Richard Lewis Dead: ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Comedian Dies at 76 – Hollywood Life

Richard Lewis Dead: Comedian & ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Star Dies at 76

The iconic comedian had announced his plans to retire following his diagnosis with Parkinson's disease in April 2023.

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Richard Lewis performing stand-up
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Richard Lewis has died at 76 from a heart attack. A beloved stand-up comedian, Richard had made a name for himself touring with his act, but he was perhaps best-known to most fans for co-starring on Curb Your Enthusiasm. The news came about 10 months after the comic announced his retirement from stand-up due to his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease.

Richard had a heart attack before his death, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The comic’s publicist confirmed the news of his death in a statement. “His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time,” he said, per Deadline

Richard announced that he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years prior when revealing that he’d retire from stand-up comedy in April 2023, per The New York Times. “The last three and a half years, I’ve had sort of a rocky time, and people say, ‘You know, I haven’t heard from you, are you still touring?’” he said in a video shared on social media at the time, where he revealed that he’d undergone multiple surgeries to treat the disease. “I’m finished with stand-up. I’m just focused on writing and acting.”

Richard Lewis
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Born in Brooklyn in 1947, Richard began performing stand-up comedy in New York City’s Greenwich Village during the 1970s. By the mid-70s, he made his Tonight Show debut, and he received tons of attention for his dark subject matter and all-black outfits that he wore on stage. Throughout the 80s and 90s, he released quite a few specials that aired on Showtime and HBO, and he continued to appear on late-night shows.

He opened up about how he channeled his anxieties into his work in a 2007 interview with The New York Observer. “I’m just so wired by my time onstage, my head is filled with images. It’s terrifying, but it’s also exhilarating. I’ll never not work like this,” he said.

Outside of stand-up, Richard made many acting appearances in sitcoms and comedy films. He notably starred alongside Jamie Lee Curtis on the sitcom Anything but Love in the late 80s and early 90s. He also appeared in Mel Brooks’ hilarious film Robin Hood: Men in Tights and in the 1995 drama Leaving Las Vegas. 

One of Richard’s longest-standing relationships was with Larry David. The two claimed to have met when they were pre-teens at summer camp and didn’t get along, but they reconnected when they were early in their comedy careers and became friends. In 2000, he was cast as a fictional version of himself in Larry’s hit sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. He had finished filming the show’s 12th and final season before announcing his retirement from stand-up.

The final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm premiered on February 4. The final episode will air on April 7. Richard is survived by his wife Joyce Lapinsky, who he married in 2005.