Curb Your Enthusiasm Actor Richard Lewis Is Dead At 76

Richard Lewis turned to the side in conversation on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
(Image credit: John P. Johnson/ HBO)

One of the joys of the 2024 TV schedule has been the twelfth and final season of HBO’s iconic sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. A big reason why this series has always played as beautifully as it does is the fact that actor Richard Lewis brought his expert timing to every appearance he made in Larry David’s comedy of errors. Unfortunately, the rest of the season is going to be a bittersweet affair, as legendary comedian Lewis has died at the age of 76.

Richard’s passing was reported by Deadline, with the cause being specified as a heart attack. In a statement from publicist Jeff Abraham, the comedian's death was confirmed, along with the following message from his family: 

His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time.

A fixture of the stand-up comedy circuit in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Richard Lewis rose to fame through appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. While primarily known for his stage work, he would eventually branch out into both TV and movies. Most notably he had roles in films like Mel Brooks' movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights, as well as sitcoms like Anything But Love, which would build his resume to an impressive stature.

But of course, his role as an exaggerated version of himself, alongside friend and co-star Larry David, would be one of his final calling cards. Being present for every season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, even despite Lewis initially thinking he’d miss Season 11, his on-screen persona was comfortably close to the man the world had known, while also far enough from the truth to be different.

Sadly, in 2023, Richard Lewis revealed that he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. When such news is delivered to anyone, mortality starts to enter the conversation a bit more than we'd like. However, Lewis continued to work. 

In that spirit, it seems only fitting to pay one final tribute to Richard’s career, via a moment from one of his most recent appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm's final season -- which you can stream with a Max subscription. Which, as you'll see below, is a bittersweet reminder that while the man is no longer with us, he was already looking for ways to cushion the blow with humor:


♬ original sound - Max

One of the key rules in comedy, and entertainment in general, is to know your exit. In some cases, knowing is to merely acknowledge the fact that eventually, we all take the stage door to somewhere unknown. Richard Lewis understood that fact, and he wasn't afraid to make light of it through his chosen profession. 

It's in honor of his craft and his wit that we here at CinemaBlend send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Richard Lewis. May his memory be a blessing as they navigate this time of remembrance and sorrow. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.