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Richard Lewis in 2012. Alamy Stock Photo

Richard Lewis, comedian and Curb Your Enthusiasm star, dies aged 76

His publicist said he died at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack.

RICHARD LEWIS, THE US stand-up comedian and Larry David’s co-star in Curb Your Enthusiasm, has died aged 76. 

Lewis, who said he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2023, died at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack, said his publicist Jeff Abraham.

A regular performer in clubs and on late-night TV for decades, Lewis also played Marty Gold, the romantic co-lead opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in the ABC series Anything But Love and the reliably neurotic Prince John in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

He re-introduced himself to a new generation opposite Larry David in HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm 

“I’m paranoid about everything in my life. Even at home. On my stationary bike, I have a rear-view mirror, which I’m not thrilled about,” he once joked on stage.

Comedy Central named Lewis one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time. He was also featured on GQ magazine’s list of the 20th Century’s Most Influential Humourists.

He lent his humour for charity causes, including Comic Relief and Comedy Gives Back.

“Watching his stand-up is like sitting in on a very funny and often dark therapy session,” the Los Angeles Times said in 2014.

The Philadelphia’s City Paper called him “the Jimi Hendrix of monologists”. Mel Brooks once said he “may just be the Franz Kafka of modern-day comedy”.

larry-et-son-nombril-curb-your-enthusiasm-2000-serie-tv-creee-par-larry-david-saison-9-richard-lewis-larry-david-prod-db-hbo-films-production-pa Richard Lewis and Larry David on the set of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

After his graduation from Ohio State University in 1969, New York-born Lewis began a stand-up career, honing his craft on the circuit with other contemporaries also just starting out like Jay Leno, Freddie Prinze and Billy Crystal.

Unlike contemporary Robin Williams, Lewis allowed audiences into his world and melancholy, pouring his torment and pain on to the stage. Fans favourably compared him with the ground-breaking comedian Lenny Bruce.

In 1989 at Carnegie Hall, he appeared with six feet of yellow legal sheets filled with material and taped together for a two-and-a-half-hour set that led to two standing ovations.

The night was “the highlight of my career”, he told The Washington Post in 2020.

He had a cameo in Leaving Las Vegas, which led to his first major dramatic role as Jimmy Epstein, an addict fighting for his life in the indie film Drunks.

He played Don Rickles’ son on one season of Daddy Dearest and a rabbi on 7th Heaven.

Lewis’s recurring role on Curb Your Enthusiasm can be credited directly to his friendship with fellow comedian, producer and series star Larry David.

Both native Brooklynites they first met and became friends as rivals while attending the same summer camp at the age of 13.

He was cast from the beginning, bickering with David on unpaid bills and common courtesies.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce Lapinsky.

With reporting from Press Association

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