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.

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