'A genius comedian': Hollywood says goodbye to Jerry Lewis
Jim Carry, Bette Midler and Robert De Niro are among those celebrating the actor-comedian who died at age 91
Comedians in Hollywood are paying tribute to one of their own and a trailblazer in slapstick, Jerry Lewis.
Ontario-born Jim Carrey credited Lewis with being a major influence on his career.
"That fool was no dummy. Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy's absolute! I am because he was!"
That fool was no dummy. Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy's absolute! I am because he was! ;^D <a href="https://t.co/3Zdq9xhXlE">pic.twitter.com/3Zdq9xhXlE</a>—@JimCarrey
Lewis died of natural causes Sunday with his family by his side in Las Vegas, Nev. at age 91.
He was known for such favourites as The Bellboy, The Nutty Professor, and the 1982 Martin Scorsese-directed satire The King of Comedy.
"Jerry was a pioneer in comedy and film," his King of Comedy co-star, Robert De Niro, said in a statement.
"And he was a friend. I was fortunate to have seen him a few times over the past couple of years. Even at 91, he didn't miss a beat. Or a punchline. You'll be missed."
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel called Lewis a "genius comedian" and "as a Las Vegan, what I miss most."
Jerry Lewis was a genius comedian, actor, director, inventor, humanitarian and, as a Las Vegan, what I miss most..<a href="https://t.co/R0uLkPOwyU">https://t.co/R0uLkPOwyU</a>—@jimmykimmel
Lewis' career began at the age of five in his parents' vaudeville act. At the age of 20, he was paired with Dean Martin, which catapulted the comic duo into fame.
"So saddened to learn of the passing of Jerry Lewis, a true comic icon. In Boston 1947 I roared at his and Dean's first ever performance," said 95-year-old Emmy-winning comic actor Carl Reiner, who has worked closely during his career with comedians Steve Martin, Mel Brooks and on the Dick Van Dyke Show.
So saddened to learn of the passing of Jerry Lewis, a true comic icon. In Boston 1947 I roared at his and Dean's first ever performance—@carlreiner
Bette Midler described Lewis as a "complicated soul" who "made the whole world laugh."
Jerry Lewis, a complicated soul who made the whole world laugh has died.—@BetteMidler
The Big Sick's Kumail Nanjiani posted on Twitter: "As a kid, I'm pretty sure I was the biggest Jerry Lewis fan in the world."
As a kid, I'm pretty sure I was the biggest Jerry Lewis fan in the world. Truly. R.I.P. Jerry Lewis.—@kumailn
Writer-actor Marlon Wayans, Will & Grace's Sean Hayes and stand-up comedian Dane Cook referred to Lewis as a hero and mentor.
My mentor & friend Jerry Lewis has passed away. A visionary. A pioneer in all forms of entertainment. A charitable human. A father.—@DaneCook
Always funny. Always helpful. Always honest. I will miss you Jerry Lewis. The world has lost a true innovator & icon. <a href="https://t.co/mJzLbh0VFd">pic.twitter.com/mJzLbh0VFd</a>—@DaneCook
We lost one of the great ones today...possibly the greatest. Jerry Lewis was one of my comedy heroes & was a gigan… <a href="https://t.co/Baob4Gn29E">https://t.co/Baob4Gn29E</a> <a href="https://t.co/dmkjsDlPHi">pic.twitter.com/dmkjsDlPHi</a>—@SeanHayes
Lewis was as recognized for his comedy as he was for his annual telethon to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the U.S.
The View's Whoopi Goldberg posted on Twitter about the "millions of kids he helped with his telethons."
Jerry Lewis passed today,millions around the world loved him,millions of kids he helped w/his telethons. R.I.P. &condolences 2 his family—@WhoopiGoldberg
Lewis' death comes one day after the passing of comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory at age 84 in Washington, D.C.
To lose <a href="https://twitter.com/IAmDickGregory">@IAmDickGregory</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JerryLewis?src=hash">#JerryLewis</a> days apart... My thoughts and prayers to your families, talent like yours can never be equalled! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIP?src=hash">#RIP</a>—@octaviaspencer
With files from the Associated Press