Monday, August 21, 2017
Very sad news over the weekend...
Jerry Lewis, one of Hollywood’s greatest slapstick comedians, a filmmaker of exceptional popularity and novelty, and a humanitarian who transformed the celebrity telethon into a massive fundraising tool, has died.
He was 91.
Lewis was one of the dominant figures in show business during the 1960s and 1970s. His comedy act with Martin made them one of the most successful teams of all time, and Lewis’ films following that break-up made him one of the top movie draws of the era. Such comedy classics as The Bellboy (1960) and The Nutty Professor (1963) were huge successes.
Lewis also is remembered for his Herculean efforts as the national chairman – and face of – the Muscular Dystrophy Association. For years, his Labor Day telethon marked the end of summer for many, and it helped raise close to $2.5 billion for research into the disease. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for those efforts. Lewis left the telethon in 2011, but his annual closing song, You’ll Never Walk Alone, became one of the indelible moments of those efforts.
His international success, particularly in France, where he was revered as a comedy genius, was no less impressive. Lewis won eight “best director” awards in Europe, and was presented with the French Legion of Honor award in 1984.
He had a very long and, overall, prosperous career and helped raise a LOT of awareness and money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
He will be fondly remembered and missed.