He was born Joseph Levitch in Newark, New Jersey, on March 16, 1926. Jerry Lewis' show business career began in his parents' vaudeville act at the age of 5, singing the Depression tearjerker "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" By 16, Lewis had dropped out of school and was earning as much as $150 a week as a solo performer, comically lip-syncing to recordings of Danny Kaye, Spike Jones and other artists.
He was just 20 when his pairing with Dean Martin made them international stars.
Pictured: Comedian Bob Hope tries to concentrate on his script as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis get started on their own comedy high jinks, May 5, 1949.