Richard Lewis: ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ and Curb Your Enthusiasm comedian dies at 76

Richard Lewis: ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ and Curb Your Enthusiasm comedian dies at 76
Richard Lewis: ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ and Curb Your Enthusiasm comedian dies at 76 Copyright AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
By David MouriquandAP
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Humorously morose US comedian was “one of the funniest people on the planet."

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US comedian Richard Lewis, known for his stream-of-consciousness diatribes and self-deprecating style of comedy, leading to his nickname “The Prince of Pain,” has died. He was 76.

Lewis, who revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2023, died at his home in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack, according to his publicist Jeff Abraham.

A regular performer in clubs and on late-night TV for decades, Lewis also played Marty Gold, the romantic co-lead opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, in the ABC series Anything But Love and Prince John in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

Lewis retired from stand-up comedy last year after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Despite this, he was continuing to appear in Curb Your Enthusiasm’s twelfth and final season, which began airing on HBO earlier this month. He re-introduced himself to a new generation opposite Larry David in the show. 

Richard Lewis, left, with Larry David in a scene from Season 10 of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
Richard Lewis, left, with Larry David in a scene from Season 10 of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."John P. Johnson/HBO via AP

“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," Larry David said in a statement. "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.”

Many took to social media to share their thoughts, including Albert Books who called Lewis “a brilliantly funny man who will missed by all. The world needed him now more than ever”. Other tributes came from Bette Midler, Michael McKean and Paul Feig, who called Lewis "one of the funniest people on the planet."

Following his graduation from The Ohio State University in 1969, the New York-born Lewis began a stand-up career, honing his craft on the circuit with other contemporaries also just starting out like Jay Leno, Freddie Prinze and Billy Crystal.

Unlike contemporary Robin Williams, Lewis allowed audiences into his world and melancholy, pouring his torment and pain onto the stage. Fans favorably compared him to the ground-breaking comedian Lenny Bruce.

After getting sober from drugs and alcohol in 1994, Lewis put out his 2008 memoir, “The Other Great Depression” — a collection of fearless, essay style riffs on his life — and “Reflections from Hell.”

He is survived by his wife, Joyce Lapinsky.

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