Sputnik Comedian Jerry Lewis died in his family home yesterday morning, his agent has confirm ed. The Hollywood icon was 91 years old. Born in 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, Lewis first rose to fame in his 20s, shortly after World War II, with his nightclub act opposite crooner Dean Martin, who played the straight man to Lewis’s antics. Their meteoric rise hinged on their chemistry as performers.. The two starred in more than a dozen movies together before their split in 1956. Lewis would go on to appear in dozens more as a solo star, including his biggest hit, 1963’s “The Nutty Professor.” He was also a writer and director.
From 1966 to 2010, Lewis raised over $2.5 billion for research dollars while hosting his annual Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon., Lewis was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2009, and was made an honorary member of the Order of Australia for his charitable work in 2013. He told the BBC it was his childlike attitude that brought him fame and quote, “I’ve had great success being a total idiot.