Jerry Lewis, the comedian, shown in June 6, 1973 is a fund raise for a cause he supports with rare interiorly: muscular dystrophy. He’s already well in to planning this year’s Labor Day telethon, the eighth in as many years, for the New York based Muscular Dystrophy Associations of America of which he’s national chairman. Their target is to raise $10 million to help the children who are those primarily afflicted by the discase. Lewis doen explain his obsession with the cause. But he has explained that “every time I loss one a piece of my heart goes.”
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jerry Lewis, the rubber-faced comedian and director whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died.
Publicist Candi Cazau says Lewis passed away Sunday morning of natural causes at age 91 in Las Vegas with his family by his side.
Lewis first became a star in a duo with Dean Martin, entertaining audiences in nightclubs, on television and in the movies. After their split in 1956, he starred in and directed a slew of hit films such as “The Nutty Professor.”
Later generations knew him primarily as the tireless conductor of the Labor Day weekend telethons to raise funds for victims of muscular dystrophy. Lewis retired from making movies in 1995, but returned as star of the 2016 drama “Max Rose.”
This story will be updated.
In this Aug. 24, 2016 photo, comedian Jerry Lewis reacts during an interview at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. Getting older has been frustrating. At 90, Lewis sometimes loses his train of thought and uses a cane and a wheelchair to get around. But his desire to connect with audiences, and with people, is undiminished. Entertainers Dean Martin, left, and Jerry Lewis appear together on Lewis’s annual telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Las Vegas, Nev., Sept. 7, 1976. Martin’s surprise appearance reunites the comedy duo after 20 years.Jerry Lewis mimicks his caricature on the wall of Sardi’s Restaurant in New York on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 1995 as he’s officially introduced as the new “The Devil” in the Broadway production of “Damn Yankees.” The 69-year-old will replace Victor Garber when the show returns in previews February 28 and opens March 12. Entertainer Jerry Lewis, left, is joined by co-host Leeza Gibbons during the 27th Muscular Dystrophy Association television fundraiser in Las Vegas, Nev., Monday, Sept. 7, 1992. The annual Labor Day telethon raised a record $45.8 million.