Richard Lewis Biography

(Comedian & Actor)

Birthday: June 29, 1947 (Cancer)

Born In: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Richard Lewis is a famous American comedian and actor, whose comic talent has placed him amongst the giants of the American comedy world like David Letterman, Larry David, Ray Leno, etc. His famous nickname ‘The Prince of Pain’ is the most accurate moniker for the hair tearing and morose yet hilarious persona that he has adapted for the television. Lewis started his comic career by briefly appearing on television programmes like Saturday Night live and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson but as his talent slowly started to unfold, he started getting more and more opportunities to portray his talent on television and silver screen. He also did many movies like, ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’, ‘Leaving Las Vegas’, ‘Once Upon a Crime’, etc. Lewis is not just an actor and comedian of exceptional talent, he is also a writer and all his life, he has contributed comic material to major magazines, including Playboy, and also released his memoir titled ‘The Other Great Depression’ in which he chronicled his lifelong struggle with drugs and alcoholism.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Richard Philip Lewis

Died At Age: 76


Spouse/Ex-: Joyce Lapinsky (m. 2005)

mother: Blanche Lewis

Born Country: United States

Alcoholics Jewish Actors

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

Died on: February 27, 2024

place of death: Los Angeles, California, United States

Diseases & Disabilities: Depression

Cause of Death: Heart Attack

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Dwight Morrow High School, Ohio State University

  • 1

    What controversies had Richard Lewis been involved in?

    Richard Lewis had been involved in several controversies throughout his career, including public feuds with other comedians and controversial remarks made during his stand-up performances.

  • 2

    Had Richard Lewis written any books?

    Yes, Richard Lewis had written a book titled "The Other Great Depression," which explores his struggles with addiction and mental health issues.

  • 3

    Is Richard Lewis known for his work in television?

    Yes, Richard Lewis was known for his work on television, particularly for his role as a comedian and actor on the TV show "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

  • 4

    What was Richard Lewis's comedic style?

    Richard Lewis was known for his self-deprecating humor, neurotic personality, and rapid-fire delivery in his stand-up comedy routines.

  • 5

    Had Richard Lewis ever toured as a stand-up comedian?

    Yes, Richard Lewis had toured extensively as a stand-up comedian, performing his comedy routines in various cities and venues around the world.

Childhood & Early Life
Richard Lewis was born in Brooklyn, New York City, in a middle-class household; his father was a caterer and mother was a small-time actress.
He studied marketing and communications from the Ohio State University and later started working as a librarian in the archives of the Museum of Modern Art.
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Lewis realized his talent for acting and knack for comedy and decided to pursue comedy professionally. This realization came to him at the time when he was successfully contributing ad copy and comedic material to other comedians.
His very first professional comic stint was with New York’s Improvisation Comedy Club in the early 1970s and by 1974 he managed to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, which meant that his talent was no longer hidden.
Lewis started making regular appearances on The Sonny and Cher Show. It was around this time he earned the nickname ‘The Prince of Pain’ because of his TV guise of an angry and grumpy person.
Lewis did many little stints for shows like Saturday Night Live, made numerous television appearances and toured along with other comics on—especially the comic concert with Jamie Lee Curtis, which earned him his own cable special ‘I’m in Pain’.
He acted with Don Rickles in the short-lived TV series ‘Daddy Dearest’. He had a recurring role in ‘Rude Awakening’, as ‘Rabbi Richard Glass’ on the dramatic series ‘7th Heaven’, and appeared on the ‘Tales from the Crypt’.
Lewis did not only perform comedy routines, he also wrote hilarious and satirical comic articles for many magazines, one of which is ‘Playboy’. He was also endorsing popular brands in the 1990s, like, Boku, Snapple and Certs breath mints.
Lewis made his mark on the silver screen with brief: ‘Once Upon a Crime (1992)’, ‘Wagons East! (1994)’, ‘Leaving Las vegas (1995)’, Mel Brooks’ ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1997)’—in which he played ‘Prince John’, ‘The Wrong Guys (1998)’, etc.
Lewis is also an author and apart from writing comic articles and columns for various American magazines, he released his own book in 2001, titled ‘The Other Great Depression’—a book about his struggle with recovering from alcoholism.
His recent cameos were in ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ along with Chris Rock and as Charlie Sheen's accountant in ‘Two and a Half Men’. He also has a recurring role in Larry David’s successful venture ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’.
He has completed filming “Squirrels To The Nuts”, a Peter Bogdanovich film due for release in 2014, starring Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots and Cybill Shepherd, among others
Major Works
Although Lewis is a multi-faceted personality with a record in stage performances, TV and film acting and writing but his forte is his unique comic routines, which he incorporated in various TV series and movies.
Personal Life & Legacy
Lewis married his long-term girlfriend and ‘soulmate’ Joyce Lapinsky in 2005. When he decided to get married to Lapinsky, he took her to meet with his therapist for his opinion on her.
Facts About Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis was known for his unique fashion sense, often sporting colorful and eccentric outfits on stage and screen.

He was a talented writer and has authored several humorous books, showcasing his wit and storytelling abilities beyond his stand-up comedy.

Richard Lewis was an avid collector of vintage movie posters and memorabilia, demonstrating his passion for cinema history.

He was a skilled improvisational actor, having appeared in numerous improv comedy shows and demonstrating his quick thinking and comedic timing.

Richard Lewis was a dedicated animal lover and advocate, supporting various animal welfare organizations and using his platform to raise awareness about animal rights issues.

See the events in life of Richard Lewis in Chronological Order

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