Richard Lewis, Curb Your Enthusiasm star and standup comic, dies aged 76

Lewis announced retirement from standup last year due to Parkinson’s diagnosis but is featured in season 12 of show

Richard Lewis, Larry David’s costar in Curb Your Enthusiasm and a beloved standup comedian has died at the age of 76.

Lewis said last year that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and was stepping off the standup stage. Despite that partial retirement, he was in the currently airing season 12 of the Curb Your Enthusiasm show on HBO.

Lewis died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack, according to his publicist Jeff Abraham of Jonas Public Relations.

“His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time,” Abraham said in a statement.


The acclaimed comedian was known for exploring his neuroses in frantic, stream-of-consciousness diatribes while dressed in all-black, leading to his nickname The Prince of Pain.

A regular performer in clubs and on late-night TV for decades, Lewis also played Marty Gold, the romantic co-lead opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, in the ABC series Anything But Love and the reliably neurotic Prince John in Mel Brooks’s Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

He reintroduced himself to a new generation opposite Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, kvetching regularly.

“I’m paranoid about everything in my life. Even at home. On my stationary bike, I have a rear-view mirror, which I’m not thrilled about,” he once joked onstage.

To TV host and fellow comedian Jimmy Kimmel, Lewis said: “This morning, I tried to go to bed. I couldn’t sleep. I counted sheep but I only had six of them and they all had hip replacements.”

The Comedy Central channel named Lewis one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time and he earned a berth in GQ magazine’s list of the 20th Century’s Most Influential Humorists. He also lent his humour for charity causes, including Comic Relief and Comedy Gives Back.

“Watching his stand-up is like sitting in on a very funny and often dark therapy session,” the Los Angeles Times said in 2014. Philadelphia’s City Paper called him “the Jimi Hendrix of monologists”.

Mel Brooks once said he “may just be the Franz Kafka of modern-day comedy”. – Guardian