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Jerry Lewis recovering after health scare

posted 25 Jun 2011, 03:50 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 25 Jun 2011, 03:56 ]
Veteran entertainer Jerry Lewis was recovering in Sydney on Saturday (June 25), after falling ill and being taken to hospital, causing him to cancel some of his Australian shows.

Legendary U.S. entertainer Jerry Lewis' health is "much improved" after resting in Sydney following a brief hospitalisation.

Witnesses said the veteran entertainer was unable to move, and looked very unwell shortly before he was due to appear at a benefit concert on Friday evening (June 24) at the Rooty Hill RSL club, an entertainment and dining venue in the Sydney suburbs.

He was admitted to hospital but released after being seen by a doctor.

Lewis' Australian tour had been organised by the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation Australia as a fund-raising event.

On Saturday (June 25) the foundation's CEO, David Jack, had a message from the U.S. comedian.

"Jerry Lewis' health is much improved today. Jerry spent last night and today resting at his hotel. I talked to him a couple of minutes ago, and he wanted me to give a very important message, just to squash any rumours. 'I'm not pregnant.'"

Jack added the funnyman's show cancellations were due to exhaustion.

"Unfortunately a combination of a very long trip from Las Vegas, as well as a very busy schedule, and of course, when Jerry lands, he goes at it a hundred and ten percent, led to him feeling very exhausted and just unable to perform his show last night," he said.

Lewis has suffered numerous ailments for years including heart attacks, an inflammatory lung disorder, and chronic back pain caused by pratfalls earlier in his career.

Earlier in the week, while attending a golf club near Brisbane, Lewis quipped: "Everybody looks at you like, well he's got about four breaths left, let's jump down there and help him."

Lewis was spending the weekend resting at his Sydney hotel and has cancelled all further events in the Sydney leg of his Australian tour.

His condition will be reassessed before his scheduled sell-out Melbourne concert on Thursday (June 30).

The Muscular Dystrophy Foundation said Lewis' itinerary in Australia includes appearances in Melbourne and in Brisbane, where he performed on Wednesday (June 22) at a gala dinner for 250 people.

The zany comic-actor, a veteran of over 45 films during a career spanning five decades, is due back in the United States on July 4.

Lewis announced in May that he was retiring this year as host of the annual Labour Day holiday telethon for the U.S.-based Muscular Dystrophy Association, of which he remains national chairman. The group is separate from the Australian foundation.

He is due to make what he said would be a final appearance on that show in September.