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Jerry Lewis to receive Oscars humanitarian award

Veteran comedian Jerry Lewis is to be honored with an Oscar statuette for outstanding humanitarian work at next year's Academy Awards in Hollywood, officials have announced.

world Updated: Dec 11, 2008 09:32 IST

Veteran comedian Jerry Lewis is to be honored with an Oscar statuette for outstanding humanitarian work at next year's Academy Awards in Hollywood, officials have announced.

The 82-year-old funnyman, whose annual telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) have raised an estimated two billion dollars since 1966, is to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, Oscars officials announced yesterday.

The award has been given out intermittently at the Oscars since 1956 and previous recipients include Bob Hope, Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman.

Lewis helped found the MDA in the early 1950s and has been its national chairman since 1952.

"Jerry is a legendary comedian who has not only brought laughter to millions around the world but has also helped thousands upon thousands by raising funds and awareness for those suffering from muscular dystrophy," said Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Lewis is best known for his comedic partnership with Dean Martin. The two made their screen debut in "My Friend Irma" in 1949 and eventually starred in 16 films together.

Lewis notable film roles include "The Nutty Professor," "The Disorderly Orderly" and "The King of Comedy.