“There’s something about the risk, the courage that it takes to face the risk. I’m not going to get greatness unless I have to go at it with fear and uncertainty.’’ – Jerry Lewis to the NY times
Another star in Hollywood has gone dim. Jerry Lewis, the renowned comedian, actor, and icon passed away over the weekend at the age of 91. He was most recognized for his annual Labor Day telethons and his 10-year duo stint with Dean Martin. This Jersey boy grew from a restless boy from Newark to the mercurial personality that rose to fame in many ways. His most notable film work includes the original Nutty Professor, Cinderfella, and The Big Mouth.
Jerry was born into a family of entertainers, so one could say it was his destiny to rise to stardom. By age 16, he had begun working on his career, performing between movie feature showings, and then worked his way up to burlesque and vaudeville. He met Dean Martin in the mid-40s, and they performed together for a solid decade before parting ways. Lewis went on to a steady solo career for many years to come. Even with his illness, Lewis continued to make films, direct, and work on many projects, even doing limited engagements as recent as 2016. With all his contributions to entertainment, the Library of Congress requested to have Lewis’ personal archives, much to his delight.
My Heart Dims, In Endless Gratitude
When a career spans a few generations, that person has the power to influence many lives. This was the case for me. As a child growing up in the Caribbean, weekends and evenings meant waiting to see what movie the local station would air. I can recall at least 5 of these nights being filled with Jerry Lewis films, and one of the many past time I enjoyed with my family. I loved his humor, the raw naivete of his characters, the slapstick chaos of every story that was timeless. Hearing the news, it was not surprising, but still heartbreaking, and a small light in my heart went out. Rest in peace Jerry Lewis, and thank you for making the world laugh.
Credits: NY Times