Comedian, Actor, Ohio State graduate Richard Lewis dead at age 76

By Danielle Daniels

Richard Lewis 2015 in Chicago. By AllinLewis – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https



Richard Philip Lewis (June 29, 1947 – February 27, 2024) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. Lewis came to prominence in the 1980s and became known for his darkneurotic, and self-deprecating humor.

As an actor, he was known for having co-starred with Jamie Lee Curtis in the sitcom Anything but Love, for playing the role of Prince John in the film Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and for his recurring role as a semi-fictionalized version of himself in HBO‘s Curb Your Enthusiasm.



Lewis was born on June 29, 1947, in Brooklyn. He was raised in Englewood, New Jersey. He was born into a Jewish family, but was not especially religious. His father, Bill (d. 1971), was co-owner of Ambassador Caterers in nearby Teaneck, New Jersey, and his mother, Blanche, was an actress in community theatre. Lewis was the youngest of three siblings – his sister was older by 9 years, and his brother by 6. His father’s catering business kept him very busy, and his siblings had both left home by the 1960s, leaving Lewis at home alone with his mother, with whom there was friction. Lewis told The Washington Post in 2014 that he suspected that his birth had been a mistake.

Lewis was known for being the class clown and causing trouble in school. He graduated from Dwight Morrow High School in 1965 and attended Ohio State University where he attained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Marketing four years later in 1969. He was the recipient of the Fisher College of Business Alumni Achievement Award in November 2023.



Lewis struggled with health issues resulting in multiple surgeries. In 2016, he shattered his right hand after falling from his roof; in 2019, he had back surgery related to acute back pain; and in early 2020, he shattered his shoulder, resulting in another surgery. In the latter year, it was revealed that Lewis had battled multiple health issues and bore great pain during the shooting of Curb Your Enthusiasm. He announced that he would be returning for only one episode of Season 11. Lewis returned in Season 12, the series’ final season.

In April 2023, Lewis announced he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years earlier. He said he would no longer perform stand-up comedy and was instead “focused on writing and acting”.

Lewis died of a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles on February 27, 2024, at the age of 76.