Jerry Lewis Fast Facts

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(CNN)Here’s a look at the life of comedian and actor Jerry Lewis.

Birth Date:
March 16, 1926
Birth place: Newark, New Jersey
Birth Name: Joseph Levitch
    Father: Daniel Levitch (Danny Lewis – stage name), entertainer
    Mother: Rae (Brodsky) Levitch (Rae Lewis – stage name), piano player
    Marriages: Sandra (Pitnick) Lewis (February 13, 1983-present); Patti Palmer (1944-1982, divorced)
    Children: with Sandra Lewis: Danielle; with Patti Palmer: Joseph, Anthony, Christopher, Scott, Ronald and Gary
    Made his debut at age five, singing “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” at a resort.
    Was nominated for an Emmy Award.
    Became a spokesperson for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the 1940s.
    Often talks about himself in the third person.
    1946-1956 –
    Partners with Dean Martin for nightclub acts, television appearances and 16 movies.
    1963 – The film “The Nutty Professor,” in which Lewis acted and directed, is released.
    1966 – Hosts his first televised Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Labor Day telethon. This becomes an annual event.
    1967 – Teaches a graduate course in film at the University of Southern California.
    1976 – Frank Sinatra orchestrates a surprise reunion between Lewis and Dean Martin on a MDA telethon.
    1983 – The film “The King of Comedy,” which features Lewis’ first dramatic role, is released.
    1984 – Inducted into the French Legion of Honor.
    1995 – Makes his Broadway debut in “Damn Yankees.”
    1995 – Begins traveling to medical schools to present, with Dr. Clifford Kuhn, a seminar on laughter and healing.
    September 2005 – Receives the Governors Award at the Creative Emmy Awards in recognition for his work on behalf of muscular dystrophy.
    June 11, 2006 – Suffers a mild heart attack on a flight from New York to San Diego.
    September 3, 2007 – In the 18th hour of the annual Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy, Lewis uses an anti-gay slur while cracking jokes. He later apologizes in a written statement.
    February 22, 2009 – Receives the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy Awards ceremony.
    May 16, 2011 – Announces retirement as MDA telethon host.
    August 3, 2011 – The MDA announces that Lewis is retiring as national chairman.
    September 14, 2015 – The Library of Congress announces its has acquired Lewis’ personal archive.

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