Hollywood Pays Tribute to ‘Comedic Icon’ Jerry Lewis: ‘One of the Greatest of All Time’

Jerry Lewis dead

An outpouring of tributes and messages on social media and elsewhere followed the news that comedy king Jerry Lewis had died on Sunday at age 91.

Lewis was celebrated during his lifetime for starring in movies including “The Nutty Professor” and “The Bellboy” before launching the Muscular Dystrophy telethon.


Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis’ Life and Career in Photos

The White House press secretary released the following statement to reflect on Lewis’ life: “Jerry Lewis kept us all laughing for over half a century, and his incredible charity work touched the lives of millions. Jerry lived the American Dream — he truly loved his country, and his country loved him back. Our thoughts are with his family today as we remember the extraordinary life of one of our greatest entertainers and humanitarians. Thank you, Jerry. You will be missed.”

Penn Jillette, of the comedy duo Penn and Teller, was among the first to break the news. “Jerry Lewis just died. When I met him, I [fell] apart, just sobbed,” he wrote. “I guess it’s time for that again.”

Minutes later, he tweeted a photo with another tribute: “How did my life get good enough that Jerry Lewis would smile at me? And how sad to lose him.”

Patton Oswalt was also among the first to react: “Jerry Lewis has passed on. I sincerely hope his afterlife is a warm, peaceful … haven.” he wrote.

William Shatner and George Takei both paid their respects. “Condolences to the family of Jerry Lewis. The world is a lot less funnier today,” Shatner wrote. “We have lost a great comedian and even greater heart. Thank you for the laughs and the feels, Jerry Lewis,” Takei penned.

Gilbert Gottfried posted a photo of the late comedian. “The French were right about him all along. RIP Jerry Lewis,” he captioned the picture.

Others reacted to Lewis’ often-criticized personal views on social issues. “even tho u said women arent funny rest in peeeeeeeaaacccccceeeeee,” wrote Chelsea Peretti.

See more reactions to Jerry Lewis’ death below:

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  1. JOE S HILL says:

    August 20th, 2017-the day the clown died! nine years shy of a hundred, Jerry Lewis was a true entertainment legend, and hate him or love him, he was THE best in this crazy business, and certainly, no possible way that anybody in our current century will ever succeed or replace him! comedy legend, serious film director, and a man with a pure passion for finding a cure to Muscular Dystrophy with the decades of his Telethons showed how seriously devoted he was. most of his movies are classic slapstick and family-friendly, with the exception of 1982’s well made “THE KING OF COMEDY” that Martin Scorsese directed, which was quite a departure from his slapstick stuff! then there was his TV history-the disaster with his 1963 ABC talk show, and eventually his more successful variety show on NBC in the late 1960s. the height of Jerry Lewis’ popularity was so great, that DC Comics even had comic books based on Lewis’ slapstick silliness published in the 60s, and a short-lived Filmation Associates cartoon series in Fall 1970 on ABC Saturday mornings (David Landers voiced the animated Lewis, some years before his work on “LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY”) and the rest is history! the curtain finally came down, and we will seriously miss this man, who made us all laugh and appreciate his great cinematic and charitable works with the MDA Telethons and his passion for serious filmmaking and politics. Good-Bye, Mr. Lewis, our world won’t be the same without you!!

  2. B.V.R.Sastry says:

    Redpected sir/Madams,
    I saw his films and charecters during 1958 to 1963 in kakinada,A.P,India during ourEngineering College.
    I never forgot his humour and brisk change of expressions,eyes,cheeks mouth and lips.
    At present telugu comedians very famous are immitating him.
    our very deep condolences to his family and friends.

  3. Patti mezo says:

    RIP Mr. Lewis. Growing up, I think i was your biggest fan. I know you were my favorite comedian and actor. You were the greatest. Tgank you for the laughs and memories. Prayers for tour family and friends.

  4. Dr. Troy says:

    R.I.P Jerry Lewis. Your work will live forever!

  5. Hiosser says:

    Comedy. Genius. One of the top 5 all-time. NO ONE of this generation comes remotely close.

  6. Ann in Los Angeles says says:

    Two words: Jerry Lewis. Says it all. Let’s go to our inner Morty S. Tashman and enjoy a good laugh! And the ‘S’? He got scared a lot. Thank you Jerry, and to family and friends, our condolences. But
    wait! Let’s not feel sad! Let’s feel happy for all the love and laughs. So many laughs! One-of-a-kind Jerry.

  7. Jerry Lewis was a kind, gentle comic genius. I admire Jerry Lewis for that. He is in God’s presence as he is now and forever. The answer to Muscular dystrophy was a round all the time. It is in preventing Muscular dystrophy. Upcspine.com, NUCCA.org, Thespesific.com or Upper cervical health centers. . Don’t be measured by them the day of a hit to the head accident or fall. Wait 4 – 5 days. If you can be treated by Steven Duff, Windsor, California or Richard Duff, San Francisco, California.

  8. 1Ronald says:

    A great article. Thanks for helping us to remember some of the most memorable thoughts concerning the great Joseph Levitch (Jerry Lewis). May he truly rest in peace.

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