Brilliant Comedic Mind Richard Lewis Passes Away Aged 76 -
Larry David and Richard Lewis

Larry David and Richard Lewis

Brilliant Comedic Mind Richard Lewis Passes Away Aged 76

by Paul Cashmere on February 29, 2024

in News

Richard Lewis, one of the brilliant minds of comedy, has passed away at age 76.

Richard revealed he had Parkinson’s Disease in 2023. His publicist Jeff Abraham said he died from a heart attack.

Richard starred on movies like ‘Anything but Love’ and ‘Robin Hood: Men In Tights’ but for the last 24 years Richard Lewis played Richard Lewis alongside Larry David playing Larry David in ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’. The two were lifelong friends. Well, at least they knew each other a lifetime but didn’t get on as kids.

“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,” Larry David said in a statement.

In their Podcast ‘The History of Curb Your Enthusiasm’, just the last episode ‘S1 Ep4 The Bracelet’ was Susie Essman and Jeff Garlin talking about Richard. Susie and Jeff and Richard all did standup together in the early days when they were starting out and Richard was already an established headline comedian. “He was such hipster,” Susie said. Lewis was called the Jimi Hendrix of comedy. “Remember we would go out on tour. He would always had to go last”, Jeff says. “He came on always to ‘Purple Haze’”.

Susie said, “Richard and Larry were born in the same hospital a few weeks apart. They didn’t know watch other then. They went to the same Camp and they hated one another. They were 12 or 13. Cut to years later, they are both at the Improv on W44th St, they look at each other like ‘you are familiar’. They are both doing stand-up and they realise they were the same boys who hated each other at Sleep Boy Camp and then they became fast friends for the rest of their life.”

Watch how Lewis and David bounce off each other in this first seen to feature Tracey Ullman was Irma Kostrowski.

Jamie Lee Curtis has also paid tribute to her friend.

“I’ve just read that my friend Richard Lewis has died. I remember exactly where I was when I saw a billboard of him about a stand up special on Sunset Boulevard when we were casting the ABC pilot Anything But Love and asked the casting people to bring him in to audition to play my best friend/maybe boyfriend, Marty Gold. I thought he was handsome. He made me laugh, which is the one thing that a strong, capable woman, can’t really do for herself. He got the part when I snort laughed when he mispronounced the word Bundt cake. He blew everyone else away It was a love triangle show and they didn’t pick up that pilot but they came back to me and said that the chemistry with Richard was so great and could we revamp the original pilot which is the show we ended up making for a couple years. He was also a stand-up comic and hated the live audience, where I, who had never done a play, loved it. He used to hide his lines everywhere on the set, on props, door frames, on my face in a close up and was always carrying a clipboard with his lines on them. It turns out he was a wonderful actor. Deep and so freaking funny.

“We went through the death of our friend and costar, Richard Frank, together and grieved the loss of our producer and friend, John Ritter. Richard’s last text to me, was hoping that I could convince ABC/Disney to put out another boxed set of episodes of the show.

“He also is the reason I am sober. He helped me. I am forever grateful for him for that act of grace alone. He found love with Joyce and that, of course, besides his sobriety, is what mattered most to him. I’m weeping as I write this. Strange way of saying thank you to a sweet and funny man. Rest in laughter, Richard. My Marty, I love you, Hannah!”

Richard first appeared on the Johnny Carson show in 1974 and in 1982 made his debut on Late Night with David Letterman.

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