Richard Lewis | Acclaimed US comedian and star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has died aged 76

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Tributes continue this morning after the announcement that US comedian Richard Lewis, known for his role in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has died aged 76

Richard Lewis, the US comedian known for his roles in HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and appearing in the Mel Brooks comedy “Robin Hood: Men In Tights,” has died at the age of 76 after suffering a heart attack. The news was confirmed by his long-time publicist, Jeff Abraham.

“His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time,” Abraham said, in a statement reported by Deadline overnight.

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Lewis, born June 29, 1947, in Brooklyn and raised in Englewood, NJ, rose to fame as a member of the New York and Los Angeles comedy scenes of the 1970s. He shared the stage with such luminaries as Andy Kaufman and Richard Belzer while becoming one of the more popular comedians to appear on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” when the King of Late Night Television reigned supreme.

Making his acting debut in the 1979 NBC special “Diary of a Young Comic”, a 90-minute film that aired in the Saturday Night Live slot, Lewis’ national profile grew significantly during the next two decades as his edgy observations were welcomed and celebrated by talk hosts David Letterman, Jay Leno and, on radio, Howard Stern.

TV comedy specials followed, and his first Showtime special, pointedly titled” I’m In Pain,” aired in 1985. He became one of the premier presences on HBO with comedy specials in 1988, 1990 and 1997.

But for recent HBO viewers, he is probably best known for his role in Larry David’s cult-classic “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” appearing in both the 1999 pilot (“Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and the series since its inception in 2000. However, his appearances were soon limited after revealing he had been living with Parkinson’s disease in April 2023.

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Larry David paid tribute to his late co-star, in a statement shared by HBO, writing: “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.”

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