Lewis was born in 1926 to a show business family and began working on stage with his parents at the tender age of 5 years old singing ,”Brother Can You Spare a Dime in which Lewis recalls “Brought down the house”.
His family worked the “Borsch Belt” which was the circuit in which Jewish entertainers worked. By the age of 14 Lewis became interested in and began the art of Pantomime.
Although he was gaining recognition as a performer it wasn’t until a chance pairing with singer, Dean Martin that now as a duo their careers took off. Unlike many comedy duos of the time, Martin and Lewis humor was based on their interaction with each other. The zaniness and improvisation took the entertainment world and public by storm as they became stars of Stage, Screen, and the new medium called, Television.
Martin and Lewis remained atop of the entertainment heap for 10 years until they decided to call it quits in 1959 to pursue separate interests.
Lewis remained in film, producing a string of hit movies as the Star, Director and Screenwriter for his films. He also developed new technologies and techniques that are still being incorporated in making movies today.
His forays into Television were not as successful as far as starring/hosting was concerned.
As time passed his brand of movies became passé. He would later go on to teach film classes and lecture on the Collegiate level at schools like USC.
He also became affiliated with the Muscular Dystrophy Association an organization whose goal was to eliminate the disease that affected young children.
He would serve as the Master of Ceremonies for their annual Telethons for the period of 1952-1959 and then from 1966-2010.. for the Labor Day weekend as Lewis was a national spokesman as well as other duties for the association.
Lewis’s career would continue as he’d make Films, Stage or other avenues staying active.
Lewis would later encounter health problems due to years of performing his brand of physical comedy, taking pratfalls, spills and other dangerous physical activity as a part of his comedic routine.
Lewis would enjoy a renaissance falling in and out of popularity with the public. However he would continue to receive accolades and awards throughout his career.
Time, age, and health issues all took it’s toll and Lewis passed away on August 20th 2017.
Lewis was truly a Comedy legend who will be forever missed.
Rest in Peace Mr. Lewis