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Richard Lewis, a comedy legend finest recognized to audiences for his position on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” simply introduced he’s executed together with his stand-up profession.

On Monday, Lewis shared the information on his social media that he had been identified with Parkinson’s illness, and after different well being issues, he revealed his determination.

“I am completed with stand-up, I am specializing in writing and performing,” he mentioned within the video.

Lewis remained in good spirits, including, “I’ve Parkinson’s illness, however I am beneath a physician’s care and all the things is cool, and I like my spouse, I like my little pet canine, and I like all my pals and my followers, and now you recognize the place it has been on the final three and a half years.”

The 75-year-old is about to seem in “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” twelfth season and confirmed within the video he had just lately wrapped filming.

The comic has all the time been open about his private struggles, from habit to anxiousness, which is a part of what made him well-known. 

Right here’s a glance again at Lewis’ journey from the stand-up stage to tv and past.


Stand-up profession

Richard Lewis was born in New York, New York, in 1947 and raised in New Jersey, the youngest of three kids.

“My household — it wasn’t an abusive household — they meant effectively, however they have been in their very own world,” Lewis informed the Los Angeles Occasions in 2014, by the use of rationalization for his determination to pursue comedy.

After highschool and faculty, he tried an open mic evening in 1971 in Greenwich Village and was finally found by comic David Brenner.

Brenner helped Lewis safe his first set on “The Tonight Present Starring Johnny Carson” in 1974.

black and white photo of Richard Lewis performing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Richard Lewis on “The Tonight Present Starring Johnny Carson” in 1977. (Tom Ron/NBCU Photograph Financial institution/NBCUniversal by way of Getty Photos )

He continued performing and showing on “The Tonight Present” all through the ‘70s and ’80s, and when David Letterman began his personal discuss present, the “Late Present with David Letterman,” Lewis was a frequent performer.

Lewis can also be credited with the origin of the phrase “date from hell,” which grew to become part of the lexicon and spawned “____ from hell” spin-offs. In accordance with his web site, the Yale E-book of Quotations formally attributed the now-common phrase, “the [blank] from hell,” to him in 2006.

“That simply got here out of my mind at some point and I stored repeating it loads for some motive,” he informed GQ in 2021. “Similar factor with the black garments – I simply felt actually comfy from the early ’80s on, and I by no means wore anything. I by no means appeared again,” he added, noting his signature fashion selection of all the time carrying black garments.

The “Howard Stern” common additionally produced comedy specials for HBO and Showtime, together with “I’m in Ache,” “I’m Exhausted, I’m Doomed,” and “Richard Lewis: The Magical Distress Tour.”

Richard Lewis wearing black in 1990.

Richard Lewis in 1990, carrying his signature all-black ensemble. (Donaldson Assortment/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photos)

In 1989, Lewis carried out at Carnegie Corridor to rave critiques, following within the footsteps of one in every of his idols, Lenny Bruce.

The New York Occasions even made a comparability between Bruce and Lewis, saying, “This famend comic, usually thought of to be the inheritor to Lenny Bruce, is a grasp of long-form storytelling who turns his limitless neurotic power into sensible comedy.”


Habit and psychological well being struggles

All through his profession, Lewis has been open about his psychological well being and habit struggles, incomes him the nickname, “The Prince of Ache.”

Lewis has talked about his alcoholism, telling the Los Angeles Occasions in 2001 that champagne was his drink of selection. He additionally mentioned that although he “bottomed out” on cocaine, he knew alcohol was his main downside. 

In 1994, Lewis went to the emergency room for a cocaine overdose and eventually sought remedy.

In his memoir, “The Different Nice Despair,” Lewis wrote, “The extra profitable I obtained, the extra satisfied I felt that I might grow to be much more profitable if I had a couple of extra drinks earlier than I carried out.”

“I wanted the next energy in my life to assist me in sobriety, which led me to grow to be increasingly more religious. I can not be the captain of my very own ship,” Lewis mentioned in a telephone interview in 2008 with the Jewish Journal.

Richard Lewis with a microphone performing stand up

Richard Lewis has been open about his struggles with alcohol and psychological well being however has maintained his sobriety since 1994. (Ethan Miller)

Lewis’ memoir was initially launched in 2000, then re-released in 2008 with a brand new afterward about his progress in restoration. In accordance with the Jewish Journal, within the new afterword, Lewis wrote, “The chilly onerous fact is that if I take without any consideration the progress I’ve made, I am a goner.”

The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star has maintained his sobriety since 1994 and mentions all through his routines he repeatedly sees a therapist. Though he jokes about their efficacy, Lewis beforehand informed the Los Angeles Occasions he’s been out and in of remedy since 1971 after his father died.

In accordance with a 2020 Washington Publish interview, Lewis has physique dysmorphia, although he didn’t elaborate additional on if or how he was being handled for it. It was additionally revealed he stopped going to remedy in 2013.


Performing roles

In 1979, throughout “Saturday Night time Stay’s” hiatus in early February, the movie “Diary of a Younger Comedian” aired.

The 90-minute TV film starred Lewis, who additionally co-wrote the movie, as a younger, Jewish, up-and-coming comic. “SNL” govt producer Lorne Michaels was a producer on the movie, and it acquired comparatively optimistic critiques.

From 1989 to 1992, he starred within the ABC sitcom, “Something however Love,” alongside now-Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis in a scene from "Anything but Love"

Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis starred in 4 seasons of the ABC sitcom “Something however Love.” (ABC Photograph Archives / Disney Basic Leisure Content material by way of Getty Photos)

Lewis and Curtis performed co-workers at a Chicago journal with a mutual attraction who attempt to maintain issues skilled. On Lewis’ web site, he famous that the sequence is “closest to his coronary heart.”

