According to Variety, The Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes reported that he died at his home at 9:15 a.m. and his agent confirmed the news. Just previous year, he starred in Max Rose, a drama about an aging musician dealing with his wife's possible past infidelity. Whoopi Goldberg called it "a gain for heaven, but big loss for comedy".
The obituary adds, "Inside the comedy world, Lewis was revered as a genius. I am because he was!" Many critics interpreted the plot as a reflection of Lewis's hard relationship with Martin, though it can also be read as an inquisition into Lewis's own insecurities.
"You son of a bitch", Lewis can be overheard saying to Sinatra in a clip of the moment. "When I met him, I fell apart, just sobbed".
Shawn Levy, who wrote the 1996 book The King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis, said the comedian was never observant, but was still very Jewish.
Since Martin died, "not a day has passed that Jerry did not think of Dean", Cazau told Reuters.
"He had been slightly ill and spent some time in local hospitals, but came home and was planning on making stage appearances" in NY and Las Vegas, Candi Cazau, his publicist, confirmed on CNN. Encouraged by his parents to become an entertainer, Lewis was onstage performing in the Catskills resorts alongside his mom and dad at the age of five.
Over the next 10 years they appeared in nightclubs, on television and in movies, but their partnership ended with a bitter split.