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Net worth – $50 Million

“I get paid for what most kids get punished for.”

– Jerry Lewis

 Profession – Actor, Singer, Film Producer, Comedian, Screenwriter, Film Director and Philanthropist

Legendary comedian Jerry Lewis laughs while talking about his touring show in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Oct. 24, 2008. The show, combining anecdotes together with song, and accompanied by a 24-piece orchestra, will open Sunday at the Sydney Opera House. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Jerry Lewis is famously known as “The King of Comedy”. Besides this, he has also known by two more names viz. Le Roi du Crazy and Picchiatello. He is popularly known for his farce in film, television, stage and radio.

Medium – Stage, film, television, radio

Early Life and Career

Jerry Lewis was born as Jerome Levitch in Newark, New Jersey, USA on March 16, 1926 to the proud parents Daniel Levitch and Rae Lewis. His parents are Russian-Jewish. Lewis father was a master of ceremonies and vaudeville entertainer. Danny Lewis, a professional name, was used by Daniel Levitch (his father). His mother Rachel Levitch aka Rae Lewis worked in a radio station (New York City, WOR) as a piano player and also as Danny’s musical director. Starting from his early age he often used to work with his parents in the Catskill Mountains in New York State. At age 5 he made his debut from the song “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” Before he became famous as Jerry Lewis he used his professional name as Joey Lewis. He made this change to avoid confusion with comedian Joe E.Lewis and heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. Irvington High School dropped Lewis out of the school when he was in tenth grade.


Lewis also applied for military services during World War II but was rejected because of the heart murmur.

Genres –character comedy, physical Comedy


Lewis and Martin

Till the year 1946 he worked alone or with his parents but in the 1946 he paired with the Dean Martin and became popular by working with him. Dean Martin is a popular singer. Soon they formed a comedy team Martin and Lewis which became very popular. Not only this, the duo also starred in a comic series for Paramount Pictures. The king of Comedy is also a well known host for about more than 40 years. Unlike other comedy acts, their acts are not scripted but are based on the interaction together. They both appeared in many films such as in My Friend Irma and its sequel My Friend Irma Goes West (1950). They ended their career with paramount films with the movie Hollywood or Bust. Consequently the role of martin became less important and this lead to the fading away of the team Martin and Lewis. In addition the look magazine in 1954 added its cover photo of Lewis without Martin (cropped the photo) that made their relations strained.  Finally the duo ended as team in July 1956.

This became a great story for the DC comics as they released the best selling comic named “The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis ”.


After Splitting

After splitting with Martin, Lewis again started working with Paramount films and became a major comedy star with The Delicate Delinquent (1957). Lewis also released solo music in 1950, “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” and the song, “It All Depends on You” in 1958. Eventually he released his own album “Jerry Lewis Just Sings”.

After working in The Delicate Delinquent he also appeared in Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958) and The Geisha Boy (1958). In 1959, Lewis signed a contract with Paramount. Besides these, Jerry also directed several films (followed The Bellboy) such as The Ladies Man (1961), The Errand Boy (1961), The Patsy (1964) and the well-known comedy, The Nutty Professor (1963).

He packed up with Paramount and moved to Columbia Pictures as Paramount didn’t renew his profit sharing contract. Lewis also took film directing class at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Both of them were again paired when Martin’s son Dean Paul Martin passed away in 1987. Also, after that Lewis bought a cake for Martin on his 72 birthday and sang birthday song for him.



Comedian, actor and director Jerry Lewis has earned a number of awards and nominations. Till date he has received 16 awards and 13 nominations. In 1952 he received his first award viz. Photoplay Award. In the same year he was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award under the category- Best Comedian. In 1954 he received Golden Apple Award for Most Cooperative Actor and Golden Laurel, Special Award for Family Comedy Kingin 1965. In 1978 Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged was given to him by Jefferson Awards. British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nominated him for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The King of Comedyin 1983. The year 1997 was a remarkable year for Lewis as he was honored with the American Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999 he won Golden Lion Honorary Award. After lifetime achievement award he was now awarded with Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s Career Achievement Award in 2004. He won a Primetime Emmy awards and Goldene Kamera Honorary Award in the year 2005. In the next consecutive year he obtained a Satellite Award for Outstanding Guest Star on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2009, Jerry won Academy awards, USA and Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 81st Academy Awards. And recently in 2011 he received Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Personal life

Jerry got married twice. His first wife was Patti Palmer, a former singer with Ted Fio Rito. He married Patti Palmer in 1944. Jerry has 6 sons, 5 biological and 1 adopted with Patti Palmer. Their children are Gary Harold Lee Levitch (legally changed his name to Garry Lewis), Scott Anthony Lewis, Scott Anthony  Lewis, Christopher Joseph Lewis , Anthony Joseph Lewis , Joseph Christopher Lewis (now died due to the narcotics overdose)  and Ronald Steven “Ronnie” Lewis (adopted). Jerry and Patti got separated in 1980. After 3 years he again got married in 1983 to a 32 year old Las Vegas dancer. His current spouse is SanDee Pitnick. Jerry with Pitnick has a daughter Danielle Sara Lewis (adopted).

His idol is Al Jolson.

Assets owned by him

  • Jerry’s (a Restaurant)

In 1958, Martin and his business partner, Maury Samuels, opened a restaurant called The Alpine Lodge, at 8524 Sunset Boulevard. Dean’s brother Bill was hired to manage the place, and renamed it Dino’s Lodge. In late 1961, Lewis opened Maury’s copycat restaurant and it Jerry’s. Unlike Dino’s Italian-based menu, Jerry’s would serve “American and Hebrew viands.”

  • House


Lewis wrote out of the house “On the front door we placed a gold plaque: Our house is open to Sunshine, Friends, Guests and God”.  It consists of a living room, library and dining room having Asian touches like red-lacquered cabinets.

  • Jerry Lewis Cinemas

Jerry Lewis Cinemas has the seating capacity of between 200 and 350. Jerry Lewis Cinema bore a sign with a cartoon logo of Lewis in profile.


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