Richard Lewis Reveals Parkinson’s Diagnosis, But Says ‘Everything Is Cool’
Comedian Richard Lewis revealed that he has Parkinson’s disease and plans to step away from stand-up comedy, but not acting and writing.
“I have Parkinson’s disease, but I’m under a doctor’s care, and everything is cool,” Lewis said in a video shared on social media yesterday, April 23. “I love my wife, I love little puppy dog, and I love all my friends and my fans.”
In the clip, Lewis explained to fans why he hasn’t been touring and the “rocky time” he’s had the last several years. About three-and-a-half years ago, Lewis had just finished a stand-up tour and actually felt content about retiring from the road. But then “the shit hit the fan,” he said. “I had four surgeries back-to-back-to-back-to-back. … It was bad luck, but it’s life.”
Lewis underwent back surgery, shoulder surgery, shoulder replacement surgery, and then a hip replacement; for many months, he was focused almost exclusively on physical therapy and recovery. Then, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
“I started walking a little stiffly. I was shuffling my feet,” he recalled. “I went to a neurologist, they gave me a brain scan, and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. And that was about two years ago. But luckily, I got it late in life; they say it progresses really slowly, if at all, and I’m on the right meds, so I’m cool.”
At the end of the video message, Lewis reiterated that he’s “finished with stand-up,” but he plans to keep writing and acting. Among his upcoming projects, as he noted at the beginning of the clip, is the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm (which is expected to be the show’s last). Lewis said he just wrapped production a couple weeks ago, teasing, “It was just an amazing season, and I’m so grateful to be part of that show.”
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