Jerry Lewis to be Honored with Prestigious Award

Courtesy of deadline.com
Courtesy of deadline.com

On April 13th, in Las Vegas at the 2015 NAB show, actor, comedian, and singer Jerry Lewis will be awarded the National Association of Broadcasting Distinguished Service award. The award, whose previous honorees include Michael J. Fox, Bob Hope, and Ronald Reagan, recognizes members of the broadcast community who’ve made great contributions to broadcasting. “We are honored to recognize not only his comedic innovation, but also his remarkable philanthropic efforts that have bettered the lives of thousands of children,” said NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith.

Lewis, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice, founded the MDA Labor Day Telethon in 1952; hosting it from 1966-2010. The telethon is the highest grossing charitable fundraising program in television history, and as National Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Lewis had raised over two billion dollars for research and patient care.

The eighty-nine year old got his career start in 1946 when he and Dean Martin paired up and formed Martin and Lewis, a comedy duo who performed slapstick, vaudeville jokes, and songs. The two went on to star in several films and their own radio program. Aside from being in over forty films, Lewis has directed and co-wrote several films, authored three books, taught film directing at the University of Southern California where his students included Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, was in the Broadway musical Damn Yankees, and even starred in a DC comic titled The Adventures of Jerry Lewis. The comic ran from 1952-1971 and featured guest stars like Batman, Superman, Bob Hope, Lex Luther, Wonder Woman, and more. During the 1950s and 1960s, he played first baseman with several baseball teams, and his love of the sport led him to train every year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lewis has been awarded several awards throughout the course of his career including two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, numerous lifetime achievement awards, the Governor’s Award, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is rumored to be starring alongside Mary Tyler Moore in the upcoming film Big Finish, and plays himself in the upcoming documentary about Marilyn Monroe, titled, Whatever Happened to Norma Jean.

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