Americans Remember Comedians, Activists Lewis and Gregory
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Jerry Lewis, one of the busiest comedians and actors the U.S. has ever seen, died Sunday at the age of 91. The day before, Dick Gregory, a comedian and political activist, died at 84.
Gregory was one of the first African-American comedians to find success with white audiences in the 1960s. He was known for making jokes and commenting on the differences between black Americans and white Americans early in the civil rights movement.
Lewis rose to fame in the 1940s and 1950s while working with comedy partner Dean Martin. He stayed busy working in movies, television and comedy for another 60 years. He was busy promoting a movie as recently as a year ago.
Lewis is known for his movies, including “The Bellboy“ and “The Nutty Professor.“ He also performed on stage, including a role as the devil in “Damn Yankees.“
While Lewis was known for his comedy in the United States, he was loved as an actor in France. The French government gave Lewis a pair of important awards in the 1980s.
Gregory left his comedy career to fight for social causes, including Middle East peace, animal rights and equal rights for women. He also worked in the 1980s to promote a way of natural eating he called the “Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet.“