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Comedian Richard Lewis dead at 76

Posted at 4:20 PM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 16:20:25-05

(CNN) — Comedian and actor Richard Lewis, whose self-deprecating humor and acerbic wit in shows like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Anything but Love” entertained audiences for decades, has died, according to his publicist Jeff Abraham. He was 76.

Abraham said in an email to CNN that the entertainer passed away “peacefully” at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday night after having a heart attack.

In April of 2023, Richard revealed that he had been living with Parkinson’s disease.

Known as a comic’s comic, Lewis made his first appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1974, becoming a staple of the late-night comedy scene.

On screen, Lewis has played himself for years on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” opposite his friend Larry David, at one point joking during an episode this season about which one of them looked worse.

As his career blossomed with cable specials in the 1980s, he also migrated into acting roles, starring opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in the sitcom “Anything but Love,” playing Prince John in Mel Brooks’ movie comedy “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and branching out into drama as a struggling alcoholic in the 1995 film “Drunks.”

Born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, Lewis attended the Ohio State University, writing ad copy while moonlighting by writing jokes for comedians before he began his stand-up career, turning his personal neuroses into the focus of his act.

Lewis’ representative said the comic’s wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanked “everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time.”