Lewis has taken his lifelong therapy fodder and carved it into a compelling art form. With tenacity and a love for his profession, Richard is proud to be entering his 50th year in show business. He’s used his personal struggles through an anxiety provoking childhood, through alcoholism and other addictions and his deep need to overcome the early passing of his father who never had the chance to see his son perform. In general, he felt an alienation that fueled his creative talents that connect with so many others who appreciate his honesty. His early career as a standup brought him to the top of his ranks and that brought with it the apropos nickname, “The Prince of Pain.”
Lewis loves being an integral part of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and is more than elated he’ll be back for a tenth season! In its eighth season, the Curb cast was nominated for a SAG Award, with Lewis in his recurring role playing true-to life as one of Larry David’s closest friends. The series has garnered awards to include 39 Emmy nominations and high praise. Vanity Fair stated, “The supporting cast of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm is a murderer’s row of standup comedians- -Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, Richard Lewis, Cheryl Hines, Shelley Berman- cutting loose in character roles with killer instinct.”
Still, after all these years, Lewis remains addicted to performing before live audiences and is on a continuous “ Tracks of My Fears” stand up tour. In live performance he is often compared to a jazz musician for his wild riffs that fly out into space but always finds a way to float back into rhythm as they splatter recurring themes against a spiraling, lyrical backdrop.
Lewis has been a contributing writer for Playboy Magazine, writing numerous pieces over the years and has penned many articles for numerous publications over the years . He has been featured, mentioned and has contributed to countless books including, “I’m Dying Up Here”, which chronicles the collective coming of age of the standup comedians who defined American humor during the past three decades: Letterman, Leno, Robin Williams, Andy Kaufman, Richard Lewis and Garry Shandling among others, by author William Knoedelseder.
Mr. Lewis has appeared in numerous film and television roles. His first defining film role was in “Leaving Las Vegas”, which set the stage and led to his first major dramatic role as the lead character, Jimmy Epstein, an addict fighting for his life in the indie film, “Drunks”, along with a brilliant cast that includes Dianne Weist, Faye Dunaway and Amanda Plummer. Built around an AA meeting, he received rave reviews. He also starred in the multi-generationally beloved, Mel Brooks film, “Robin Hood Men in Tights.”
Richard is especially grateful for being sober for over 25 years, for having 14 years of a beautiful marriage to Joyce Lapinsky and life with their rescue pup, Bella Luna.