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who appeared with Jerry Lewis on screen:
Birthday: March 16, 1926
Place: Newark, New Jersey, USA
Height: 5' 1"
is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in) for
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| Perhaps no popular film artist in history inspired quite so many conflicting opinions and emotions as actor/comedian Jerry Lewis. Often reviled in his native United States but worshipped as a genius throughout much of Europe and especially France, Lewis took slapstick comedy to new realms of absurdity and outrageousness, his anarchic vision dividing audiences who found him infantile and witless from those who applauded the ambitions of his sight gags, his subversions of standard comedic patterns, and his films' acute criticisms of American values. Regardless of opinion, he was not only one of the biggest stars of the postwar era but also one of the most powerful, and as the writer, director, and producer of many of his features, he qualified as a comic auteur firmly in the tradition of Chaplin and Keaton.Born Joseph Levitch in Newark, NJ, on March 16, 1926, he was the son of borscht-belt comics, spending the majority of his childhood living with relatives but joining his parents each summer as they performed in the Catskills. From the age of five on, Lewis occasionally performed in his parents' act, and later quit high school in order to travel with his own comedy routine, which consisted primarily of mocking famous entertainers while their records were played off-stage. His early years as a performer were lean, and he often resorted to work as a soda jerk, a theater usher, an office clerk, or any one of a number of short-lived jobs. During the summers, he too made the rounds of the Catskills' borscht circuit, but otherwise enjoyed little success.In 1946, Lewis met another struggling performer, a handsome singer named Dean Martin. Later that year, while playing Atlantic City's 500 Club, another act abruptly quit the show, and Lewis suggested Martin to fill the void. Initially the two performed separately, but one night they threw out their routines and teamed on-stage, a Mutt-and-Jeff combo whose wildly improvisational comedy quickly made them a star attraction along the Boardwalk. Within months, Martin and Lewis' salaries rocketed from 350 to 5,000 dollars a week, and by the end of the 1940s, they were the most popular comedy duo in the nation. In 1949, they made their film debut in George Marshall's My Friend Irma, and their supporting work proved so popular with audiences that their roles were significantly expanded for the sequel, the following year's My Friend Irma Goes West. With 1951's At War With the Army, Martin and Lewis earned their first star billing. The picture established the basic formula of all of their subsequent movie work, with Martin the suave straight man forced to suffer the bizarre antics of the manic fool Lewis. Critics often loathed the duo, but audiences couldn't get enough. In all, they made 13 comedies for Paramount, among them 1952's Jumping Jacks, 1953's Scared Stiff, and 1955's Artists and Models, a superior effort directed by Frank Tashlin. For 1956's Hollywood or Bust, Tashlin was again in the director's seat, but the movie was the team's last; after Martin and Lewis' relationship soured to the point where they were no longer even speaking to one another, they announced their breakup following the conclusion of their July 25, 1956, performance at the Copacabana, which celebrated to the day the tenth anniversary of their first show. Working again as a solo performer, Lewis also served as producer on his first post-Martin star vehicle, 1957's The Delicate Delinquent. Reviews were good, and later that same year he starred in The Sad Sack. With 1958's Rock-a-Bye Baby, he teamed again with Tashlin, the first of six Lewis comedies the director helmed; they next united for The Geisha Boy. Under Norman Taurog, Lewis returned in 1959 with Don't Give up the Ship. At the time of its release, he signed an exclusive contract with Paramount for ten million dollars and 60 percent of his box-office profits, the biggest payday of its kind in Hollywood history; at its peak, his popularity was so great that he even starred in a DC Comics book. Lewis celebrated his success by making another feature for Taurog, 1960's Visit to a Small Planet, before returning to work under Tashlin for Cinderfella. With 1960's The Bellboy, Lewis made his directorial debut. Here his comic vision began to truly take flight, with only a bare-bones plot and virtually no dialogue to best serve his ambitious gags. He also directed and produced 1961's The Ladies' Man, a lavishly filmed, vicious satire on American femininity, followed by The Errand Boy, another collection of sight gags which earned favorable comparison to the work of Jacques