Last year I did a series on the three biggest comedians of the 20th century – Bob Hope, Jack Benny and George Burns – who adopted all their children.
But they weren’t the only legendary comedians who adopted. Jerry Lewis did, too.
For those who need a brief bio of Jerry Lewis … from Wikipedia:
Jerry Lewis (born either Jerome Levitch or Joseph Levitch; March 16, 1926 – August 20, 2017) was an American comedian, actor, singer, producer, director, screenwriter and humanitarian. He was known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. From 1946 to 1956, he and Dean Martin were partners as the hit popular comedy duo of Martin and Lewis. After that, he became a star in motion pictures, nightclubs, television shows, concerts, album recordings and musicals.
Lewis served as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and hosted the live Labor Day weekend broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for 45 years. He received several awards for lifetime achievement from the American Comedy Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Venice Film Festival and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences He was also honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
His only daughter was adopted during his marriage to SanDee Pitnick (his second marriage): Danielle Sara Lewis (born March 24, 1992.
The story of Jerry’s adopted daughter has taken a controversial turn since his death:
From People Magazine:
“According to his Last Will and Testament, provided to PEOPLE by The Blast, the funnyman emphatically cut out all six children he had with his first wife Patti Palmer — meaning they will inherent nothing.
“I have intentionally excluded Gary Lewis, Ronald Lewis, Anthony Joseph Lewis, Christopher Joseph Lewis, Scott Anthony Lewis, and Joseph Christopher Lewis and their descendants as beneficiaries of my estate, it being my intention that they shall receive no benefits hereunder,” the will, written in 2012, states.
“Lewis’s potentially vast estate (estimated at 50 million dollars) will be passed to his widow, SanDee Pitnick. Second in line to inherit his fortune, should something happen to his wife, is his 25-year-old adopted daughter Danielle.”
http://www.angelfire.com/ok/kingofcomedy/article/daughter.html tells a controversial story about his sons and his new daughter.
Daughter Danielle was Jerry’s manager in his last years.
“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.
Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.
WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor
WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!
WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival!
Copyright 2017 Michael Curry