Curb Your Enthusiasm star Richard Lewis dies aged 76 after suffering heart attack

28 February 2024, 22:18 | Updated: 28 February 2024, 22:19

Richard Lewis has died aged 76.
Richard Lewis has died aged 76. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The stand-up comedian has died aged 76 a year after he announced his Parkinson's diagnosis.

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He died at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack, his publicist Jeff Abraham confirmed on Wednesday.

Lewis announced he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2023 and said he would be retiring from comedy.

He wrote at the time: “I’m finished with standup, I’m just focusing on writing and acting.

“I have Parkinson’s Disease, but I’m under a doctor’s care and everything is cool and I love my wife, I love my little puppy dog, and I love all my friends and my fans, and now you know where it’s been at the last three-and-a-half years.”

Born in New York, Lewis began his career in stand-up after graduating from The Ohio State University in 1969.

He was best known for playing a version of himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm as well as Prince John in Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

His role in the former was the result of his friendship with fellow comedian Larry David, who was the producer and also featured in the series.

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Lewis starred alongside Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Lewis starred alongside Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Picture: Alamy

Paying tribute to Lewis, his co-star said: “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.

“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 was also the creator behind the term “from hell” - as in “the day from hell”.

He said of the now commonly used term: "That just came out of my brain one day and I kept repeating it a lot for some reason."

Lewis also played Marty Gold, the romantic co-lead opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, in the ABC series Anything But Love.

Comedy Central named Lewis one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time and he earned a berth in GQ magazine's list of the 20th Century's Most Influential Humourists.

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

He is survived by his wife, Joyce Lapinsky.

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