Monday, April 15, 2024

RIP Beloved Comic and Actor Richard Lewis, 76: Hit it Big with “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Read Larry David’s Tearful Statement)


Richard Lewis has passed away at age 76 according to reports.

Larry David said in a statement: “Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me. He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him.”

He’d been ill for some time, but he soldiered on, appeared in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as much as possible. He has only been on briefly, in one episode, this season, and I guess this explains why. Lewis had talked about his battle with Parkinson’s Disease, which really looked like it had wiped him out in recent years.

(He really flourished in the season about The Spite Store.)

Lewis was a hot shot comic from the 1970s. I just loved him, and was so thrilled when I’d bump into him in LA. He was very impressed that I remembered a little autobiographical film he’d made when he was young that helped put him on the map. (It was called “Diary of a Young Comic” and the promo is below.)

Even though he’d gotten the huge audience from “Curb,” Lewis was a cutting edge comic back in the day. He appeared on every late night show, and was a hit on the touring circuit.

In the late 80s, Lewis starred with Jamie Lee Curtis in a sitcom called “Anything But Love” that was too hip for its time. Lewis’s comedy was like that, acerbic and neurotic and totally relatable.

More to come…I’m really bummed, I know a lot of people are…And now “Curb Your Enthusiasm” really is over with him and Bob Einstein both gone.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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