Tuesday 23 January 2018

Director Martin Scorsese hails Jerry Lewis as a ‘master’ following his death

The comedian and film-maker died on Sunday morning of natural causes in Las Vegas.

Jerry Lewis (Brad Barket/AP/Press Association Images)
Jerry Lewis (Brad Barket/AP/Press Association Images)

By Kerri-Ann Roper and Julia Hunt, Press Association

Film director Martin Scorsese has remembered American entertainer Jerry Lewis as a “giant” and “innovator”, following his death aged 91.

The comedian and film-maker died on Sunday morning of natural causes, in Las Vegas, with his family by his side.

Scorsese, 74,  posted a touching message alongside a range of pictures of himself and Lewis on Instagram.

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Martin Scorsese awarded Trinity society gold medal

He wrote: “Jerry Lewis was a master. He was a giant. He was an innovator. He was a great entertainer. He was a great artist. And he was a remarkable man.

“I had the honour of working with him, and it was an experience I’ll always treasure. He was, truly, one of our greats. Rest In Peace, Jerry.”

Lewis starred in Scorsese’s 1982 film, The King of Comedy, alongside Robert De Niro.

Tributes from the world of entertainment have poured in for Lewis, known for his roles in films like The Bellboy and the original 1963 version of The Nutty Professor.

He also featured as himself in Billy Crystal’s Mr Saturday Night and in the early 90s won praise for his return to Broadway in a revival of Damn Yankees.

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill posted several pictures of Lewis on Twitter with the hashtag “#Genius”.

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Star Wars

He wrote: “As a child I LIVED for his movies.

“NOBODY could match his on-screen hilarity!

“As an adult I learned he was just as funny backstage.”

Actor Jim Carrey tweeted: “That fool was no dummy. Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy’s absolute! I am because he was!”

British business mogul and TV star Lord Alan Sugar tweeted: “As kid Jerry Lewis made me laugh.He was great when partnered with Dean Martin . Weird he died a day after another great performer Brucie.”

American actor Patton Oswalt said: “Jerry Lewis has passed on.

“I sincerely hope his afterlife is a warm, peaceful… …haven.”

Star Trek actor William Shatner said “the world is a lot less funnier today”.

Comedian Jon Lovitz tweeted: “Oy! Another comic legend gone. What an amazing talent and philanthropist. A long, well lived life!”

Lewis’s career began in his parents’ vaudeville act at the age of five and he was just 20 when his pairing with Dean Martin made them stars.

Lewis also raised funds for people with muscular dystrophy.

Whoopi Goldberg said: “Jerry Lewis passed today, millions around the world loved him, millions of kids he helped w/his telethons. R.I.P. &condolences 2 his family.”

Actor Josh Gad said the entertainer was “one of the greatest of all time”.

He said: “A legend. A showman. A comedic icon. A movie star. An activist. A one of a kind. RIP.”

Star Trek’s George Takei thanked Lewis for “the laughs”.

He wrote: “We have lost a great comedian and even greater heart. Thank you for the laughs and the feels, Jerry Lewis.”

Press Association

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