Tati. Under Tashlin, Lewis next starred in 1962's It's Only Money. Returning to the director's chair, he filmed his masterpiece, The Nutty Professor, a comic retelling of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tale which, while dismissed by American critics, solidified his following among European filmgoers, especially the staff of the influential Cahiers du Cinema.In between 1963's Who's Minding the Store? and 1964's The Disorderly Orderly, both written and directed by Tashlin, Lewis also helmed The Patsy, his most ambitious work to date. In 1965's The Family Jewels, he not only wrote and directed, but also played seven different roles. The picture was among his first not to become a major box-office success. He subsequently traveled to France to star in John Rich's Boeing Boeing. There "Le Roi du Crazy" (as he was dubbed) was met by adoring fans and critics with a three-week film festival, as well as a complete retrospective at the Cinematheque Francais. However, the feature was Lewis' last for Paramount, who found his insistence upon complete artistic control to be at odds with the increasingly disappointing box-office showings of his films. In 1966, after landing at Columbia to direct and star in Three on a Couch, Lewis hosted his first Labor Day telethon to raise funds in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The star-studded event quickly became an institution, annually bringing in millions upon millions in charitable contributions. Lewis next starred in the Gordon Douglas space comedy Way, Way Out, followed by 1967's The Big Mouth, which he directed and co-wrote. He next appeared in Jerry Paris' Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River and George Marshall's Hook, Line and Sinker, subsequently directing (but, for the first and only time, not starring) in 1969's One More Time. None of the movies found favor with audiences or critics, however, and after the failure of 1970's Which Way to the Front?, Lewis' career in Hollywood was in grave condition. While seeking funding for his next project, in 1971 he wrote a book, The Total Filmmaker. With financing from the Swedish-based Cinema and Film Enterprises, in 1972 Lewis mounted The Day the Clown Cried, a disturbing tale focusing on a famous clown forced by the Nazis to lead children to their deaths in the gas chambers. Widely speculated to be either a transcendent masterpiece or an obscene failure, the radical feature was never released, remaining trapped in legal limbo. Lewis spent the remainder of the decade out of film, appearing instead in the disastrous Broadway production Helzapoppin' as well as in concert and on the lecture circuit. Finally, in 1979 he wrote, directed, and starred in Hardly Working; though not released until two years later because of financial entanglements, the movie proved to be a major success, grossing over 50 million dollars in North America alone. In late 1982, Lewis was declared clinically dead after suffering a massive heart attack. He was miraculously revived, and the excessive lifestyle that led to his near-death experience became the subject of his 1983 feature Smorgasbord, which later premiered on HBO as Cracking Up before finally bowing in theaters in 1985. In the meantime, Lewis garnered some of the best reviews of his career for his work in Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy, but his performance did not lead to work in other major Hollywood productions. As a result, he traveled to France, appearing in the 1984 comedies To Catch a Cop and Par Ou T'es Rentre? on T'a Pas Vue Sortir. The dismal Slapstick of Another Kind also arrived in 1984, with only small roles in the 1987 telefilm Fight for Life and Susan Seidelman's 1989 effort Cookie, as well as an extended supporting turn in the television series Wiseguy. By the 1990s, Lewis experienced something of a resurgence. Although he remained unable to secure directorial work, he did appear in the major studio films Mr. Saturday Night and Funny Bones. Additionally, he starred on Broadway in a successful revival of Damn Yankees and in 1996, The Nutty Professor was remade by Eddie Murphy.
- Claims he was thrown out of high school for punching out his principal who had offended him with an anti-Semitic remark. Then went directly into vaudeville. An episode of "Seinfeld" (1990) makes use of plot point based on Lewis'(alleged) real-life strategem of secretly leaving an audiotape recorder running in a briefcase he intentionally leaves behind him in meetings to see what some people may be saying about him.
- Born at 12:15pm-EST
- Had open heart surgery in 1983.
- Underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 1992.
- Jerry took his last name from his actor-father's stage name.
- He is known as a clothes horse. He gives away suits rather than having them cleaned and refuses to wear a pair of socks more than once.
