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Legendary Comic Richard Lewis Passes Away

February 29, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Richard Lewis Curb Your Enthusiasm Image Credit: John Johnson/HBO

Richard Lewis, the stand-up comedy legend who co-starred in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Robin Hood: Men in Tights has passed away. Lewis’ publicist confirmed to THR that the comic actor died peacefully on Tuesday night in his home in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack. Lewis had been living with Parkinson’s, as he revealed in April of last year when he announced he was retiring from stand-up. He was 76 years old.

Lewis had a legendary career that spanned 50 year, starting in 1971. He was known for his neurotic and self-deprecating humor, which he used regularly with his public persona both on stage and screen. His standup career began doing an open mike night at a venue in Greenwich Village and he was soon writing and performing regularly. He rose to prominence in the standup scene and was recognize as one of the “new breed” of comedians along the likes of George Carlin, Andy Kaufman, Lily Tomlin, and Richard Pryor.

Lewis made his acting debut in the 1979 TV movie Diary of a Young Comic as the protagonist Billy Gondola. He would go on to appear regularly on TV, often as himself or in a persona that echoed his stage personality. He proceeded to star in the sitcom Anything but Love on ABC from 1989 to 1992 as Marty Gold and appeared often on late night shows like The Tonight Show, The Late Show, Late Night and more.

Lewis played himself on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm for 41 episodes over the show’s run. He had wrapped filming on the final season of Curb when he made the announcement. Other regular TV roles include Daddy Dearest in 1993, Hiller and Diller in 1997 and 1998, and Patrick Stewart’s Starz show Blunt Talk in 2015.

On the big screen, Lewis starred in such films as Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Wagons East, Leaving Las Vegas, and the 2012 horror comedy Vamps. His final film role was as himself in 2018’s The Great Buster: A Celebration.

On behalf of 411, our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Lewis.

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Richard Lewis, Jeremy Thomas