Comedian Richard Lewis says he will concentrate on writing and...

Comedian Richard Lewis says he will concentrate on writing and acting due to his Parkinson's disease diagnosis. Credit: Getty Images / Michael Kovac

Comedian and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" semiregular Richard Lewis says he has been diagnosed with the neurological disorder Parkinson's disease.

"Hey, listen, I just wrapped a couple of weeks ago on season 12 of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' and it was just an amazing season and I'm so grateful to be part of that show," the Brooklyn-born 75-year-old star says in a Twitter video posted Sunday night.

"But, y'know, in the last 3½ years I’ve had sort of a rocky time," he continued, explaining that at the conclusion of a tour, "I said, 'Y'know, 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. And then out of the blue … I had four surgeries, back-to-back-to-back-to-back — it was incredible. … I had a back surgery, then I had a shoulder surgery, then I had a shoulder-replacement surgery and then I had … a hip replacement."

While focused on physical therapy for that, he noticed two years ago that, "I started 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." But, he adds, "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. So I guess I just wanted you to know that that's where it's been at. I'm finished with stand-up; I’m just focused on writing and acting."

He notes that he is "under a doctor’s care, and everything is cool and I love my wife" — entrepreneur and philanthropist Joyce Lapinsky, to whom he has been married since 2005 — "I love my little puppy dog and I love all of my friends and my fans. And now you know where it's been at the last 3½ years. God bless you."

"I love you, Richard! Before I ever knew you, I loved watching you perform. You’re just a beautiful person," commented his "Curb" castmate Cheryl Hines. "I hope the love you’re receiving from everyone will continue to make you stronger everyday."

"You’ve always treated me like gold. I love you too," Lewis replied.

While the causes of Parkinson's are unknown, many of its symptoms, such as tremors, slurred speech and impaired movement and balance, are due to a loss of brain neurons that produce the chemical dopamine. Other performers diagnosed with the disease include Michael J. Fox, Ozzy Osbourne and Alan Alda.

Top Stories

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months