- He was presented the French Legion of Honor in 1984 and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977.
- He taught a class in film at the University of California.
- In 1995, he became the highest paid performer in Broadway history for his role as the Devil in "Damn Yankees".
- Son of Danny Lewis.
- Oldest son Gary Lewis and his soft-rock group The Playboys had several pop hits in the 1960s, including "This Diamond Ring".
- He and Dean Martin were the world's top box-office earners from 1950-56. Lewis, on his own, also ruled as #1 movie draw in 1957, 1959, and 1961 to 1964!
- Nominated for Nobel Prize for his 50 years raising money to fight muscular dystrophy.
- First filmmaker to develop and use video-assist device on location.
- Wrote 10 scripts in 10 years.
- Says there is no gap between comedy and tragedy.
- In Italy, Lewis has been given the nickname 'Picchiatello' (which means something like "nut" or "crazy"). At least three of his movies use the word in their Italian title: You're Never Too Young (1955) which became "Il Nipote Picchiatello" ("The Crazy Nephew"), Hardly Working (1980) ("Bentornato Picchiatello", or "Welcome Back Crazy") and Cracking Up (1983)("Qua La Mano Picchiatello". pr "Shake My Hand, Crazy").
- He was a big fan of The Catcher in the Rye and strongly identified with the main character Holden Caulfield. He planned to direct a movie version but failed to aquire the rights from the book's reclusive author J.D. Salinger.
- Suffers from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis.
- Children with Patti Palmer : Gary (b. 1945), Ronald (b. 1949), Scott (b. 1956), Christopher (b. 1957), Anthony (b. 1959)and Joseph (b. 1964). With SanDee Pitrick a daughter Danielle (b. 1992).
- In 1969, Lewis announced the bold project of franchising a series of Jerry Lewis Cinemas. A firm believer in family entertainment, he said that the one inviolate rule of the chain would be that nothing other than family-oriented films would be shown. The theaters were to be state-of-the-art, easy to operate, and franchised to individuals who could meet the chain's investment requirements. Changing tastes in popular entertainment coupled with internal mismanagement caused the project to collapse within just a few years, and several lawsuits that could have resulted in jail time for Lewis and his associates were settled out of court.
- The character Professor John Frink in "The Simpsons" (1989) is based on his role of Professor Kelp in The Nutty Professor (1963). Also some of Krusty the Clown's off-stage antics are based on him.
- Starred (with Dean Martin) on NBC Radio's "The Martin and Lewis Show" (1949-1953).
- 13 October 2003 - Entered a Las Vegas hospital to kick steroids used in the treatment of his pulmonary fibrosis.
- Wrote, produced, and acted in the film The Day the Clown Cried (1972), which was never released. The film purports to tell the tale of a clown at Auschwitz during WWII.
- Father of 5 sons with his first marriage. Adopted daughter, Danielle, during his second marriage.
- Was teamed up with Dean Martin from 1946-56.
- His film class students included Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
- Sammy Davis Jr. called him the "greatest white faker" as a dancer.
- Was voted the 50th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. Although he is at the bottom of this list, perhaps a bit shockingly, Charles Chaplin didn't even make the list.
- Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 586-593. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
- Came upon his long-time theme song, "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby (With a Dixie Melody)," by accident. In 1956 he had to cover for an indisposed Judy Garland at a performance in Las Vegas, which included singing several of her songs. His performance of "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby," using Garland's arrangement, went over so well with the audience that Lewis has used it as his theme song ever since.
- Despite never having much of a singing voice (biographer Arthur Marx once likened his singing to "the croaking of a parched parrot"), his album, "Jerry Lewis Just Sings" (American Decca: 1956), was a best-seller upon its release, securing a place in the top-20 on the Billboard Album Charts.
- Has been in constant back pain since miscalculating on a pratfall on "The Andy Williams Show" (1962) in 1965. Percodan (a highly addictive morphine substitute, now only perscribed in emergencies) left him an addict for almost two decades. He now uses an implant device that dulls nerve impulses and can be controlled by a hand-held remote control
- Although critics usually referred to him as "the little guy" throughout his career, Lewis was about the same height or slightly shorter than Dean Martin (both were a little under 6 feet tall). To try to make himself look more diminutive next to his partner, Lewis frequently hunched and also shaved a few inches off the heels of his shoes and added them to Martin's.
