Richard Lewis Retires from Standup Following Parkinson's Diagnosis

"I'm just focusing on writing and acting ... but I'm under a doctor's care and everything is cool"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Apr 24, 2023

Comedian and Curb Your Enthusiasm actor Richard Lewis has announced his retirement from standup performances following a diagnosis with Parkinson's disease.

Lewis detailed his decision to focus on "writing and acting" in a video shared on Twitter, sharing news of his diagnosis and how he's spent the past few years recovering from multiple surgeries. 

"The last three and a half years, I've had sort of a rocky time and people have said, 'I haven't heard from you, are you still touring?'" Lewis explained. "Here's really what happened. Three and half years ago, I was in the middle of a tour and then I finally ended it with a show. I said, 'You know I'm at the top of my game. After 50 years almost I'm going to call it quits,' and I felt great about that and then out of the blue, the shit hit the fan. I had four surgeries back to back to back to back."

Lewis recalled "months when I was just focusing on PT," continuing, "On top of all that, two years ago I started walking stiffly. I started shuffling my feet. I went to a neurologist and they gave me a brain scan, and I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. That was about two years ago. But luckily, I got it late in life and they say you progress very slowly if at all, and I'm on the right meds, so I'm cool."

The comedian assured viewers he remains in good spirits, sharing, "I'm just focusing on writing and acting. I have Parkinson's disease, but I'm under a doctor's care and everything is cool. I love my wife, I love my little puppy dog and I love all my friends and my fans. And now you know where it's been at the last three and a half years. God bless you."

Last month, Lewis shared that he had shot his final scene for Season 12 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is expected to be the show's last. Lewis's involvement in Season 11 of Larry David's comedy was also jeopardized by those aforementioned surgeries, though he did end up appearing in one episode.

"Hard to believe we started in 2000," Lewis shared upon his final shoot. "The cast and crew all knew we were working for a genius. When that rarity happens, no one ever takes a moment for granted. We love you LD."

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