Jerry Lewis Dead at the Age of 91

Jerry Lewis Dead at the Age of 91

Comedy legend Jerry Lewis has died at the age of 91.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the actor, singer and director died at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, August 20, at his home in Las Vegas.

The entertainer rose to fame in the late 1940s as part of a double act with singer Dean Martin. They starred in several films together, including The Stooge and The Caddy, in the 1950s before going their separate ways.

Lewis then became a star as a solo performer on TV and in films including Cinderfella, The Geisha Boy and The Nutty Professor.

He recorded several albums, with his single “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby” selling nearly four million copies, and he hosted the Academy Awards two times.

A well-known humanitarian and philanthropist, Lewis began hosting telethons in the 1950s to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The successful fundraisers, which were televised every Labor Day weekend from 1966 to 2010, raised more than $2.6 billion for research.

Lewis stepped down from hosting the telethons in 2011 and the annual event was discontinued in 2015.

The Emmy winner was given the Jean Jersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars in 2009 and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his charity work.

Lewis battled an addiction to painkillers for more than a decade, after initially taking the drugs to recover from a severe back injury he suffered while doing a pratfall during an appearance in Las Vegas in 1965.

He survived several heart attacks and heart surgery and battled prostate cancer and diabetes, and was most recently hospitalized in June this year in Las Vegas.

Lewis is survived by second wife, SanDee Pitnick, and six children.

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