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Chris Lewis

The first photo of Chris Lewis on one of his father comedian Jerry Lewis’s movie sets was taken in December 1957 during the filming of Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958). He has vivid memories of watching the filming of Cinderfella (1960) in late 1959 and every film his father made after that until the 1980s.

As a young man, Chris attended film school and assisted his dad in the editing room at their family home. He also worked on film sets and sat in on production meetings. The father and son duo shared a love of film history, so there was never a lack of topics to discuss. In addition to working with his father, Chris spent years as an avid underwater photographer and cinematographer traveling the Pacific Islands. 

Beyond entertainment, Chris Lewis also carries on his father’s philanthropic mission. Jerry Lewis raised over $2 billion for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) with his MDA Telethons from 1952 to 2010. Chris first volunteered at the annual charity event in 1972, and he continued to do so until its cessation. In 2000, Chris began working with his father and MDA President Bob Ross on a wheelchair delivery charity for people in need of mobility aids worldwide. After nine years with the MDA, Chris launched the American Wheelchair Mission in 2009. As its President and CEO, he has been involved in providing more than 800,000 wheelchairs to people in more than one hundred and fifty countries.

Chris became his dad’s road manager, stage manager, lighting, and sound director for his eleven-city tour of Italy and France in December and January 1983 – 1984. He accompanied his father for hundreds of performances over the next thirty years while raising a family of his own.

Chris and Jerry Lewis started Jerry Lewis Comedy Classics in 1995 to distribute his film and television assets and develop new products. In 1997, the company began working with Paramount Pictures to re-master and re-release classic comedies for home video audiences. This work continues to this day.

Chris coordinated the delivery of his dad’s extensive film, television, photographic, audio, and document archive to the Library of Congress in 2014 and personally donated the original storyboards for The Nutty Professor (1963) to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They became a five-month exhibition from October 2018 to March 2019 called “Looking at Jerry Lewis – The Nutty Professor Storyboards.”

After years of research, Chris wrote a book about his dad, Jerry Lewis on Being a Person, which will be released in April 2024. The book chronicles Jerry’s path from a painful childhood to becoming one of the 20th century’s best-loved comedians and filmmakers. Chris is honored to keep his father’s legacy alive for future generations. With his family’s support and encouragement, he is optimistically dedicated to following the path God laid out in front of him.

Friday, April 19
8:45 pm - 10:15 pm
Chinese Multiplex House 6