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Actor Jerry Lewis, now a nonagenarian, returns in new film 'Max Rose'

Legendary comedian Lewis stars in the new film 'Max Rose,' in which he portrays a jazz musician who finds out his marriage may not be what he thought it was.

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    Jerry Lewis poses for a portrait at the Friars Club before his 90th birthday celebration on April 8, 2016, in New York.
    Brad Barket/Invision/AP
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Legendary comedian Jerry Lewis, whose 1960s film projects, in particular, left a major impact on comedy, returns to the screen with the movie "Max Rose."

Lewis stars in "Max" in the title role of a jazz musician who finds out that his marriage may not be what he thought it was. The movie co-stars Dean Stockwell, Kerry Bishé, Fred Willard, and Claire Bloom. 

One of the best-known aspects of Lewis's career is his work with actor Dean Martin, with whom he made films including “The Caddy” and “At War with the Army.” During his heyday, Lewis also starred in such well-known comedies as “The Nutty Professor,” and more recently appeared in projects such as an episode of NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” an episode of Fox’s animated show “The Simpsons,” and the 1982 film “The King of Comedy.”

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The actor was especially well-known for his physical comedy, turning slapstick comedy into "performance art" in films like "The Patsy," as Tracy Smith writes for CBS. (Lewis also directed movies, including “Professor,” “The Errand Boy,” and “The Ladies Man”). 

Telegraph writer John Hiscock agrees that the physical aspect of Lewis’s comedy was something new to viewers. “Lewis displayed a combination of slapstick, silly voices and rubber-faced gurning the like of which had never been seen before on screen,” Mr. Hiscock writes. 

In addition, Lewis helped revive forms of humor that were previously seen in movies but had gone away, director Steven Spielberg told Turner Classic Movies.

“Jerry went back to the silent era and brought visual sight gags back to the American movie theaters,” said Mr. Spielberg, who was part of a directing class taught by Lewis at the University of Southern California.

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