Richard Lewis announces stand-up retirement with Parkinson’s diagnosis

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Richard Lewis, the 78-year-old comedian and co-star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” posted a video on Sunday to give a little update about his life and career. He knows that fans have been wondering if he’ll ever tour again. The answer to that appears to be “no” due to a feeling of completion with what he’s done with that art form after 50 years, but also a series of health problems.

In the joke-free but still upbeat video, Lewis says that three-and-a-half years ago he completed a tour and felt that if he were to stop, he’d be going out on top. Then, afterward, “the shit hit the fan,” as he put it, and he underwent four back-to-back surgeries, including a hip replacement. Two years ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

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He was quick to assure people that he spotted it early, he got it late in life, he’s under a doctor’s care, and he’s on all the right meds. But he won’t be coming to an arts center near you. “I’m focusing on writing and on acting,” he said. Earlier in the video he commented on how great the upcoming season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” was to shoot. 

The quick-witted, head-clutching, self-deprecating, and neurotic Lewis became a major presence on the circuit beginning in the late 1980s. As he is quick to remind, he came up with the description “from hell” to describe something massive. From 1989 to 1992 he starred opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in the sit-com “Anything But Love” in which he played an ink-stained reporter. On film, he’s had small parts in goofy comedies like “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Sandy Wexler,” but also was the lead in the independent addiction drama “Drunks” in 1995.


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