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Comedy Legend Richard Lewis Dies at 76

Richard Lewis, the comic and star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has died, The Post can confirm. He was 76.

Lewis passed away peacefully at his Los Angeles, California, home after suffering a heart attack on Tuesday night.

“His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship, and support and asks for privacy at this time,” his publicist, Jeff Abraham, said in a statement.

Lewis announced last April that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was retiring from stand-up comedy.

“I have Parkinson’s disease, but I’m under a doctor’s care and everything is cool,” the veteran actor-comic said in a video posted to X, formerly Twitter, at the time. “I’m finished with standup. I’m just focusing on writing and acting from here on out.

“But you know, the last three and a half years I’ve had sort of a rocky time,” the “Leaving Las Vegas” actor lamented. “And people have said, ‘Gee I haven’t heard from you, are you still touring?’ Well, here’s really what happened.”

Lewis, who starred alongside Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as a semi-fictionalized version of himself, spoke about his Parkinson’s diagnosis in a Vanity Fair interview published last week.

“It changed my outlook in that it’s been a combination of forcing myself to look back and be grateful. I’ve had such an amazing life. I still do. I’m a lucky man,” he said.

“I got in touch with more gratitude and also acceptance. It’s imperative that I accept the fact that I have Parkinson’s. If you don’t accept it, then it lingers around your brain and you get morbid and depressed. You lose energy.”

In 2021, Lewis announced that he would only appear in one episode of “Curb” Season 11 due to experiencing pain during filming. He returned for the show’s 12th and final season, which premiered earlier this month on HBO. The series finale is set to air on April 7.

The New York-born actor, who graduated from Ohio State University in 1969, noted that there “were rumblings” that the popular series was coming to an end.

“There was behind-the-scenes gossip that ‘Larry sort of feels that this would be it.’ I never asked him from year one if he’s coming back. The truth is he never knows,” Lewis went on. “He has the luxury of being able to tell HBO, ‘I’m not sure. I’ll tell you in a couple of months.’ And they’ll say, ‘Fine.’ They’ll just put him on hold until he says yes or no. I don’t know what his plans are after it wraps.”

An HBO spokesperson told The Post in a statement Wednesday: “We are heartbroken to learn that Richard Lewis has passed away.

“His comedic brilliance, wit and talent were unmatched. Richard will always be a cherished member of the HBO and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ families, our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and all the fans who could count on Richard to brighten their days with laughter,” the statement concluded.

Known for his neurotic, self-deprecating style of comedy, Lewis made his acting debut in 1979’s “Diary of a Young Comic.” A Showtime comedy special, “I’m in Pain,” followed in 1985, as did multiple HBO comedy specials — “I’m Exhausted” (1988), “I’m Doomed” (1990) and “Richard Lewis: The Magical Misery Tour” (1997).

Lewis is also known for co-starring with Jamie Lee Curtis in the sitcom “Anything but Love,” as well as short-lived roles in “Daddy Dearest” and “Hiller and Diller.”

His other film credits include “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” “Drunks,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Hugo Pool” and “Drunks.”

Comedy Central would go on to name him one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time. In 2000, he also released the memoir “The Other Great Depression” — a collection of essays from his life — after getting sober from drugs and alcohol in 1994.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce.

READ 5 COMMENTS
  • 1stA&2ndA says:

    Was he vaxed?

    • Brian Sears says:

      Probably. I doesn’t matter, the man is dead. Let’s just accept it for what it is. Let man be remembered and to rest in peace.

    • Zmb Grrl says:

      Talked to someone today who said she was vaxed and ended up an epileptic. Also said she can’t have children – it’s a health risk with the epilepsy meds on top of the fact that the vaccine affected her reproductive organs. She sits home and only drives the mile to the supermarket. Very sad. She said she knows there’s a lot of people who were affected but they don’t publicize their health issues. Not writing this for any reason. Just kind of getting the depressing facts off my chest. I hate the evil demons who created a virus that causes clots and breathing problems and a vaccine that purposely targets organs. I just can’t understand the sick people that exist out there and contrive to kill and harm others with such impunity.

  • James Leamons says:

    Good bye funny man. Good bye…

  • nana says:

    Never heard of him, obviously an American favourite.

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