April 25, 2024

NEW YORK – Richard Lewis’ official cause of death has been confirmed just days after the comedian’s passing at the age of 76.

The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star died as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest – also known as cardiac or circulatory arrest – at 9:22 p.m. on Feb. 27 at his home in Los Angeles, according to his death certificate obtained by The Blast.

The document reportedly notes Parkinson’s disease as a secondary cause of death. Lewis announced his Parkinson’s diagnosis last April, along with his plan to retire from stand-up comedy.

A progressive disorder, Parkinson’s affects the nervous system as well as parts of the body controlled by nerves, according to The Mayo Clinic. It can lead to stiffness and slowing of movement.

Born in Brooklyn in 1947, Lewis first shot to fame in the comedy world the early 1970s. Known for his trademark neurotic and self-deprecating style, his act often touched on subjects like his alcohol abuse and struggles with mental health.

By 1975, publications including the Daily News were naming Lewis among the “new breed” of comedians, alongside the likes of Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Andy Kaufman.

In his later years, however, he became known to younger generations for his guest-starring role on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” alongside lifelong friend Larry David – playing semi-fictionalized and exaggerated versions of themselves.

Lewis appeared in more than 40 episodes of the series over 24 years, including the 2000 pilot.

David, who both stars in and created the HBO sitcom, released a heartbreaking tribute to Lewis this week.

“Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me,” said the “Seinfeld” co-creator. “He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him.”

Lewis, who was open about his 30-year sobriety, was also praised for his tireless devotion to helping others get clean.

“Richard Lewis helped people laugh and he helped people heal through his tireless, indefatigable belief in sobriety,” actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote on Instagram. “The laughs may stop but the healing never does. It’s the power of recovery and fellowship and solidarity, and it’s available everywhere all at once. A phone call away. Rest in the knowledge that you helped people, Richard. First of all, me.”

Lewis is survived by his wife, Joyce Lapinsky, to whom he was married since 2005.

Copyright (C) 2022, Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Portions copyrighted by the respective providers.

This story was originally published March 2, 2024, 5:55 PM.


source: star-telegram

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