Richard Lewis Cause Of Death Revealed

By Jennifer Muscato | Published

A huge loss for the comedy world last week when Richard Lewis passed away, and now we’re learning the cause of death for the Curb Your Enthusiasm star. According to his death certificate, Lewis’ death was a result of cardiopulmonary arrest, also known as cardiac or circulatory arrest. The 76-year-old died at his home in Los Angeles on February 27.

Richard Lewis And Parkinson’s Disease

Richard Lewis’ death certificate reportedly notes Parkinson’s disease as a secondary cause of his death. Parkinson’s affects the nervous system and parts of the body controlled by nerves. It can lead to stiffness and slow movement. Lewis announced he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s last April and said he was going to retire from stand-up comedy, a profession he started doing more than 50 years ago when he first got on stage during an open mic in Greenwich Village in New York City in 1971.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Despite his retirement from stand-up, Lewis can still be seen in the current season of Curb Your Enthusiasm alongside his long-time best friend Larry David. In fact, in the new season, there is an episode where Richard Lewis (who plays himself) actually discusses his death and reveals he is putting Larry in his will. Of course, this ignites a verbal fight between the two, who are often snipping at each other on the HBO comedy. Sunday’s episode opened with a dedication card in memory of Lewis.

Started Out As A Stand-Up Comedian

Lewis’ career really started taking off in the mid-1970s when he landed a spot on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. It was a big deal for a comedian to be invited to Johnny’s show at that time. Amid his success, Lewis struggled with alcohol and drug addiction but eventually found sobriety and even wrote a memoir about it all. In fact, following Richard Lewis’ death last week, Ellen head producer Andy Lassner shared on Instagram that Lewis was an “angel” and played a part in helping him through his own struggle with addiction.

Larry David Eulogized His Friend

richard lewis

Larry David also commented on his best friend Richard Lewis following his death. On Instagram he wrote of Lewis “He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest.” The two met when they were just 12 years old at summer camp. David had said they didn’t like each other at first. That certainly changed.

The Career Of Richard Lewis

Audiences currently know Lewis from Curb Your Enthusiasm, but the rest of his resume is long and impressive as well. From 1989 to 1992, he co-starred with Jamie Lee Curtis on the ABC sitcom Anything But Love. In 1993, he appeared in the sitcom Daddy Dearest with another comedy legend Don Rickles. That same year, Lewis starred in the big screen comedy Robin Hood: Men in Tights which another comedy icon, Mel Brooks, directed. Richard Lewis appeared on Curb from 2000 up til his death. The show earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination in 2006 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Richard Lewis married Joyce Lapinsky in 2005 and remained together until his death. On Instagram, Lapinsky thanked fans for their loving tributes to her husband.