The first time I saw JERRY LEWIS
(1926-Present), I was seven years old. Every Sunday morning, a comedy aired on our small black and white set. I saw him first in Who's Minding the Store?
and was hooked. Jerry was hilarious as this geeky, clumsy guy with the best of intentions and not a single evil bone in his body. Later, in junior high, my best friend Michelle told me she had a big crush on Jerry Lewis. He was her favorite actor. So, I called her Mrs. Jerry Lewis and since we couldn't both be married to him, I chose Bill Bixby who I also liked, becoming Mrs. Bill Bixby. I was watching Bill Bixby in his "Magician" TV series each week. Michelle and I watched the telethons without fail that Jerry held to raise money for muscular dystrophy. It was through those telethons that I learned more of his talents and became inspired to watch more of his films. Later, he became my daughter's favorite. Jerry is a wonderful actor, a great comedian, sings and dances well. In researching him for this showcase, I learned that he wrote 10 scripts in 10 years, composed songs for three movies, produced, directed, and helped out with several films staging numbers and singing songs. Jerry Lewis was born 1926 with the name of Joseph Levitch. His father had changed his name to Lewis and Jerry took that name as well. When he worked with Dean Martin, the two of them were the world's top box-office earners from 1950-1956. Lewis, on his own, also ruled as #1 movie draw in 1957, 1959, and 1961 to 1964! He is truly an amazing talent.
Haven't you seen The Geisha Boy
(1958)? Jerry plays a magician Gilbert Wooley, while working in Japan finds a little boy has attached himself to him and won't give him up. Suzanne Pleshette also stars. It is my favorite Lewis film and it's most endearing.
Watch this and then see these other four films.
(1953) Whenever I hear someone say that they don't like Jerry Lewis because he plays nothing but stupid dorks, I tell them to see this film. This is the best Martin and Lewis film. It shows a more dramatic side to Jerry Lewis's talent. He plays Theodore 'Ted' Rogers. It's an excellent film.
Who's Minding the Store?
(1963) This is it, the one that started it all. I had to scan each TV Guide for when the next Jerry Lewis film was coming on. He plays Norman Phiffier.
(1958) I recorded this one when VCRs came out and watched it again and again. I loved him as Clayton Poole who gets mixed up being a full-time or should I say all-time babysitter to triplets. This film is both funny and charming.
(1960) I'm a sucker for any Cinderella story. I especially like this one with the man being the Cinderella for a change. It's very cute.
*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve
" Date: Sun, Jun 25, 2006 / 8:23:45 AM PST
2009 Won Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award