- Besides Dean Martin, Lewis says the closest friend he ever had was Sammy Davis Jr. Davis would call Lewis in tears at times because of the racial slurs people would say to him about his relationship with Swedish actress May Britt.
- Claims to have never seen Hollywood or Bust (1956), the last film he made with his partner, Dean Martin, saying it's much too painful for him to watch.
- Contrary to belief, the 1976 MDA telethon was not the first reconciliation of the legendary comedy team. In 1960, four years after they split, Martin & Lewis briefly reunited. Both were performing their own separate acts at the Sands hotel in Las Vegas, a club they frequently played while they were together. Lewis caught Martin's closing act and Martin introduced his former partner to the audience, bringing him on stage. For about fifteen minutes, they joked a bit and sang a duet of "Come Back to Me". Unfortunately, the reunion was only a one time thing. Later when Lewis was too exhausted to perform his act, Martin generously replaced him.
- Encouraged Christopher Walken to act. Walken met Lewis while he was on "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950) and Lewis suggested to the young boy that he pursue a career in show business.
- Norman Lear (creator of "All in the Family" (1971)) co-wrote many of Martin & Lewis' "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950) shows.
- Says his favorite Martin & Lewis film is The Stooge (1953) because "it came closest to capturing what Dean and I had as a team".
- Some have said that if Lewis hadn't pursued a career in show business, he would have been a professional baseball player for the Dodgers. He played with the team a few times at charity events and was apparently very good.
- Was best friends with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. They starred in Lewis' home movies after Curtis complained about the parts he was being offered by his studio.
- Was close friends with comic Lenny Bruce.
- Was offered the role of Jerry/Daphne in Some Like It Hot (1959), directed by his friend Billy Wilder. He declined because he didn't want to dress in drag. The part, of course, eventually went to Jack Lemmon and he received an Oscar nomination for his performance. Lewis says that Lemmon would send him chocolates every year to thank him and he now regrets not taking the role.
- Diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2001.
- Pronounced clinically dead from a massive heart attack in December 1982, after completing The King of Comedy (1983) with Robert De Niro.
- 145 IQ.
- Society of Operating Cameramen, (SOC) Honorary Member(1981) Lewis was honored for his contribution and development the first "Video Assist" for the motion picture camera in 1966. This allowed him to view his performance while directing himself in his films. This is used extensively today in filmmaking, known as "Video Village."
- Collapsed at a London show in September 2002.
- Is portrayed by Sean Hayes in Martin and Lewis (2002) (TV)
- He and Dean Martin recorded a radio spot promoting their film The Caddy (1953), and noticing the tape was still rolling, decided to improvise additional radio spots, with Jerry slipping profanities into his dialog. The unedited master recording was surreptitiously taken from the studio and made into a "bootleg" record that sold briskly among collectors.
- For his 80th birthday in 2006, he was given a medal and induction into the Legion of Honor by France, given the honorary title of "Legion Commander." He apologized for not speaking French at the ceremony but said that "even if the French people cannot hear my language, they have always heard my heart."
- Lewis changes white sweatsocks several times a day, always putting on a brand-new pair, and he gives the used ones to charity.
- Jerry suffered a minor heart attack on June 11, 2006 which caused him to postpone his comeback in Las Vegas
- Suffered a mild heart attack on the flight home to San Diego on June 11, 2006.
- Appointed Honorary Ambassador of Peace for the Harvey Ball Foundation along with Brooke Shields, Jackie Chan, A.V.T. Shankardass, Prince Albert of Monaco, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Phil Collins, Jimmy Buffett, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip, Heather Mills, Yoko Ono, Patch Adams, Sergei Khrushchev and Winnie Mandela.
Naked Photos of Jerry Lewis are available at MaleStars.com. They
currently feature over 65,000 Nude Pics, Biographies, Video Clips,
Articles, and Movie Reviews of famous stars.