Details on what took the life of the iconic funny man.
The comedy world is a little less funny with the sad passing of Jerry Lewis at 91-years-old. The legendary comedian died at his home in Las Vegas, NV on Aug. 20 and a day later we now know what took his life — his heart simply gave out. TMZ reports that according to the Clark County Nevada Coroner, the cause of death was ischemic cardiomyopathy. That’s when the heart stops pumping enough blood to the rest of the body to keep it alive. It’s an effect of coronary artery disease which causes the narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
The site reports that no autopsy will take place, as Jerry was already under a doctor’s care at the time of his passing. He was surrounded by family members when he left the world that he left such a lasting impression on. The funnyman made millions laugh through his movies including The Nutty Professor and The Bellboy, and his 10 year comedy partnership with the legendary Dean Martin. He was such a beloved comedian and idolized by generations who followed in his path.
Beyond his comedy livelihood was an even bigger role in this world and that was his love of philanthropy. His annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon began in 1966 and the star-filled events have helped raise nearly $2 billion to fight the disease since its inception. Muscular Dystrophy and other related diseases including ALS cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. Jerry emceed the event every year since its inception until 2010, when he had to finally step down as his health declined. He once kept marathon 20 hour live sessions hosting the nationally televised event, but it had to be whittled down to just three in his final year.