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“Curb Your Enthusiasm” Star Dead At 76

On Tuesday night, actor Richard Lewis passed away.

The star and comedian, who was most well-known for his role in Curb Your Enthusiasm, died in his Los Angeles Home after suffering a heart attack.

Last April, Lewis announced retirement from stand-up comedy, revealing he was struggling with Parkinson’s disease.

He was 76 years old.

At the time of his death from a heart attack, Richard Lewis was fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Rolling Stone has more details on the legendary actor’s death:

Richard Lewis, a stand-up comic who achieved fame in the 1980s by turning his neuroses into comedy gold and later experienced a renaissance in recent years thanks to Curb Your Enthusiasm, died on Tuesday at the age of 76. The cause of death was a heart attack, his publicist, Jeff Abraham, confirmed to Rolling Stone.

Last April, Lewis revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. “I’m under a doctor’s care, and everything is cool,” he said at the time. “I love my wife, I love my little puppy dog, and I love all my friends and my fans.” He also revealed at the time that he would be retiring from stand-up comedy to focus on writing and acting.

Lewis, who often dressed entirely in black and embraced the title “the Prince of Pain,” gained prominence by joking about his family and his own personal foibles. He quipped about his family’s annual inductions into a “Hall of Blame” in the mid-Eighties, according to The New York Times, and joked that at meals, “if you can match any two symptoms, you get seconds.” (On Comic Relief, he told the audience he had a rearview mirror on his stationary bike since he’s so paranoid.) In 2006, The Yale Book of Quotations recognized Lewis as the originator of the phrase, “The ____ from Hell,” filling the blank with whatever struck him in the moment; the idea that he didn’t actually originate the term became the basis of a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, “The Nanny From Hell.”

He was a staple on late-night shows, appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 22 times and on Late Night With David Letterman 44 times (and he would continue to appear on Letterman’s show when he moved to CBS). As an actor, he appeared in comedies like Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) and dramas like Mike Figgis’ Leaving Las Vegas (1995). But it was Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he played a fictionalized version of himself — one who was perpetually tired of Larry David’s antics — that solidified his place in the cultural conversation.

The Los Angeles Times added:

Comedian Richard Lewis built a career on making himself a punchline, but in HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” sincerity was his specialty.

As a fictionalized version of himself, Lewis often injected the long-running cynical comedy with wholesome lines about the decades-long friendship he shared with co-star Larry David. “When I die, I want you to know how much I care about you,” Lewis tells David in a minor squabble about his will during the show’s final season. “You’re my best friend.”

For more than 20 years, Lewis — often appearing in his signature dark clothing and round sunglasses — channeled his bond with David and his self-deprecating humor to become a beloved fixture on the comedy classic. Lewis died Tuesday “peacefully at his home in Los Angeles.” He was 76.

Lewis’ publicist Jeff Abraham confirmed to The Times that the comedian died after suffering a heart attack. “His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time,” Abraham said.

HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is just a part of Lewis’ legacy, which included a stand-up comedy career spanning decades, a memoir about his sobriety and appearances in Mel Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Leaving Las Vegas.”

In April 2023, Lewis detailed his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, which derailed his decades-long stand-up comedy career. “After 50 years almost, I’m gonna just call it quits,” he said at the time.

HBO issued a statement following news of the famous actor’s death:

RIP Richard Lewis.

Our prayers are with his family and friends.


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