Jerry Lewis was an American actor, singer, director screenwriter and comedian who was born on 26 March 1926 under his real name Josef Levitch in Newark New Jersey.
He inherited the acting talent from his father Danny Lewis, who was also an actor.
Jerry Lewis started his career at the age of 16 with smaller appearances as an entertainer and comedian. In 1946, at the age of 20, the breakthrough came after thanks to performances with the well-known singer and actor Dean Martin in various nightclubs and bars.
Towards the end of the vexing years, the duo got involved with Paramount Pictures and started filming together. Despite many critics, they got their own radio show, which was later even continued on television. Apart from a film in 1953, the two shot only black and white films. After a dispute in 1956, the duo broke up and Jerry Lewis focused again fully on his own film career. Since that time, his career has gone up steeply. In 1957 he appeared for the first time as sole lead actor in the film "The Delicate Delinquent" on the stage. He also directed himself to direct his films and direct the production. The Bellboy, released in 1960, was the first film he himself had written the script for.
In the following years, Lewis worked his way up in the film industry before he even got his own television series, The Jerry Lewis Show, in 1967.
During this time, the success of his films went back and his TV show was discontinued after two years. From 1970 to 1972 he was still seen in smaller rolls of film, until he finally disappeared completely from the screen. In the time he had nothing to do with the film, he was not inactive.
He appeared on television shows over and over again with his comedy programs, especially to work for a foundation to combat muscle wasting. After eight years of abstinence Lewis returned in 1980 as a leading actor and director in the film "Hardly working" back, but could not build on his previous successes.
After filming another movie, Lewis suffered a heart attack he barely survived, and then retired completely from the movie business.
Then it was quiet around Jerry Lewis. Every now and then he appeared on smaller television shows. His last public appearance was at the last Cannes Film Festival in 2013.
Jerry Lewis died on August 20, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.