the legendary comedy team of Martin and Lewis with crooner Dean Martin ... Read more »
Born: 03/15/1926 in Newark, New Jersey, USA

Filmography

Actor (99)

When Comedy Went To School 2013 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Max Rose 2012 (Movie)

Max Rose (Actor)

Method To The Madness of Jerry Lewis 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

81st Annual Academy Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 2005 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Tony Curtis: Tony of the Movies 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Ed McMahon: America's Sidekick 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Dean Martin: The E! True Hollywood Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Actors Studio 1999 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

The Rat Pack 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

12th Annual American Comedy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Comic Relief's 10th Anniversary 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Sports on the Silver Screen 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Dean Martin: Everybody Loves Somebody 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Jerry Lewis: The Last American Clown 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Arizona Dream 1995 (Movie)

Leo Sweetie (Actor)

Funny Bones 1995 (Movie)

George Fawkes (Actor)

Milk and Money 1995 (Movie)

(cameo) (Actor)

The 49th Annual Tony Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Dean & Jerry at the Movies 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Jerry Lewis, Total Filmmaker 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Alan King: Inside the Comedy Mind 1990 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Mad About You 1950 - 1956, 1992 - 1993 (Tv Show)

Actor

Birth of the Team 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Jerry Alone at the Top 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Kings of Comedy 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Larry King TNT Extra (10/21/91) 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Mr. Saturday Night 1992 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

16th Annual Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

America Picks the All-Time Favorite Movies 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Cookie 1989 (Movie)

Arnold Ross (Actor)

Las Vegas: An All Star 75th Anniversary 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Comic Relief 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Rickles on the Loose 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jerry Lewis Show 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Slapstick of Another Kind 1984 (Movie)

Wilbur Swain (Actor)

The King of Comedy 1983 (Movie)

Jerry Langford (Actor)

Retenez moi... ou je fais un malheur 1982 (Movie)

Jerry Logan (Actor)

Smorgasbord 1982 (Movie)

Dr Perks (Actor)

Hardly Working 1981 (Movie)

Bo Hooper (Actor)

Circus of the Stars 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

The First 50 Years 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

The Klowns 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Hook, Line and Sinker 1969 (Movie)

Peter Ingersoll (Actor)

Which Way to the Front? 1969 (Movie)

(Actor)

Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River 1968 (Movie)

George Lester (Actor)

The Big Mouth 1966 (Movie)

Gerald Clamson (Actor)

Boeing Boeing 1965 (Movie)

Robert Reed (Actor)

Three on a Couch 1965 (Movie)

Christopher Pride/Warren/Ringo/Rutherford/Heather (Actor)

Way... Way Out 1965 (Movie)

Peter (Actor)

The Family Jewels 1964 (Movie)

Captain Eddie Peyton (Actor)

The Patsy 1964 (Movie)

Stanley Belt (Actor)

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 1963 (Movie)

Mad Driver (Actor)

The Disorderly Orderly 1963 (Movie)

Jerome Littlefield (Actor)

The Nutty Professor 1962 (Movie)

Prof Julius Kelp/Buddy Love (Actor)

Who's Minding the Store? 1962 (Movie)

Raymond Phiffier (Actor)

It's Only Money 1961 (Movie)

Lester March (Actor)

The Errand Boy 1961 (Movie)

Morty S Tashman (Actor)

The Ladies' Man 1961 (Movie)

Herbert H Heebert (Actor)

Cinderfella 1960 (Movie)

Fella (Actor)

The Bellboy 1960 (Movie)

Stanley (Actor)

Visit to a Small Planet 1960 (Movie)

Kreton (Actor)

Don't Give Up the Ship 1958 (Movie)

John Paul Steckler VII (Actor)

Li'l Abner 1958 (Movie)

Guest Star (Actor)

Rock-a-Bye Baby 1958 (Movie)

Clayton Poole (Actor)

The Geisha Boy 1958 (Movie)

Gilbert Wooley (Actor)

The Delicate Delinquent 1957 (Movie)

Sidney Pythias (Actor)

The Sad Sack 1957 (Movie)

Bixby (Actor)

Hollywood or Bust 1956 (Movie)

