Comedian Richard Lewis Dies; Curb Your Enthusiasm Star Dead At 76

Comedian Richard Lewis has died of a heart attack (via Variety). Lewis, who was 76 years old at the time of his death on February 27, 2024, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in April 2023 and subsequently retired from doing standup (via The New York Times). Known not only for his standup comedy, he also made appearances in film and television, most recently in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and in the unforgettable role of the villain Prince John in the 1993 film "Men in Tights."

Lewis appeared in every season of Larry David's hit HBO comedy. His last performance was on Season 12 of Larry David's hit show, which is planned to be its final. He appeared in just one episode in Season 11— a surprise appearance — as he was recovering from three surgeries. "Richard will always be a cherished member of the HBO and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' families, our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and all the fans who could count on Richard to brighten their days with laughter," HBO said in a statement (per CNN).

As for other recent roles, he voiced Ziggy Alber in "BoJack Horseman" in 2018 and played Stewart Gough in one episode of "Code Black" in 2016.

'A very funny and often dark therapy session'

In a 2014 Los Angeles Times review of Richard Lewis' standup, Susan King described his "neurotically perceptive comedy routines" that "hover in the realm of performance art," likening them "sitting in on a very funny and often dark therapy session." But even outside of his standup, Lewis was not hesitant to dive into the darker side of his life, including his experiences with addiction. 

As CBS News reported, he experienced substance abuse issues before going sober in 1994 after alcoholism brought him close to death. He chronicled his experiences in his 2000 book, "The Other Great Depression," in which he wrote, "One day I'm going to die. I'm about as sure of that as I am that I'll never learn how to record a show in advance on my VCR. ... But until that occurs ... the one thing I'm most proud of is that I am no longer ruled by alcohol. ... Now I don't have the craving for alcohol, I have the craving for clarity and life."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).