Legendary actor, comedian and singer Jerry Lewis has died at the age of 91 years old, as reported by The Mirror. Reviewer John Katsilometes announced the unfortunate news via Twitter, writing:
Very sad to report entertainment legend Jerry Lewis has died today at 9:15 a.m. at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91 … Legendary entertainer Jerry Lewis passed away peacefully today of natural causes at 91 at his home with family by his side.
Lewis leaves behind a large family and his longtime wife SanDee. Let’s get to know more about his children, in particular, his late Joseph Lewis.
1. Joseph Lewis Died of an Overdose
According to Inside Edition, Joseph Lewis died of “acute morphine intoxication” in Utah on October 24, 2009 at just 45 years old. In 2014, his father Jerry Lewis opened up to The Hollywood Reporter, discussing his feelings about his son’s death. Jerry Lewis explained:
To this day I don’t understand it because it’s unfair — not unfair to me, but unfair to him. That he went that way made the unfairness stupidity. But he was my son and he’s gone, and there’s not a lot I can do about that. I beat myself a thousand times. Sam will come to me and say, ‘Are we beating ourselves again?’ I will say, ‘A little bit.’ [She’ll say]: ‘You had nothing to do with that. You sent him out into the world when he was 25. You sent what you thought was a perfect human being. What he did with his time away from you is what the end result showed.’ But I’ll tell you this: You don’t get over that.
Joseph Lewis was cremated.
2. He Was the Youngest of 7 Children
Jerry Lewis has seven children in his life – six sons and one adopted daughter named Danielle Sara Lewis, who is just 25 years old. Most of his children were from his first marriage to ex-wife Patti Palmer, while his daughter was adopted during his marriage to current wife SanDee. Joseph Lewis was the youngest of his father’s six sons – Gary Lewis, Ronald Steven “Ronnie” Lewis, Scott Anthony Lewis, Christopher Lewis, Anthony Lewis and, of course, Joseph.
3. Jerry Lewis Was Accused by Joseph of Beating His Kids
The NY Daily News previously reported that Joseph Lewis referred to his father Jerry as a “vicious man,” who left him “emotionally crippled”. In a 1989 National Enquirer article, Inside Edition stated that Joseph Lewis accused his father of beating his children.
This claim was vehemently denied by Jerry Lewis.
4. Joseph Lewis Was Estranged From His Father at the Time of His Death
Joseph Lewis and his father had not had a good relationship in about two decades and Joseph passed away without being in contact with dad Jerry. One of Jerry Lewis’ other sons, musician Gary Lewis, says that his brother Joseph passed away after feeling abandoned by their father. According to Contact Music, Gary Lewis told The Globe:
Joe had problems his entire life and I blame our father … Jerry Lewis is a mean and evil person. He was never loving and caring toward me or my brothers. I don’t know if Joe’s death is drug related, but I believe it could have been prevented if he and my father had been on better terms. I believe he partly died of a broken heart. [My father] doesn’t really care. He’s more worried about his career and his image than his own family.
Inside Edition reports that Joseph Lewis was homeless at points in his life.
5. His Children Have Never Met Grandfather Jerry Lewis
In Joseph Lewis’ life, he was married twice and had three children, none of whom have met their grandfather. With his first wife, Kim, Joseph had two sons, but the marriage only lasted three years. In his second relationship, according to Inside Edition, he had one other son. Joseph’s son Bobby once told Inside Edition that he would like to meet his grandfather someday. He stated:
I’d really like to meet him, but that’s probably never going to happen. It shows me that even very funny people can have a darker side.