TCM Classic Film Festival to Honor Legendary Actor, Filmmaker and Humanitarian Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis nutty still


The 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival will honor legendary actor, filmmaker and humanitarian Jerry Lewis with a multi-tiered celebration of his remarkable career. Highlighting the tribute, Lewis will have his hand and footprints enshrined in concrete in front of the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. In addition, Lewis will be on-hand for a screening of one of his most memorable films: The Nutty Professor (1963). Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM's 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.

"Jerry Lewis is a very important name whenever movie comedy is discussed and enjoyed," said TCM host Robert Osborne, who also serves as the official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. "Jerry has provided the world with great merriment and laughter, while also showing, in such films as Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy, what an exceptional dramatic actor he can be. Add to that his many credits as a popular director, producer and writer, and you see the reasons we are pleased to be able to honor him for his more than 60 years of contributions to the world of motion pictures."

Lewis' hand and footprints ceremony will take place Saturday, April 12, in front of TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. This marks the fourth consecutive year TCM has featured a hand and footprint ceremony at the legendary theater. In 2011, Peter O'Toole was the honoree, followed by Kim Novak in 2012 and Jane Fonda in 2013.

Following the hand and footprint ceremony, Lewis will attend a screening of his comedy hit The Nutty Professor, which he also directed. As a special prelude to film, Lewis will join award-winning actress Illeana Douglas on-stage for an interview about his extraordinary career, as well as about the making of the movie. After The Nutty Professor, Lewis will stick around to answer questions from the audience.

Passes for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival can be purchased exclusively through the official festival website: In addition to Lewis, this year's TCM Classic Film Festival will pay tribute to Quincy Jones, who will appear at multiple events during the festival, including a 50th anniversary screening of Sidney Lumet's powerful drama The Pawnbroker (1964), which marked Jones' debut as a film composer. Other previously announced events during this year's festival include a screening of the recently restored Gone with the Wind (1939) and a presentation of The Wizard of Oz (1939) in its stunning new IMAX® 3D format. Both films are celebrating their 75th anniversaries in 2014.

The festival will also include three world premiere restorations: Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (1944), which will be celebrating its 70th anniversary; Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1958); and William Wyler's Best Picture Oscar® winner The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). In addition, the festival will feature a screening of the Harold Lloyd comedy classic Why Worry? (1923), with legendary silent-film composer Carl Davis conducting the live world premiere performance of his new original score.

Additional screenings and events for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival will be announced over the coming months.

Jerry Lewis biography

A consummate entertainer and world-renowned humanitarian, Jerry Lewis is not just a cultural icon in the U.S. and France, he's one of "The Most Recognized Personalities on the Planet," named so by Newsweek magazine. He is also the only entertainer ever to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

One of the most successful performers in show business history – with worldwide box office receipts in excess of $800 million (when most tickets were sold for 25-50 cents) – Jerry has received global acclaim for his groundbreaking comedy. He has been said to carry the torch lit by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, which has earned him the moniker "The King of Comedy." As the top box office star in the world from 1952-56 with Dean Martin and from 1957-64 solo, Jerry's brand of comedy has influenced generations.

Celebrated for his groundbreaking physical comedy, "Jerry went back to the silent era and brought visual sight gags back to the American movie theaters," says Steven Spielberg, who once attended a class in film direction taught by "Professor" Lewis at the University of Southern California.

First on stage at age 5, Jerry performed alongside his parents in Vaudeville and later left high school to embark on a career of "Satirical Impressions and Comedic Pantomimicry." He began performing stand-up at the age of 15. After a few menial jobs (drugstore lunch counterman, usher and shipping clerk in a hat factory), his meteoric rise to fame began in 1946 at the age of 20, when he teamed with Dean Martin … and the rest is history! "They were the biggest stars in the world as a comedy team," said Billy Crystal about the duo, who caused Beatles-esque pandemonium wherever they went.

Jerry was the first mainstream filmmaker since Chaplin to do it all himself – writing, producing, directing and starring in his own movies. Still performing at the age of 85, he has appeared in more than 50  films, directed a dozen movies, had 13 television specials, three television series (including a stint as host of the immensely popular Colgate Comedy Hour from 1950-55 with Dean Martin), an NBC radio show, recorded numerous records and albums (Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody sold over a million copies in 1956); been the hero of a comic book series; authored four books (and been the subject of many more); and made thousands of other appearances on TV, stage (including a hit Broadway and tour run in Damn Yankees from 1994-97) and in nightclubs all over the world.

