Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis, an American with an abounding biography, was born on March 16, 1926 and has been a popular figure on television screens for decades entertaining people as a comedian and actor. Jerry Lewis was born in Newark, New Jersey in the United States to Daniel Levitch and Rachel Levitch. His father was a famous master of ceremonies and his mother played the piano for a radio station. Born Joseph Levitch, earlier in his career, he adopted the stage name Joey Lewis, but changed it later to Jerry Lewis, seeking to avert any mix-up with another comedian named Joe E. Lewis and the former boxing champion, Joe Louis.

Related Biography: Robert Redford

Early Life and Training

He performed with his parents in the night clubs in Caskill Mountains in upstate New York at the age of five. Known for his ingenuity in playing pranks at an early age, Jerry started early education at Irvington High School but dropped out in the tenth grade at the age of fifteen. He was denied the opportunity to serve in the US military during the Second World War because of an issue with his heart.

Career Experiences

Lewis had a tricky start to his full-time acting career. His early performances were not good enough to earn him the right type of shows and he started to feel dejected and resorted to working as a theatre usher to survive. Of note is the intervention of one of his father’s friends, Max Coleman, a comedian, who encouraged Lewis to step out on the comedy stage again. Coleman helped him to earn a platform to perform at Brown’s Hotel in New York and he gave a great account of himself, earning him more opportunities in show business.

Partnership with Dean Martin

At an event at Glass Hat Club in New York City in 1945, the young Lewis met a singer named Dean Martin. Both struck a partnership viewed as one of the strongest in the history of American entertainment. That was how the Martin and Lewis Comedy Show started. Their show was special partly because they did not depend on prepared scripts to entertain their audience but acted instinctively. Lewis made his film debut in the 1949 movie ‘My Friend Irma’ which was a hit. After performing many films like ‘My Friend Irma Goes West,’ ‘Hollywood or Bust’ and several TV shows, Lewis and Martin split in 1956.

Later Years in Career

Venturing alone, Jerry Lewis went deeply into life as an actor and producer. He instantly became a star with his first solo movie, ‘The Delicate Delinquent’ as a hit. He directed many films which have turned out very successful. He directed ‘The Day Crown Cried’, ‘The Nutty Professor’ and ‘Three on a Couch.’ He surfaced again in 2013 after many years away from stage and appeared in a minor role in the crime film ‘The Trust’ in 2016.’

Personal Life

Jerry married Patti Palmer in 1944 and they had six sons together. Lewis and his wife of 36 years opted for a divorce in 1980. Lewis got married again SanDee Pitnick in 1983 and they adopted one daughter. He lost his youngest son in 2009 in very tragic circumstances. Jerry Lewis has received many awards for stage performances and for initiatives outside his core career. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for his humanitarian work in fighting muscular dystrophy. He received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars in 2009. With a net worth reckoned to be about $50 million, Lewis has a lot in wealth and experience.

Quick Facts
Birth Date: 16 Mar, 1926
Age: 94 yrs
Citizenship: United States of America
Birth Place: Newark
Education: University of California, Los Angeles
Gender: Male
Description: American comedian, actor, film producer, writer and film director
Net Worth 2021: 50 million
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Last Modified: Jun 27 2020
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