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Richard Lewis is opening up about the health issues he’s been privately dealing with over the last three-and-a-half years.
The 75-year-old comedian and Curb Your Enthusiasm star shared in a video posted to Twitter that amid four “back-to-back-to-back-to-back” surgeries for his back, shoulder and hip in recent years, he was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years ago.
“For the last three-and-a-half years, I’ve had sort of a rocky time,” he shares, noting that he recently wrapped the 12th season of Larry David’s HBO comedy series, on which Lewis is an original series regular, and wanted to address questions about whether he will perform stand-up again. In the health update, he announces his retirement from stand-up, but says he plans to continue acting and writing, expressing his optimism over the late-in-life diagnosis.
Before his surgeries, Lewis says was in the middle of a comedy tour and decided to end on a high note. “I’m at the top of my game. After 50 years almost, I’m going to just call it quits. And I felt great about that,” he says. “And then out of the blue, the shit hit the fan.”
Lewis says he had four surgeries back-to-back, calling it “bad luck” with issues with his back and shoulder, and then needing both shoulder and hip replacement. “There were months where I was just focusing on PT,” he says.
“And on top of all of that, two years ago I was walking a little stiffly, I was shuffling my feet. And I went to a neurologist and they gave me a brain scan, and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,” he continues. “And 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.”
Lewis has been active on his social media account in recent years, alluding to health issues and complications that kept him from appearing on Curb Your Enthusiasm as much as he would like. The star appeared in only one episode of the 11th season, and is slated to appear in the upcoming season 12. Lewis recently shared a picture from his trailer after wrapping the 12th season, writing, “Hard to believe we started in 2000. 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.”
“I guess I just wanted you to know that that’s where it’s been at,” says Lewis in the Twitter video. “I’m finished with stand-up, I’m just focused on writing and acting. I have Parkinson’s disease but I’m under a doctor’s care, and everything is cool and I love my wife [Joyce Lapinsky], I love my little puppy dog and I love all of my friends and my fans.”
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