Richard Lewis, stand-up comic and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' star, dies at 76

Nardine Saad and Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

“I was 23, and all sorts of people were coming in and out and watching me, like Steve Allen and Bette Midler. David Brenner certainly took me under his wing. To drive home to my little dump in New Jersey often knowing that Steve Allen said, ‘You got it,’ that validation kept me going in a big, big way,” Lewis said.

As he wrote in “The Other Great Depression: How I’m Overcoming, on a Daily Basis, at Least a Million Addictions and Dysfunctions and Finding a Spiritual (Sometimes) Life,” Lewis was 44 when he was hospitalized after suffering from a lethal mix of alcohol and drugs. He decided to get sober in 1995, which according to his biography, he was “especially grateful for.”

In 2015, he published his second book, “Reflections from Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide On How Not To Live,” with his longtime friend, artist Carl Nicholas Titolo, who provided the illustrations.

Stars including “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, Albert Brooks and Jamie Lee Curtis, comedian Paul Feig and “Curb” co-star Ben Stiller paid tribute to Lewis, remembering his contributions to the comedy scene.

“RIP Richard Lewis. A brilliantly funny man who will missed by all. The world needed him now more than ever,” wrote“Curb” co-star Brooks.


“Sleep well Richard…I’ll try to take good care of our face,” celebrity lookalike Stewart tweeted.

Curtis, who led the TV series “Anything but Love” with Lewis, shared two tributes on Instagram, remembering the “deep and freaking funny comedian.”

“He also is the reason I am sober. He helped me. I am forever grateful for him for the act of grace alone,” she wrote. “He found love with Joyce and that, of course, besides his sobriety, is what mattered most to him. I’m weeping as I write this.”

“I never met a kinder, more empathetic comedy genius. He was so funny. And deep,” tweeted actor-director Ben Stiller, who said Lewis was a friend to him and his parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. “As a kid i remember seeing him at the Improv and how nice he was to me and my sister. Over the years he would always reach out with support and love or a kind word - sometimes out of the blue. It always felt special to hear from him. I feel very lucky to have known him over all these years. I’m sad I won’t see him again.”

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