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Comedian Richard Lewis Dead at Age 76 Following Heart Attack Amid Parkinson’s Disease Battle

Richard Lewis died at age 76 due to a heart attack on Monday, February 27, Us Weekly can confirm.

“On a sad note, the great Richard Lewis has died,” Bette Midler posted via X on Wednesday, February 28, seemingly breaking the news. Steve Martin offered a reply on the social media side, adding, “Great sadness.”

Lewis’ publicist, Jeff Abraham of Jonas Public Relations, confirmed the comedian’s cause of death. “Richard Lewis passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles last night after suffering a heart attack according to his publicist,” the rep told Us in a statement.

The actor announced in April 2023 that he had been battling Parkinson’s disease for two years at that point.

Comedian Richard Lewis Dead at Age 76 Following Battle With Parkinson s Disease 137
Richard Lewis Rebecca Sapp/WireImage

“Hey, listen, I just wrapped a couple of weeks ago season 12 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and it was just an amazing season, and I’m so grateful to be a part of that show,” Lewis said in a video uploaded via X at the time. “But you know, the last three and a half years, I’ve had sort of a rocky time and people said, ‘I haven’t heard from you, are you still touring?’”

The comedian went on to explain “really what happened” and why he stopped hitting the road.

Comedian Richard Lewis Dead at Age 76 Following Battle With Parkinson s Disease 138
Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

“Three and half years ago I was in the middle of a tour, and I finally ended it with a show. I said, ‘You know, I’m at the top of my game, after 50 years almost I’m going to call it quits,’ and I felt great about that. And then, out of the blue, the s–t hit the fan,” he continued. “I had four surgeries back-to-back-to-back-to-back. It was incredible, I couldn’t believe it. It was bad luck, but that’s life. I had a back surgery, then I had a shoulder surgery, then I had a shoulder replacement surgery. … Then I had a hip replacement.”

Lewis recalled focusing on physical therapy before seeing a neurologist and receiving the Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.

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“That was about two years ago,” he concluded. “But luckily, I got it late in life, and they say you progress very slowly if at all. And I’m on the right meds so I’m cool.”

Lewis is known for playing a fictionalized version of himself on Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is set to come to an end following season 12, which is currently airing on HBO. Longtime friend Larry David, who created the show, made accommodations for Lewis’ illness while filming the final season.

“I’ve got to tell you how he took care of me this year. The cast and a crew — just as I’m diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease—made sure that everything was right for me on the set,” Lewis told Vanity Fair earlier this month. “They assigned a third AD to me [to clear the path]. ‘Richard is coming!’ Everybody was so lovely on the set. It was all really heartwarming.”

Lewis is survived by his wife Joyce Lapinsky, whom he married in 2005.

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