Comedy legend Jerry Lewis — best known for his work with Dean Martin and tireless efforts to fight muscular dystrophy — died Sunday. He was 91.
The NYPost reports,
Condolences and fond memories of Lewis poured in from around the entertainment world.
“Jerry Lewis just died. When I met him, I feel apart, just sobbed. I guess it’s time for that again,” magician Penn Jillette tweeted. “We will miss Jerry so much. I can’t believe I got to meet him and spend time with him.”
Lewis’ not-so-high-brow hilarity in a slew of movies and on TV made him a favorite to audiences.
The “Nutty Professor” was honored with France’s Legion of Honor award in 1983.
But he also will forever be linked to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and his Labor Day weekend telethon, which he hosted from 1966 to 2011, having raised $2.45 billion, according to Daily Variety.
“Jerry’s kids” became the well known term for young victims of the terrible muscle disease.
“My mentor & friend Jerry Lewis has passed away,” comedian Dane Cook tweeted. “A visionary. A pioneer in all forms of entertainment. A charitable human. A father.”
Lewis once said he hoped that his antics helped pull France into a better place in the decades after World War II.
That’s nation’s sense of humor “took France through all those difficult years, and will take it through difficult times now because the French are not afraid to laugh,” Lewis observed.