Malcolm Smith (Actor)

Pardners 1956 (Movie)

Wade (Actor)

The Colgate Comedy Hour 1950 - 1956 (Tv Show)

Actor

Artists and Models 1955 (Movie)

Eugene Fullstack (Actor)

You're Never Too Young 1955 (Movie)

Wilbur Hoolick (Actor)

Living It Up 1954 (Movie)

Homer (Actor)

Three Ring Circus 1954 (Movie)

Jerry Hotchkiss (Actor)

Money From Home 1953 (Movie)

Virgil Yokum (Actor)

The Caddy 1953 (Movie)

Harvey (Actor)

Road to Bali 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

At War With the Army (Movie)

Pvt. Alvin Corwin (Actor)

Fight For Life (TV Show)

Actor

Jumping Jacks (Movie)

Hap Smith (Actor)

Sailor Beware (Movie)

Melvin Jones (Actor)

Scared Stiff (Movie)

Myron Myron Metz (Actor)

Shot Heard 'Round the World (TV Show)

Actor

The DuPont Show of the Week (TV Show)

Actor

The Milkman (Movie)

Milkman (Actor)
Director (15)

Super Force 1950 - 1956, 1990 - 1993 (Tv Show)

Director

The Doctors 1950 - 1956, 1969 - 1973, 1990 - 1993 (Tv Show)

Director

Smorgasbord 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Hardly Working 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

One More Time 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Which Way to the Front? 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

The Big Mouth 1966 (Movie)

(Director)

Three on a Couch 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

The Family Jewels 1964 (Movie)

(Director)

The Patsy 1964 (Movie)

(Director)

The Nutty Professor 1962 (Movie)

(Director)

The Errand Boy 1961 (Movie)

(Director)

The Ladies' Man 1961 (Movie)

(Director)

The Bellboy 1960 (Movie)

(Director)

Money From Home 1953 (Movie)

(musical sequences) (Director)
Writer (14)

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps 2000 (Movie)

from original characters (Characters as Source Material)

The Nutty Professor 1996 (Movie)

from original screenplay("The Nutty Professor" (USA/1963)) (From Story)

Smorgasbord 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hardly Working 1981 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down? 1970 - 1972 (TV Show)

Creator

The Big Mouth 1966 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Family Jewels 1964 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Patsy 1964 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Patsy 1964 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Nutty Professor 1962 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Errand Boy 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Ladies' Man 1961 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Ladies' Man 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Bellboy 1960 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (14)

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps 2000 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Nutty Professor 1996 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Hook, Line and Sinker 1969 (Movie)

(Producer)

Which Way to the Front? 1969 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Big Mouth 1966 (Movie)

(Producer)

Three on a Couch 1965 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Family Jewels 1964 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Disorderly Orderly 1963 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Ladies' Man 1961 (Movie)

(Producer)

Cinderfella 1960 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Bellboy 1960 (Movie)

(Producer)

Rock-a-Bye Baby 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Geisha Boy 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Delicate Delinquent 1957 (Movie)

(Producer)
Music (5)

Beverly Hills Cop III 1994 (Movie)

("North Dakota, South Dakota") (Song Performer)

Three on a Couch 1965 (Movie)

lyrics (Theme Lyrics)

The Errand Boy 1961 (Movie)

lyrics (Theme Lyrics)

The Errand Boy 1961 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Pardners 1956 (Movie)

(Song Performer)
Other (2)

North 1994 (Movie)

(Thanks)

Earth Girls Are Easy 1989 (Movie)

film extract("The Nutty Professor" (1963)) (Other)

Biography

"Le Roi du Crazy," as his fans in France knew him, Jerry Lewis was one of the most iconic comic performers in Hollywood history. As one half of the legendary comedy team of Martin and Lewis with crooner Dean Martin, Lewis left audiences hysterical with his stage persona - a manic man-child whose rubber limbs and unquenchable curiosity brought utter chaos to every stage he graced. The team's popularity quickly ushered them to television and films, where they became a top box office draw until separating in 1956. Critics wondered if Lewis would translate as a solo act, but he not only surpassed their expectations as a performer, he also displayed a keen visual eye as director on a number of his features, most notably the nearly silent "Bell Boy" (1960) and his most popular picture, "The Nutty Professor" (1963). The 1970s saw an aging Lewis lose his grip on audiences, and his screen appearances were relegated to his annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. He would not rebound until the early 1980s, when a string of highly regarded dramatic turns on television and in features like Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy" (1983) would revive interest in his particular brand of humor. Though health issues frequently forced Lewis to curtail his boundless energy, he remained active on stage and screen well into his eighties, which did much to preserve his status as one of the movies' most unique and creative figures.

