At the age of 91, yesterday one of the most important comic actors in the history of cinema left us forever. Jerry Lewis always had a very delicate health, and yesterday, Sunday, August 20, 2017, his heart could not hold any more.
Known for the duo he formed with Dean Martin In his first films, he later performed some hits, such as "Crazy about Anita", "The terror of the girls", or "At war with the army".
Until his last moments, he was always known for his high creativity and charity work that he carried out. He was also involved in the occasional controversy, especially for his sexist and racist jokes.
The Origins: Created for Comedy
Jerry Lewis was born in a New Jersey town, in Newark, on March 16, 1926. He grew up in a family of Russian artists, and with them he took his first steps in comedy.
Had the possibility of perfect your performance in front of the camera and learn new techniques. In addition to his comic roles, he was a director and also gained significant recognition as a writer.
His health suffered since the 80s. In 83 he underwent heart surgery, in 1992 for prostate cancer and had a heart attack in 2006. This same year, during the month of June, he was admitted to a Hospital in Las Vegas, due to a urinary infection.
His last film was "Max Rose", in 2013, although he continued to make appearances at Vegas shows.
The goose that lays golden eggs
Jerry Lewis was a treasure for Paramount. For more than half a century, the films he played managed to gross more than $ 800 million, an astronomical figure at the time. His name appeared in more than 60 films. He was compared to geniuses like Groucho Marx, Chaplin or Buster Keaton. The main criticism of his detractors was that of a repetitive humor.
Lewis's humor was based mostly on his body and facial expression. I followed the role of the comedy characters who imitate and do not find out anything, and also everything goes wrong.
The comic couple, Martin-Lewis
Both comedians became well known in the world of comedy.. Jerry Lewis was the buffoon, and Dean Martin the handsome, the heartthrob. His jokes turned into hilarious, absurd situations. Little by little they were integrated into the best theater and party halls, and the cinema and television received them with open arms.
After a good handful of years, the ego of both and the fame they were getting separated them. Many years later, they met again thanks to a well-known mutual friend: Frank Sinatra.
His humanitarian work
Lewis also became well known for his humanitarian side.. On television, he was in charge of conducting marathons with which he raised millions of dollars. In this sense, he was awarded only once by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in 2009, when he was awarded the honorary Jean Hersholt Prize for his humanitarian work.
What motivated him the most was his humanitarian work at the Muscular Dystrophy Association, of which he was national president for some years.
He even had a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for his commitment to this cause.
Reactions to death
Social networks have been filled with messages of appreciation to the great comedian.
Among the most famous comments, Whoopi Goldberg He said, 'Jerry Lewis died today, millions of people around the world loved him, helped millions of children with their telethons. Rest in peace and condolences to his family.
Also the Spanish actor and director Safe Santiago He had a few words of memory: «Jerry Lewis actor, comedian, director, screenwriter, filmmaker says goodbye. I harbored the illusion of seeing him live because he was still performing ».
Some of his movies
The Bellboy (1960)
A movie shot in black and white, where we attend a good handful of visual gags, which seem totally improvised, in the purest Lewis style.
The Ladies Man (1961)
His girl leaves him and he has to live alone. But he will be lucky enough to get a job in a residence full of very pretty young ladies who adore him. There he will become a heartthrob, and put aside his shyness.
The Nutty Professor (1963)
Es a version of the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. After taking a magic potion that he has made himself, an ugly and clumsy college professor turns into a seducer. And all this seasoned with a festival of gestures, body spasms and comic nonsense of all kinds.
The Family Jewels (1965)
Who will be the best tutor for a little rich woman who is orphaned? The girl must analyze different candidates, all of them uncles of hers. One of them is the only sincere one, and all the others are only moved by the succulent inheritance.
Which Way to the Front? (1970)
An anti-war movie about a delusional character who has set out to annihilate the Nazis on his own. He uses his fortune to recruit an army full of peculiar individuals like himself. But with his money, this supervening general is training his troops, and even achieves important military successes.
The King of Comedy (1982), Martin Scorsese
The success on television leads Jerry Lewis to interpret some productions for television. In this he plays the role of a lonely character, with little grace and bitter about life. However, the great Robert de Niro notices him, and even admires him. For this reason, he even goes as far as kidnapping, to try to replace him on his well-known television program.
Smorgasbord (1983), Jerry Lewis
Been his latest film composed by skits. But this does not mean that it has lost its brilliance. The film begins with a satire on psychiatrists and their patients. And he does it with scenes that mark the style and trajectory of the comedian: the patient Lewis cannot sit in the psychiatric waiting room, because everything is too slippery.
Image sources: La Vanguardia / Publimetro / Diario Popular / Bekia