Richard Lewis, Comedian and Beloved ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Star, Dies at 76
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Tv Richard Lewis, Comedian and Beloved ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Star, Dies at 76

Richard Lewis, Comedian and Beloved ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Star, Dies at 76

Richard Lewis, Comedian and Beloved ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Star, Dies at 76

Richard Lewis, the beloved stand-up comedian and longtime star of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has died at age 76. IndieWire confirmed the news with his representatives. Lewis shared a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, that he’d received two years earlier, in April 2023 and announced at that time he was stepping away from stand-up comedy.

Comedian/Actor Richard Lewis passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles last night after suffering a heart attack, according to his publicist Jeff Abraham. Lewis’ wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship, and support and asks for privacy at this time.

Lewis appears in the 12th season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” created by his co-star and friend Larry David, which is now in its last run of episodes on HBO. In the comedy series, Lewis played a version of himself as a misanthropic comic in Los Angeles, entangled in Larry’s various awkward social schemes. He was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2006 as part of the ensemble for the long-running HBO series. He did reappear in Season 11 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” even after announcing he wouldn’t return to the series.

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Throughout his comedy career, Lewis appeared as a guest on 22 episodes of “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and also appeared on series including “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Two and a Half Men,” and “Everybody Hates Chris,” often as versions of himself. He also lent his voice to “BoJack Horseman” in 2018 for the episode “Head in the Clouds.”

Lewis’s health struggles were well known: He was extremely open about the devastating back and shoulder injuries he’d been suffering for years — the level of pain was “100 out of 100,” he told the Chicago Tribune. Watching him over the 24 years of “Curb” is startling, with him starting out in good condition in his mid-50s and then obviously being in such pain in later seasons that he could barely move, and when he did, with a palpable slowness.

His ability to open up about his struggles was reflective of a comic sensibility that looked at life head-on, taking it on its own terms. It’s what Lewis said he loved so much about his favorite screen comedian, Buster Keaton, in a beautiful video tribute to the silent film star for TCM in 2011: That no matter what he faced, he was undaunted. That didn’t mean he wasn’t scared. It just means you find a way to get through. Part of Lewis’s comedy also centered on his decades-long struggle with addiction. In 1994 he got sober, and stayed that way for the rest of his life. You could say, getting sober was part of him facing life head-on as well.

But Lewis, intriguingly, always wore all-Black in his appearances, including on “Curb,” as if he was mourning something. And frequently on that show, he was, including a memorable episode when he balks at Larry David’s insensitivity over his parakeet just having died. “If it had been a parrot, now that would have been a tragedy,” David said. Uproarious stuff, but tinged with an awareness of death that seemed omnipresent for Lewis.

His last appearance on “Curb” before his death was just 10 days ago, when he appeared on a golf course with David and engaged in a long, improvised bit about how he wanted to leave everything to David, an act of munificence that made David uncomfortable, to the point that he said he hoped he’d die first so Lewis didn’t have the opportunity to bequeath him anything.

Lewis would probably say: Hey, who cares who goes first. We’re all getting there in the end.

Reporting by Brian Welk.

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