Relationships

Susan Bay Actor

Companion
Had a long-term relationship; she later married actor Leonard Nimoy

Danny Lewis

Father

Gary Lewis Actor

Son
Born July 31, 1945; mother, Patti Lewis; performed in the band Gary Lewis & the Playboys

Patti Lewis Actor

Wife
Married Oct. 3, 1944 Divorced October 1982

Rae Lewis

Mother
Piano player for the radio station WOR and musical director for her husband

Danielle Lewis

Daughter
Adopted by Lewis and second wife SanDee Pitnick in May 1992

Anthony Lewis

Son
Born in October 1959; mother, Patti Lewis

Christopher Lewis

Son
Born in October 1957; mother, Patti Lewis In August 1991, pleaded innocent to felony counts of grand theft and receiving stolen property

Joseph Lewis

Son
Born in January 1964; mother, Patti Lewis

Ronald Lewis

Son
Born in December 1949 Adopted by Lewis and firs wife Patti Lewis in 1950

Scott Lewis

Son
Born in February 1956; mother, Patti Lewis

SanDee Pitnick Lewis

Wife
Married Feb. 13, 1983

Sarah Rothberg

Grandmother
Maternal grandmother Helped to raise Lewis until her death in 1941

EDUCATION

Irvington High School

Irvington , New Jersey
Lewis was expelled in 1941

Essex County Vocational School

Essex County , New Jersey
Only attended briefly

Milestones

2011

Retired as host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Labor Day telethon

2009

Announced to return to the big screen for the film "Max Rose"

2006

Guest starred on an episode of "Law and Order: SUV" (NBC) as the homeless uncle of Detective Munch (Richard Belzer)

2005

Wrote a book about his partnership with Dean Martin titled Dean & Me (A Love Story)

2000

Signed 20-year contract with the Orleans Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, marking his return to Vegas after a 12-year absence

1997

Reprised role of Applegate in the London production of "Damn Yankees"

1995

Made Broadway debut as Applegate in a revival of "Damn Yankees"

1994

Traveled to Blackpool, England to make "Funny Bones" for Hollywood Pictures

1991

Starred in "Arizona Dream" with Johnny Depp and Faye Dunnaway

1988

Guest starred on five episodes of the CBS series "Wise Guy"

1983

Played a late-night TV host plagued by obsessive fans in Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy"

1981

Returned to the screen with "Hardly Working"

1976

Acted on stage in "Helzapoppin"; show closed before reaching Broadway

1976

Reunited with Dean Martin on stage at a muscular dystrophy telethon; reunion arranged by Frank Sinatra

1970

Produced and starred in the never-released "The Day the Clown Cried"

1969

Last released film for 11 years, "Which Way to the Front?"

1968

Directed Sammy Davis and Peter Lawford in "One More Time"; only time Lewis directed without also acting in the film

1966

Appeared as master of ceremonies for first "Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon"; began ongoing association with MDA

1965

Discontinued asociation with Paramount

1964

Last picture with Tashlin, "The Disorderly Orderly"

1963

Produced and starred in the comedy hit "The Nutty Professor"; also directed and co-wrote with Bill Richmond

1961

Directed and starred in the comedy "The Ladies Man"

1960

Directed and starred in "The Bellboy"; also co-wrote with Bill Richmond

1959

Signed a long-term exclusive contract with Paramount

1958

First solo TV special, "The Jerry Lewis Show" (ABC)

1957

Produced first film without Martin, "The Delicate Delinquet"

1956

Last film with Martin, "Hollywood or Bust"; also directed by Tashlin

1956

Ended partnership with Dean Martin; later formed Jerry Lewis Productions

1955

Began a long collaboration with writer-director Frank Tashlin with the film "Artists and Models"

