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Richard Lewis, Acerbic Comedian and Character Actor, Dies at 76

Richard Lewis, Acerbic Comedian and Character Actor, Dies at 76

Richard Lewis, a stand-up comedian who first achieved fame in the 1980s with his trademark acerbic, dark sense of humor, and who later parlayed that quality into an acting career that included movies like “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and a recurring role as himself on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” died on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 76.

His publicist, Jeff Abraham, said the cause was a heart attack. Mr. Lewis announced last year that he had Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Lewis was among the best-known names in a generation of comedians who came of age during the 1970s and ’80s, marked by a world-weary, sarcastic wit that mapped well onto the urban malaise in which many of them plied their trade.

He became a regular on late-night talk shows, favored as much for his tight act as for his casual, open affability as an interviewee. And he was at the forefront of the boom in stand-up comedy that came with the expansion of cable television in the late 1980s.

Mr. Lewis later moved into acting. He starred on the sitcom “Anything but Love,” opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, from 1989 to 1992. Beginning in 1999, he had a regular, semi-fictionalized role on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” playing a good friend and golf buddy of Larry David, the show’s star and creator.

He did not appear in every episode, but he appeared regularly, including in the current season, the show’s last.

A full obituary will appear soon.

Orlando Mayorquin contributed reporting.


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