Lewis was born into a vaudeville family, and at age 12 he developed a comedy act in which he mimed to records. He dropped out of high school in order to perform his specialty in New York City theatres, burlesque shows , and nightclubs. He first met singer Dean Martin in , and two years later they officially became a performing team. Their act consisted of Martin singing, Lewis clowning, and both joining forces for a rousing finale of music and comedy. Martin and Lewis became the most popular comedy team of the decade and appeared in 16 films in eight years, including The Stooge , Scared Stiff , Living It Up , Artists and Models , and Hollywood or Bust After making Pardners , Martin and Lewis had a much-publicized falling-out and dissolved their partnership. Lewis then began a series of solo comedies, starting with The Delicate Delinquent and often working with director Frank Tashlin. In he signed a new contract with Paramount that gave him 60 percent of box-office profits and allowed him to write and direct his own films, beginning with The Bellboy His films displayed an inventive use of locations, such as the Florida hotel in The Bellboy , and sets, such as the full-size room school built for The Ladies Man. His comedy version of the Jekyll and Hyde story, The Nutty Professor , opened to good reviews and is generally considered to be his best film, with the hapless Professor Kelp Lewis transformed through the magic of chemistry into the smarmy , egocentric Buddy Love—a parody of Martin—whose smug confidence helps attract a beautiful student Stella Stevens.
10 Great Jerry Lewis Movies to Stream
Movies / TV
Revisit " Sister, Sister " and more '90s TV throwbacks that need a revival now. See our picks list. Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist. Sign In. Up this week. Jerry Lewis born March 16, was an American comedian, actor, singer, film producer, screenwriter and film director. He is known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. He was originally paired up with Dean Martin in , forming the famed comedy team of Martin and Lewis.
Jerry Lewis | 1926-2017
Born Joseph Levitch to show business parents, Jerry Lewis spent his early summers with his parents as they performed in resorts of the Catskills Mountain "borscht belt;" occasionally he would join their act by singing a song. After one year of high school, he dropped out and started looking for work as an entertainer, supporting himself with a variety of odd jobs. He was an experienced one-night-stand comic by the time he was 18; his act consisted in part of mimicking famous performers whose recordings would be played off-stage.
He was For most of his career, Lewis was a complicated and sometimes polarizing figure. An undeniable comedic genius, he pursued a singular vision and commanded a rare amount of creative control over his work with Paramount Pictures and other studios. As late as , Lewis continued to perform in Las Vegas, where he first debuted his comedy routine back in