Larry David Pays Tribute to Richard Lewis: ‘Like a Brother to Me … the Funniest Person and Also the Sweetest’

Larry David has offered a tribute to his longtime “Curb Your Enthusiasm” co-star and friend Richard Lewis, who died of a heart attack Tuesday at the age of 76.

“Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me,” David wrote in a statement Wednesday, shared by HBO. “He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him.”

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Lewis emerged as a fan favorite over his appearances across more than 40 episodes of “Curb,” including the 2000 pilot. Like David, Lewis played a somewhat fictionalized version of himself in the series. In 2021, Lewis publicly announced that he would not return to the long-running program to take time to recover from three surgeries. However, he later reversed course to make a one-scene appearance. He returned again for Season 12, which is currently airing new episodes on HBO.

“I’ve devoted my life to comedy and my sobriety the last almost 27 years. I’m overwhelmed with joy right now,” Lewis told Variety in 2021 regarding his return to “Curb.” “I never learned how to keep joy in my head for more than a minute, but I’m breaking all records for my life today.”

Jamie Lee Curtis, who co-starred with Lewis on the four-season ABC comedy series “Anything but Love” through the early ’90s, also paid tribute to the late comedian on Wednesday through a post on Instagram.

“Richard’s last text to me, was hoping that I could convince ABC/Disney to put out another boxed set of episodes of the show,” Curtis wrote. “He also is the reason I am sober. He helped me. I am forever grateful for him for that act of grace alone. He found love with Joyce and that, of course, besides his sobriety, is what mattered most to him. I’m weeping as I write this. Strange way of saying thank you to a sweet and funny man. Rest in laughter, Richard. My Marty, I love you, Hannah!”

HBO also released a statement following news of Lewis’ death.

“We are heartbroken to learn that Richard Lewis has passed away. His comedic brilliance, wit and talent were unmatched,” a spokesperson for the network said. “Richard will always be a cherished member of the HBO and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ families, our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and all the fans who could count on Richard to brighten their days with laughter.”

“Richard Lewis was part of a changing of the guard in stand-up history during the 1970s; his work exemplified and anticipated the deeply personal, raw, introspective and yes, neurotic, tone that has come to color so much contemporary comedy,” said Journey Gunderson, executive director of the National Comedy Center. “His influence on the art form was profound, and we are proud to preserve his enduring contribution to comedy’s heritage.”

See more tributes to Richard Lewis below.

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