1954

Debuted as host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Labor Day telethon

1950

Formed Gar-Ron Productions (named after sons Gary and Ronald)

1950

Martin and Lewis appeared as rotating hosts of "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (NBC)

1949

Performed in the Martin and Lewis radio show

1949

Co-formed York Productions with Dean Martin

1949

First film with Martin, "My Friend Irma"

1948

Made TV debut on the Ed Sullivan hosted CBS program "Toast of the Town" (later titled "The Ed Sullivan Show)

1948

Signed a contract with Universal-International

1946

First performed with Dean Martin at the 500 Club in Atlantic City

1943

Booked at the Glass Hat in NYC on the same bill as Dean Martin

1941

Received first professional booking at the Loew's Pitman Theatre in Brooklyn, NY

As a teen, developed his Record Act, miming and silently mouthing lyrics of songs played off-stage

Joined parents in the summers on the Borscht Circuit, performing the occasional solo number to their act

Bonus Trivia

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While Lewis has always claimed that his birth name was Joseph, some sources contend that "official records" indicate he was actually named Jerome.

.

In 1971, Lewis was presented with the Murray-Green Award for Community Services by the AFL-CIO.

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In September 1976, the United States Senate unanimously adopted a resolution of appreciation to Lewis "For his outstanding contribution in the fight against muscular dystrophy."

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In 1984, Lewis was named Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, and Commander of Legion of Honor by the French government.

.

In 1990, Lewis wrote a first-person essay entitled "If I Had Muscular Dystrophy" for Parade magazine, in which he characterized those with muscular dystrophy as "being half a person." Many in the disabled community viewed his remarks as prejudicial, contributing to the idea that people with disabilities were "childlike, helpless, hopeless, non functioning and noncontributing members of society."

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In April 1991, Lewis was inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame by the National Association of Broadcasters.

.

In 1992, Lewis was inducted into International Comedy Hall of Fame.

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"With Dean, I finally got my brother. I wasn't an only child anymore, I had someone in my life who was my hero. And he, never having had that kind of relationship, saw that coming from me and nurtured it and treated me with infinite respect while always making me understand that I WAS the kid. Dean Martin made our act – though I worked very hard in the first six months to get him to be aware of his innate sense of timing. I didn't have time to work on the kid. The kid was just instinctively nuts, and we let him go. But Dean was the genius, and no one has ever noticed that." – Lewis quoted in Interview magazine, April 1995

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On July 31, 1999, Lewis was hospitalized for nine days in Australia after contracting viral meningitis.

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There was an official website, The Jerry Lewis Comedy Museum and Store, located at www.jerrylewiscomedy.com.

.

During the 2007 Labor Day Telethon, Lewis almost let slip the word "f*ggot" while live on air. While talking to a cameraman, he joked: "Oh, your family has come to see you. You remember Bart, your oldest son, Jesse, the illiterate f*g--no...," at which point he aborted the joke and turned away from the camera. He later apologized.

.

Lewis was portrayed by Sean Hayes (of NBC's "Will and Grace") in the 2002 CBS TV movie "Martin and Lewis" opposite Jeremy Northam as Dean Martin.

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Lewis battled prostate cancer, ALS, diabetes, and pulmonary fibrosis, and had two heart attacks. Medical treatment for the fibrosis using Prednisone in the early 2000s caused the comedian to experience weight gain and bloating that noticeably changed his appearance and rendered him unable to perform. Lewis some months thereafter began an arduous, months-long rehab, which weaned him off the Prednisone steroids that had so altered his appearance and enabled him to get back to work.

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Lewis was cited for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit on July 25, 2008 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, NV. Lewis later stated that the unloaded handgun was a specially engraved gift from a professional engraver during his 2007 telethon. The case was dismissed without prejudice on Sept. 19, 2008.

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On June 12, 2012, the entertainer was rushed to the hospital in NYC after collapsing at a Friars Club event honoring Tom Cruise. Lewis was scheduled to present Cruise with the Friars Club Entertainment Icon Award during the gala at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, but he collapsed moments before going on stage due to low blood sugar.

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