Jerry Lewis, Hollywood survivor, showman, dies at 91

Jerry Lewis, Hollywood survivor, showman, dies at 91

August 20th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Obituaries
FILE - In a Oct. 16, 1977 file photo, comedian Jerry Lewis cuts up during a haircut for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lewis was given a $250,000, the promissory note stipulating that he get his hair trimmed. Lewis, the comedian and director whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, died Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, in Las Vegas, according to his publicist. He was 91. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin, File)

FILE - In a Oct. 16, 1977 file...

Photo by The Associated Press/Times Free Press.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jerry Lewis epitomized what it meant to be a survivor in Hollywood.

Through ups and downs in popularity, health troubles and weight fluctuations and the sorts of seismic shifts that take place over decades in the entertainment industry, Lewis always figured out a way to battle back, to reinvent himself, to stay relevant. It's what enduring stars know how to do instinctively; perhaps it's that very drive that makes them stars in the first place.

Through it all, Lewis remained the consummate showman, and his distinctive comic legacy surely will continue to survive for decades to come. The manic, rubber-faced performer who jumped and hollered to fame in a stage, radio, TV and film partnership with Dean Martin, settled to become a self-conscious auteur in movies he wrote, produced and directed, and found new fame as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, died Sunday at home in Las Vegas surrounded by family. He was 91.


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