As well as being an entertainer, "Jerry Lewis was a major innovator in motion pictures," stated director Francis Ford Coppola. "His invention of putting a video camera next to the motion picture camera so he could play it back and direct himself, has been used for decades by every director in the movie industry. I watched him on the set of The Ladies Man in 1961 and was amazed by his groundbreaking innovation, the Video Assist."

Some of his most-celebrated films include The Nutty Professor (1963), Who's Minding the Store? (1963), The Disorderly Orderly (1964), The Patsy (1964), The Family Jewels (1965), The Ladies Man (1961), The Errand Boy (1961), Cinderfella (1960), The Bellboy (1960), Visit to a Small Planet (1960), The Geisha Boy (1958), Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958), The Delicate Delinquent (1957) and 16 Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis films between 1949 and 1956 that showcased them at the pinnacle of show business.

Jerry has been honored with numerous awards including not one but two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (one for his work in film and one for television); the Governor's Award at the Emmy Awards (2005); a Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (2004); a Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy at the American Comedy Awards (1998); and many, many more.

Enormously popular in Europe, particularly France, Jerry was awarded that country's two most distinguished honors in 1984, making him a Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters and inducting him into the Legion of Honor by the Decree of President Francois Mitterrand.

In addition to his status as a legendary performer, Jerry has long been a tireless and dedicated philanthropist. For more than 60 years, he has been the driving force behind the fight against muscular dystrophy. As national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Jerry raised more than $2 billion for patient care and research and made the term "Jerry's Kids" a part of the modern American lexicon. His creation, the MDA Labor Day Telethon, is the most successful fundraising program in the history of television and established a new benchmark in charitable giving.

Wrote late Secretary of Defense Les Aspin, then a congressman from Wisconsin, when nominating Jerry for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1977, "Jerry Lewis is a man for all seasons, all people and all times. His name, in the hearts of millions, has become synonymous with peace, love and brotherhood."

Jerry has received numerous awards for his charitable endeavors, including:  an honorary Oscar®, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (2009), presented on special occasions by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to an individual whose humanitarian efforts have brought notable credit to the industry; the American Medical Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, becoming only the fifth person in AMA history to receive the honor (1996); and the U.S. Defense Department's highest civilian award, the Medal for Distinguished Public Service (1985), among many others.

Today – after more than eight decades as a performer – Jerry remains busy with a myriad of appearances (in Las Vegas where he resides, around the country and overseas) and developing entertainment projects for film, television, DVD and stage. Beyond the pratfalls, jokes and public persona, he is a devoted family man with seven children, 10 grandchildren, two great grandchildren and two chihuahuas.

Jerry has a motto that reflects more than anything else his ongoing love affair with humanity: "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again!"


About The Nutty Professor (1963)

The Nutty Professor (1963) is Jerry Lewis' blockbuster comedy loosely based on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. Lewis stars as Professor Julius Kelp, a socially inept scientist who comes up with a formula to turn himself into the perfect ladies man, a dashing altar ego known as Buddy Love. He soon begins pursuing one of his students, portrayed by Stella Stevens, leading to all sorts of complications. In addition to Lewis and Stevens, The Nutty Professor stars Del Moore, Kathleen Freeman and Howard Morris.

Lewis not only stars in The Nutty Professor but also directed and produced the film. In addition, he co-wrote the screenplay with Bill Richmond. The film was shot primarily on the Airzona State University campus in Tempe, Ariz. The musical score by Walter Scharf incorporates elements of Victor Young's famous song "Stella By Starlight."

The Nutty Professor was named to AFI's 100 Years…100 Laughs list in 2000 and was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2004.


2014 TCM Classic Film Festival – Passes & Venues

For the fifth consecutive year, thousands of movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2014 festival is set to take place Thursday, April 10 – Sunday, April 13, coinciding with TCM's 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film. Over four packed days and nights, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events and more.

The theme for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival will be Family in the Movies: The Ties that Bind. Throughout the four-day lineup, the festival will showcase on-screen clans of all types – big and small, happy and imperfect, musical and dramatic. In addition, the festival will spotlight the first families of Hollywood and the filmmaking dynasties that have entertained generations. And it will explore the kinship that connects close-knit groups of professionals behind the camera, such as the stock companies of classic Hollywood.

Passes for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival can be purchased through the festival website at Pass availability is limited, so those wishing to attend the festival are encouraged to buy their passes quickly.

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony, is set to serve as the official hotel and central gathering point for the TCM Classic Film Festival for the fifth consecutive year. The Hollywood Roosevelt also offers special rates for festival attendees. Festival screenings and events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre.

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