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Beloved Stand-Up Comic and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Star Richard Lewis Dies at 76

Richard Lewis, renowned stand-up comedian and familiar face from HBO’s hit series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” passed away on Tuesday night at the age of 76. The comedic icon suffered a fatal heart attack at his home in Los Angeles, as confirmed by his publicist, Jeff Abraham. Lewis had been battling Parkinson’s disease, a condition he disclosed to the public in April 2023.

In a statement, Lewis’s wife, Joyce Lapinsky, expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love and support from fans, while also requesting privacy for the family during this difficult time. Details regarding survivors were not immediately available.

Born Richard Philip Lewis on June 29, 1947, in Brooklyn and raised in Englewood, NJ, Lewis emerged as a prominent figure in the comedy scenes of New York and Los Angeles during the 1970s. Alongside fellow luminaries such as Andy Kaufman and Elayne Boosler, Lewis quickly made his mark with his distinctive blend of dark humor and introspection. His appearances on late-night television, including “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” propelled him to national recognition.

Known for his self-deprecating wit and candid reflections on addiction and neuroses, Lewis cultivated a stage persona that resonated deeply with audiences. Mel Brooks once hailed him as “the Franz Kafka of modern-day comedy,” a testament to his unique comedic style.

Despite his struggles with addiction, Lewis achieved success across various platforms, including television and film. He starred in several sitcoms, notably alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in “Anything but Love” and alongside Kevin Nealon in “Hiller and Diller.” His film credits include roles in “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Leaving Las Vegas.”

However, it was his portrayal of a fictionalized version of himself on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” that solidified his status as a comedic legend. Collaborating with childhood friend Larry David, Lewis brought his trademark humor to the acclaimed series, earning him a place in the hearts of viewers worldwide.

HBO paid tribute to Lewis, expressing their sorrow at his passing and acknowledging his unparalleled comedic talent. Although Lewis had largely retired from performing due to his health, he continued to delight fans with occasional appearances on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Richard Lewis leaves behind a lasting legacy as a comedic trailblazer, beloved by audiences for his irreverent humor and unparalleled wit. He will be deeply missed by family, friends, and fans alike.