“Forgotten Hollywood”- Jerry Lewis Documentary on Encore…

Posted on December 17, 2011 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   Jerry Lewis at 85 is still doing standup, producing cinema, and remains a vital part of the entertainment industry. A new documentary capturing his current lifestyle will air tonight on the Encore Channel at 8p (EST). It’s called Method to the Madness, and the production will chronicle his life, interspersed with his daily regimen over a three-year period.

   The comedian will be seen on his yacht in San Diego, doing his nightclub act in Las Vegas, and taking a trip to Festival du Cannes in France, the country that has often compared him to Chaplin, Cantinflas, and other iconic funnymen. Interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, and other comedic royalty will explain the influence Lewis has had on their careers. Despite three heart attacks, a bout with prostate cancer, diabetes, and pulmonary fibrosis, he isn’t thinking about retiring.

   Jerry Lewis began his life in show business at age five in vaudeville, performing on the Catskill Mountains circuit in Upstate New York with his parents. After World War II, he teamed with Dean Martin. They made their live television debut in 1948 on Toast of the Town with Ed Sullivan. After making an appearance on The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1950, they signed with Paramount, and were featured in  sixteen movies together, first doing skits in the My Friend Irma-series of films.

   After a celebrated and acrimonious breakup with Martin, Lewis embarked on a solo career in motion pictures. He starred in The Delicate Delinquent, Rock-A-Bye Baby, and The Geisha Boy, while under contract with Hal Wallis. After he formed his own production company, he’s best known for Cinderfella, The Errand Boy, The Patsy, and The Nutty Professor.

   On stage, Jerry Lewis co-starred with Lynn Redgrave in Hellzapoppin’ in 1976. He was also cast as Mr. Applegate in a revival of Damn Yankees on Broadway, which was choreographed by future film director Rob Marshall. In 1983, Lewis received great critic reviews for his screen  performance opposite Robert DeNiro in The King of Comedy.

   From 1952 until 2011, he tirelessly served as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, hosting a yearly telethon to raise money and awareness to find a cure for the disease. It’s estimated he helped to raise $2.6 billion through his concerted effort. In 1976, US Representative Les Aspin nominated Jerry Lewis for a Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the MDA. In 2009, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences during the Oscar telecast.

   In March 2006, the French Minister of Culture awarded Jerry Lewis the Légion d’honneur, calling him the French people’s favorite clown. The nation has long recognized his vast talent as an auteur, who has enjoyed creative control over all aspects of his work, and comparable to Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock. His developmental application of the video assist is still in cinematic use today, lauded by directors Steven Spielberg and John Landis for its easy availability of instant playback after a scene is shot.

   The Encore Channel will repeat Method to the Madness throughout the weekend on Sunday at 11:30a (EST), and at 8p (EST).

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 17th, 2011 at 3:08 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


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