Encore celebrates Jerry Lewis with original feature-length documentary
By April MacIntyre Mar 15, 2011, 20:41 GMT
American comedian Jerry Lewis (R) entertains Tarni Cavanagh in Melbourne, Lewis is working with Australian firefighters as part of his lifelong campaign as International Patron of Muscular Dystrophy Foundation and is in Australia to raise local awareness and research funding for muscular dystrophy. EPA/JULIAN SMITH
Jerry Lewis is an American institution in film, directing, philanthropy and dance, and he is a creative engineer of sorts whose pioneering work in refining the designs for the Video Assist Machine back in 1960 revolutionized how crew worked and monitored captured footage.
It’s Jerry’s 85th birthday Wednesday, March 16th, and Encore announces that “The King of Comedy” will be honored late summer with a feature-length original documentary, which is currently in production.
The documentary will uncover the influence that Lewis has had on the entertainment industry and his relevance today, as evidenced recently by the announcement that three of his films are being remade: The Bellboy, Cinderfella, and The Family Jewels. Slated to appear include Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin, Chevy Chase, Woody Harrelson, Carol Burnett, Richard Lewis, Carl Reiner, Richard Belzer, John Landis, and many other surprises.
Director/Producer Gregg Barson (director/producer of the award-winning Phyllis Diller documentary “Goodnight, We Love You”) has been working with Jerry for the past three years, filming him in action on concert tours; to France at the Cannes Film Festival; and behind-the-scenes at the MDA Telethon, of which he is the National Chairman and has helped to raise over 2 billion dollars to date.
Barson is the only filmmaker to be granted rare and unlimited access to Jerry, who has opened up his private vault of personal archives – never seen before by the general public.
"Watch and see how a crazy man made his living,” said the legendary Lewis. “This will not be a typical biography on him, but more of a candid look at the man himself as he reflects on his career now and over the years,” added Stephan Shelanski, EVP of Programming, Starz Entertainment. “It will remind us of Jerry’s true genius as a comedian.”
Internationally renowned, Jerry Lewis is a renaissance man for all seasons. Performing on stage at the age of 5, he has acted, produced, directed and authored books; was part of the immortal comedy duo of Martin and Lewis; been associated with the Muscular Dystrophy Association since 1951; invented the Video Assist, a closed circuit television system which is used on virtually every movie and television production; nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize; presented with numerous humanitarian awards, including the Academy of Motion Pictures’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
In addition to hundreds of television appearances, Jerry has directed and/or starred in films that include The Nutty Professor, The Ladies Man, The Patsy, Who’s Minding the Store?, The Stooge, Artists and Models, Sailor Beware, That’s My Boy, The Caddy, and The Delicate Delinquent.
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