Whereas recognized primarily for comedy, Lewis additionally appeared in dramatic roles in “Leaving Las Vegas,” starring Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, and “Drunks,” starring Faye Dunaway and Diane Weist.

And regardless of his darker content material, the comic has appeared in some household pleasant fare, together with “Robin Hood: Males in Tights” and a number of other episodes of the WB sequence “seventh Heaven.”

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and friendship with Larry David

Lewis’ best-known tv work is his long-standing position on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” alongside pal Larry David.

The comedians have recognized one another since age 12 once they first formally met at summer season camp at Camp All America.

In accordance with a 2014 interview with Lewis, the 2 have been truly born on the identical hospital three days aside.

“I used to be a cesarean and a preemie,” Lewis informed the outlet. “I used to be born June 29 and I stayed within the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital 4 or 5 days. He was born three days later. We have been in the identical ward collectively.”

Although they attended the identical camp, they didn’t kind an prompt friendship.

Larry David smiling next to Richard Lewis

Larry David and Richard Lewis have been born three days aside on the identical hospital, and later met at summer season camp once they have been 12, although they disliked one another at first. They later grew to become shut pals on the stand-up comedy scene. (Stephen Shugerman)

On “The Howard Stern Present” in 2010, Lewis described it merely: “Hated him. By no means noticed him once more till I grew to become a comic book. Grew to become finest pals.”

When requested why he didn’t like David on the time, Lewis put it bluntly, “He was a p—k,” including, “He was an obnoxious, gangly f—ing a–hole like I used to be” they usually used to bodily struggle one another.

“However once I grew to become a comic book, he cherished my work and I cherished his work,” he continued, explaining they found the camp connection late one evening when Lewis was admittedly drunk.

That friendship led to David asking Lewis to seem on his HBO sequence, “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” as a fictionalized model of himself in 2000.

Since then, he’s been a beloved a part of the present and credit it with a late profession increase and providing breaks from touring.


Richard Lewis and Larry David laughing and pointing at each other on the red carpet

Richard Lewis and Larry David arrive on the 2009 premiere of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” (FilmMagic Inc. / FilmMagic)

“The present’s been on since 2000, so once you consider that, say some man’s in medical faculty, he is 25, he was solely 5 when the present began,” Lewis informed GQ in 2021. “So, there’s been lots of generations.”

In 2021, it initially appeared that Lewis could be unable to seem on the sequence’ eleventh season resulting from well being points. The comic shared the information on Twitter on the time, saying, “Tragically, these previous 18 months I’ve endured a again and two shoulder surgical procedures and [will] not capable of be in #CurbYourEnthusiasm for season 11.”

Fortunately for followers, Lewis was capable of return for one episode.

“Nice information for me! Though I’m nonetheless recovering from three surgical procedures and lacking Season 11 of Curb, LD known as me and requested if there was any likelihood if I felt robust sufficient to do one episode! I’m and right here I’m on the set to shoot it. I’m so grateful,” he wrote on Twitter on the time.

Richard Lewis and Larry David

Richard Lewis was solely capable of seem in a single episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” eleventh season resulting from well being points. (John P. Johnson / HBO)

In whole, Lewis has undergone 4 surgical procedures for again and shoulder accidents and ache, in addition to a hip alternative.


Private life and Parkinson’s analysis

Contrasted with confessional fashion on stage, Lewis has remained comparatively personal about his love life.

He met his spouse, Joyce Lapinsky, in 1998, however didn’t marry her till 2005, when he was 57 years previous.

“I used to be actually needy,” he informed the Washington Publish in 2020, explaining the delay in marriage. “It was all concerning the highway, and I got here first.” 

Lewis praised Lapinsky in a 2020 interview with the Chicago Tribune discussing his ache and surgical points on the time, saying, “I’m so fortunate. I’m so riddled with gratitude that I’ve a spouse who’s doing all the things for me, besides the rehab.”

“After I get down, I feel it may very well be loads worse, actually.”

He additionally famous on the time he was “not serious about stand-up” and wished to spend extra time at dwelling.

Richard Lewis with wife Joyce Lapinsky

Richard Lewis married Joyce Lapinsky in 2005 after being collectively for seven years. (Emma McIntyre)


Then, this week, Lewis made the announcement about his Parkinson’s analysis and determination to step away from stand-up totally.

In his social media video, Lewis mentioned that he was in the course of a comedy tour three and a half years in the past, and at a sure level, he thought to himself, “You recognize, I’m on the high of my sport. After 50 years nearly, I am simply going to name it quits.”

He mentioned he “felt nice about it,” however after he made that call, “s— hit the fan.”

“Two years in the past, I began strolling just a little stiffly, I used to be shuffling my ft, and I went to a neurologist, they usually gave me a mind scan, and I used to be identified with Parkinson’s illness.”

“Fortunately I obtained it late in life,” he mentioned, “they usually say you progress very slowly, if in any respect, and I am on the best meds, so I am cool.”


Previous to his announcement, Lewis additionally shared a loving tribute to his spouse on Twitter.

“I had some nice girlfriends up to now on 12 seasons of #curb that LD [Larry David] ruined for me, however in actual life, my spouse, Joyce, has been my dream come true for 25 years,” he wrote after joking about his fictional girlfriends on the present.

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