Lewis died on Sunday at the age of 91. “Sadly I can confirm that today the world lost one of the most significant human beings of the 20th century,” his rep Mark Rozzano said.
Lewis was an actor, writer, director and producer over his seven-decade career. He started out paired with singer Dean Martin and then branched out into solo work like The Nutty Professor and The Bellboy. He also famously appeared as the Devil in the 1990s revival of Damn Yankees.
Jerry Lewis had a large family. The comedian had six sons from his first marriage to Patti Palmer: Gary, Ronnie, Scott, Anthony, Christopher and Joseph. Joseph committed suicide in 2009.
Lewis and Palmer divorced in 1980, and he remarried SanDee Pitnick three years later. They adopted a daughter named Danielle.
Jerry Lewis was still married to Pitnick at the time of his death. And he gushed about her in his last interview with People. “We’ve had 38 years and she’s my right arm, left arm, both legs, head lips and eyes. She’s one of those things people get lucky with,” he said.
Lewis also told People that his greatest accomplishment was “family.” So before he died, he likely made sure his wife and kids would be well taken care of.
Watch Jerry Lewis on The Tonight Show before his death.
But it will be interesting to see if Jerry Lewis left any of his fortune to his alleged love child, Suzan Minoret. She claims that she was born from an extramarital affair between Lewis and her mother, model Lynn Dixon.
In 2009, a DNA test that showed there was an 88.77 percent chance Minoret and Lewis’ son Gary had the same father. But Lewis never publicly confirmed or denied that Minoret was his daughter. In January of this year, Philadelphia Weekly reported that Minoret was homeless and living on the street.
Jerry Lewis probably didn’t leave all of his money to his family, however. After all, he was a charitable man who raised $2.6 billion for the Muscular Dystrophy Association through his annual telethons. (The telethons were the subject of controversy, as some felt they exploited kids who suffered from the disease.) So Lewis may have left some of his fortune to the MDA or other charities.
What are your favorite memories of Jerry Lewis? Let us know your take in the comments section below.
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