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Jerry Lewis



Perhaps no popular film artist in history inspired quite so many conflicting opinions and emotions as actor/comedian Jerry Lewis. Often reviled in his native United States but worshipped as a genius throughout much of Europe and especially France, Lewis took slapstick comedy to new realms of absurdity and outrageousness, his anarchic vision dividing audiences who found him infantile and witless from those who applauded the ambitions of his sight gags, his subversions of standard comedic patterns, and his films' acute criticisms of American values. Regardless of opinion, he was not only one of the biggest stars of the postwar era but also one of the most powerful, and as the writer, director, and producer of many of his features, he qualified as a comic auteur firmly in the tradition of Chaplin and Keaton.

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