Stars pay tribute to late comedy icon Jerry Lewis
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Stars pay tribute to late comedy icon Jerry Lewis

Celebrities say farewell to the figure whose career as an entertainer and charity-raiser spanned over 50 years

US comedian Jerry Lewis introducing himself to the studio audience at the start of the 34th annual Jerry Lewis Telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Hollywood, September 5, 1999. (AFP/LUCY NICHOLSON)
US comedian Jerry Lewis introducing himself to the studio audience at the start of the 34th annual Jerry Lewis Telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Hollywood, September 5, 1999. (AFP/LUCY NICHOLSON)

WASHINGTON — The death of comedy legend Jerry Lewis on Sunday prompted an outpouring of tributes from fellow comedians, actors and others in the entertainment world.

Lewis, 91, who at the peak of his popularity was among the world’s biggest movie draws, died at his home in Las Vegas.

“That fool was no dummy,” comic film actor Jim Carrey wrote on Twitter. “Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy’s absolute! I am because he was!”

Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg tweeted “I realize I may be late with all this but all know is, losing Dick Gregory & Jerry Lewis is a gain 4 heaven, but a big loss for comedy.”

US comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory died one day prior to Lewis.

Late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel wrote on his twitter account “Jerry Lewis was a genius comedian, actor, director, inventor, humanitarian, and as a Las Vegan, what I miss most…”

He added a link to a video of Lewis’s performance of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at his annual telethon to raise money for muscular dystrophy.

Actor Robert De Niro said in a statement “Jerry was a pioneer in comedy and film. And he was a friend. Even at 91, he didn’t miss a beat… Or a punchline. You’ll be missed.”

“Jerry lived to make the world laugh, and laugh we did for decades,” wrote television and radio host Larry King tweeted. “His talent was surpassed only by his humanitarianism. Rest well, pal.”

Lewis became known as much for his tireless efforts to promote awareness of Muscular Dystrophy as for his wacky comedy.

Over the course of 45 years, he raised some $2.45 billion for combating the disease with an annual television event.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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